I like Bristol plenty, enough to live here for nearly fifteen years, but I’m not sure I like it in the way I’m supposed to. A typical Bristol enthusiast will tell you that it’s a vibrant, diverse, happening place, like a laid-back outpost of trendy London in the provinces, or a West Country Brighton. A friend overheard a Bristol University student say, ‘Bristol is like a sort of second-home London.’ Well, yah. Continue reading
Today in Bristol it’s raining heavily, it’s cool but not cold enough to be satisfying, the leaves are rotting on the pavement, and I’m thinking about drinking good wine with old friends on a hot summer’s day.
It’s the time of year to say something about the nights drawing in and it being colder, this requiring hearty comfort food and all that. For myself, I like this casserole at any time of year and think it quite suits the summer, but it is hearty. It can be a simple, economical meal, but it’s also good enough to give to old friends with some good wine. Continue reading
Around fifteen years ago I wrote a feature called something like ‘red grapes of Bordeaux at home and abroad’. In it I mentioned a grape called Malbec, saying that although many readers wouldn’t be familiar with it, and although it was only a minor constituent in some red Bordeaux, in Argentina* it was the dominant grape. I added that, unlikely though it might seem, some Argentinian wine really was very good, and excellent value. Today neither the description nor the reassurance would be necessary; Malbec, especially Argentinian Malbec, is commonplace and deservedly popular. Continue reading