Noble Rot

Issue 33

Wine lovers have been swooning over Romanée-Conti for centuries. French Revolutionaries, struggling to realise the value of the vineyard without advertising its newly undesirable noble status, described it as “a balm for the elderly, the feeble and the disabled,” that will “restore life to the dying.” While Richard Olney, who wrote THE book on Romanée-Conti – the 2022 reprint of which was the reason Noble Rot was invited to a once-in-a-lifetime tasting of 25 vintages at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – called it “a timeless perfection outside the realm of normal human experience”. Of course, there are ideological questions attached to anything that can only be afforded by princes, the 0.01%, or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. But, as a wino, does that stop you wondering what it feels like to drink the world’s most fabled cru? It’s a tough job…

Also in this issue we…

 …travel down under to profile a new generation making Australian wine, re-watch the best and worst films about wine, spotlight A/W23’s most on trend grapes, review winemaking computer game Hundred Days, and profile the Rhône’s mystical Château Grillet.

…have lunch with Jake Chapman – a.k.a the artist formerly known as Jake and Dinos Chapman. As synonymous with the late 1990s as New Labour, Oasis, Damien Hirst and the rest of the YBAs), the Chapman brothers created some of the most uncompromising art of our times. We hear about his career as a solo artist, from defacing royal autobiographies to making a new documentary about how capitalism and technology are hastening the demise of humanity, Accelerate or Die! (You Get the Dystopia You Deserve). 

…hear about ex-Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s worst ever meal and John Niven’s annual trips visiting three-star restaurants in Spain and Italy, and discover what restaurants are good for ending romances.

Elsewhere, Marina O’Loughlin heads to Porto to marvel at its gastronomic delights (especially chef Nuno Mendes’s turnip and caviar pastel de nata), Keira Knightley writes about holiday heaven and hell, The Flavour Thesaurus’ author Niki Segnit highlights the famous ingredient matches that she can’t stand, Henry Harris celebrates leaning how to cook at Leiths, and Alice Feiring sees how Georgia’s ancient wine traditions are moving with the times.

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