Booze interview: Roger Scruton

I thought I’d repost this interview from a few years back because I’ve been reading Roger Scruton’s Confessions of a Heretic published by Notting Hill Editions this month. What I love about Scruton is he makes other conservatives, your Charles Moores or your Simon Heffers, seem like dilettantes. In one particularly good essay on the decline (what else) of dance, he thinks the rot set in not with rock n’ roll or swing but with the foxtrot and the waltz. I might run something fuller on the book when I have a moment but meanwhile I hope you enjoy the interview.

Henry's World of Booze

Introducing a new occasional series – interviews with writers about their drinking habits. For my first guest I am honoured to have philosopher Roger Scruton. For many years Scruton wrote a column for the New Statesman. It was ostensibly about wine but in reality it smuggled subversive views about the family, religion and hunting into a left wing magazine. This makes him sounds like merely a mischief maker whereas his unselfconscious love of nature imbued the writing with a rare beauty. The columns are worth reading whatever your political persuasion.

When did you first realise that wine was something special and can you remember the wine that triggered this feeling?

When my mother was given a bottle of Burgundy by her step-father. She opened it, took a sip, and then put the cork back in. For several weeks it stood in the larder and from time to time…

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About Henry

Henry Jeffreys was born in London. He has worked in the wine trade, publishing and is now a freelance journalist. He specialises in drink and his work has appeared in the Spectator, the Guardian, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Oldie and Food & Wine magazine. He was a contributor to the Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury 2013) and his book Empire of Booze: British History through the Bottom of a Glass was published in November 2016.
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