The Frontline Club

Had a terrific time last night at the member’s room at the Frontline Club, London’s premier watering hole for war correspondents, news cameramen, combat-weary soldiers and Jeremy Paxman. The evening, a food and wine event, was hosted by controversial wine writer Malcolm Gluck, a man whose very appearance, like that of a coal-streaked miner, gives away what he does for a living; the blotchy skin, broken veins and stained teeth marking him out as a serious, serial boozer.

He’s very entertaining, though, introducing the wine that accompanies each course (the food, incidentally, was excellent) with unbridled, loving enthusiasm, using the peculiar vocabulary of the seasoned wine-taster with near-maniacal abandon: one rather lovely red is described as “waxy, like old school desks”, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds – you can actually see what he’s getting at.

We’re asked to provide our own descriptions for each drink, and I attempt to enter the spirit of the occasion (bearing in mind that I can’t generally tell the different between a Chateaunerf de Pape and a carton of Ribena), describing one glass as “like opening a dusty encyclopedia and inhaling the pages” and another as “golden fucking syrup”. Malcolm, rather pleasingly, sees through this straight away, quite rightly mocking my insincerity. There may be something to this wine-tasting malarkey after all.

I was also interviewed by a very nice chap from BBC Radio, alongside a couple of proper food bloggers, Mrs Cook Sister and Mr Spittoon. The latter revealed that he regularly gets sent free food and wine to road-test. I, rather sadly, don’t.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.


  1. Oi! Point of order! I never said I regularly (or ever!) got gratuitous free stuff sent to me :( I do live in hope though. Then again – do we really want to receive fish fingers to review? :o)

    Great to meet you and good luck with the alphabet eating thing.

  2. No worries. Also, did I mention how much I like your description of Malcom? Spot on.

  3. Hotel Chocolat seem to like you though, you lucky bugger.

    I’ve been meaning to eat at the restaurant there for a while after reading a fantastic review of the place. Is it open to non-members? The review wasn’t clear.

  4. Sounds like a good night.
    I’m a member of an exclusive wine-tasting club where we’re only allowed to describe the wine using Freud’s “method” of association.

    The best wine we’ve had so far reminded me of a pirate ship. Very strong oak and tar tastes going on.

  5. Oi! I’m looking forward to those fish fingers (farmed cod apparently so save wild stocks). I did receive several pots of Pot Noodle a few months ago – one of which was over a year out of date.

    A good evening though, even if we didn’t mange to chat properly.

    • A year? That’s nothing. I’ve got a Chow Mein “flavour” one on my desk at work that says August 04 on it. It’s sort of sucked itself inwards but appears to be still sealed.

      I’m trying to see if it will eventually evolve.

  6. Fraser! If you got free stuff I’d be round yours all the time, scoffing and quaffing the lot then doing interpretive dance to Bjork. Imagine.

  7. It’s sound exiciting… :)

  8. Frase, so you’re becoming one of us finally…want tickets for the London Wine Fair in May???

  9. I went to an event where Keith Floyd was talking – what a sad man – shirt undone, rather worse for wear (in fact very), and no one could understand a word he said…. ho-hum – the trials of celebrity!!

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