Those who equate wine with sophistication and civility must not know about the Battle of the Wines. Called La Bataille des Vins in its original French, this circa-1224 poem by Henry d’Andeli depicts an epic, wine-soaked battle royale. It’s rich with trash-talking clergy, nationalistic rivalries, and bathroom humor. The hero of our story is King […]
Of all the various spirit categories that make up the dynamic culture of drink around the world, gin has arguably the most storied past. Its English heritage tells the story of British aristocracy, class warfare, technological innovation, the maritime industry, and more. Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we?
English Sparkling Wine is having a moment. What was once Champagne’s invitation-only pool party, attended exclusively by the world’s most finely honed palates, is now being invaded by cannonballing English sparkling wine producers. This is thanks to a number of fortuitous elements coming together to create a right-time, right-place kind of scenario. First of all, […]
I’ve recently been re-watching ”The Cornetto Trilogy.” It’s a terrific series of farcical British genre spoofs from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. One thing I love about the series is the feeling that I’m getting a small taste of authentic British culture, a great deal of which comes from ubiquitous scenes set pieces anchored to a corner pub.
What’s better than wine? Wine with bubbles, of course! The sparkling wine trend is booming. In 2015, Americans consumed over 21 million cases of wine, according to the Wine Institute. For winemakers, this means two things: First of all, there’s a much bigger reward in focusing on producing excellent sparkling wine, since consumers are clamoring […]
The British have a pretty fantastic track record when it comes to keeping their armed forces buzzed: the British Royal Navy got rations of overproof rum in the 18th century; there were floating breweries for World War II-era British navy stationed in the Pacific; and to this day, Naval officers who’ve failed the Submarine Command […]
England might have gotten a few things wrong recently. Or right? Or wrong. Anyway, the British have absolutely gotten a bunch of shit right in the long run. (Aggressive empire-building not included.) Among said gems: Monty Python, the contagious ebullience of Twiggy, Ab-Fab, and the cocktail hour.
Winston Churchill was famous for his love affair with booze. He reportedly drank Champagne at every meal and enjoyed scotch throughout the day followed by nightcaps of brandy. Suffice it to say, this was a man who would not react well to forced abstinence.
There are plenty of English phrases we don’t understand. Sorry, don’t mean “English.” We mean “English English,” like in Austin Powers. Some are more or less familiar. “Bob’s your uncle,” basically meaning “Ta-da,” or “voila, all’s good!” “Knackered,” meaning exhausted. “Taking the piss,” meaning—chill—making fun of something. But then there’s that “Mind your Ps and […]