Published 23rd February 2024
It doesn’t take an ancient Greek philosopher to recognise that the more you learn about wine, the more you know you don’t know. This was recently reaffirmed to Noble Rot at a restaurant in Switzerland’s Valais, when presented with a gigantic carte des vins full of almost totally unrecognisable bottles. In our defence, the fact that the Swiss (quite rightfully) refuse to share their venerable vinos – exporting as little as 1% of their annual production – means that outsiders barely catch a glimpse of their world class Fendants, Syrahs and Petite Arvines. Yet traversing the winding roads around some spectacular mountainside vineyards both here, and in nearby Savoie days earlier, proved to us indisputably that Alpine masters like Marie-Thérèse Chappaz and Domaine des Ardoisières mean business. Read our profile of Swiss and French Alpine wines in Noble Rot 34.
Also in this issue…
…we have Keira Knightley reviewing an eclectic selection of wines, from Envínate’s 2021 ‘Doade’ Lousas (“It would be impossible to find a person who wouldn’t like this wine”) to Blossom Hill (“If this is the taste of summer, we are all fucked”)
…Marina O’Loughlin interviews British national treasure and comedy polymath Bill Bailey over lunch at Noble Rot Mayfair – not long after her review of Narbonne’s Les Grands Buffets, a plentiful ‘all you can eat’ restaurant featuring, among many other wonders, “towers of lobsters”, “acres of oysters” and “foie gras in ten different iterations”.
…Kate Spicer explores ‘Drunken Monkey Theory’ – aka the reason why, like our primate pal, loving wine is in our DNA – and profiles François Chartier, the Atomic Somm who uses molecular science to improve wine and food pairing.
Plus: Rush’s Geddy Lee tells us about becoming a wine geek; Joe Beef’s David McMillan recounts his Greatest Meal; Jay McInerney recounts the tempestuous story of the Mondavi dynasty, Californian wine’s first family; and Levi Dalton considers when is the right time to drink Barolo. We also feature Jon Bonné on Bernard Ginestet, Alice Feiring on coastal Tuscany and stories about Dolcetto, Succession, wine cancel culture, among others.
Noble Rot magazine is published 3 times a year, in February, June and October.