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.