Washington v the rest


Believe it or not, there is an organisation in Britain called the Circle of Wine Writers. I have belonged to it since 1976 when its chief activity was a monthly press ‘briefing’ at the top of New Zealand House in London on what was then called the Martini Terrace. (This was when people used to drink big brand vermouth by itself.) Shepherd’s pie featured strongly, I seem to remember, because it was favoured by the then wine correspondent of The Times, Pamela Vandyke Price.

The Circle now has far more members than it had then (never mind the fact...