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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

In a new column, (Food Monthly) LYNN BARBER recalls the not-so-golden era of boozing Britain: 'In the early Sixties... the only reason for buying wine was to make the bottles into table lamps.' She remembers that her parents never had wine at home, 'apart from one bottle of British VP wine, which was for medicinal purposes only (it tasted like Vegemite)'. And while at Oxford, the choice amounted to 'Pimm's, Champagne, punch, and of course the dreaded Sherry, which was always served at tutorials'. Fast forward to the late Seventies, 'the big breakthrough period when we started developing a proper, unselfconscious attitude to wine this was no thanks to English wine writers, who still banged on about chteaux and cellarage and the arcane art of decanting.' Nowadays, Barber is 'wary' of Australian wines, and sticks to France, Chile and South Africa.