BY JAMIE FOSTER
A delightful book to dip in and out of, Bruce Anderson’s ‘Drink!’ is a collection of his columns from The Spectator. Published by Quiller, this slim volume is a series of vignettes full of joie de vivre. Each column recollects a different occasion on which Anderson is drinking wine and it is a joy to be transported by him to so many different sessions.
Bruce Anderson, the John Bull of British journalism, is a political columnist who has been a leviathan of the national press for almost half a century; a one-time Marxist, he built a reputation as the sword-bearer of the Right and yet was a staunch advocate of Remain.
Drink! is a selection of fifty-two of Anderson’s favourite columns, commenting on social mores, politics or the feeling of the man on the street, and always written with a recommendation for a suitable alcoholic supplement to further the delight of reading Bruce’s work. This humorous, informative and entertaining collection will have wide appeal for those who find pleasure in the finer things of life – in particular, wine.
The foreword to the book is written by David Cameron, who comes across as something of a giggle to go to lunch with himself in his writing. Cameron was taken on long, boozy lunches by Anderson when he was a young researcher at Conservative Central Office and he remembers these occasions fondly. Cameron tells of lunches in which four bottles of wine are consumed noting that his host’s knowledge of what is being drunk is second to none.
Anderson’s columns contain comment on current politics and the big questions of the day. They are a gentle meander through subjects of interest to all. At the end of each one we are given an insight into the tasting that each column accompanies. I must admit that some of the names of the wines he was drinking were lost on me but there is a musicality to the names that carries the reader onwards.
It is a book that makes one want to drink wine. Anderson’s enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and one gets the feeling one is almost drinking along with him, without the hangover to go along with it!
Bruce Anderson’s “Drink!” is available from Waterstones here.