May Wine and Food in London
Last year I fell out of love with Beaujolais. It came as quite a shock, like waking up to realise your oldest friend is a crashing bore. I went to a tasting in a hotel in the East End (doubtless very trendy but hell to get to) and found very little that appealed to me. The wines from so many stonking hot vintages lacked the lightness and charm of Beaujolais, and above all that Bacchic element, that makes them unique, was almost entirely missing. Climate change had combined with the fatal legacy of fast-selling, cheap Beaujolais to kill off one of France’s most characterful wines.
And I had really loved Beaujolais. Back in 1983, the first wine article I ever wrote was about Beaujolais, I even went quite a long way towards writing a book on Beaujolais, so the disappointment laid me low. But the story has a happy ending: I can now report that last month I went to a new Beaujolais tasting, and this time I emerged with a smile on my face. It may have been the sun, it may have been the more sensible location (the ICA in Carlton House Terrace), butI liked as many wines this year as I disliked last year.Like last year I tasted only the cru wines.