Thinking about it: listen in
Back in December 2004, I attended the now-celebrated conference at the University of London called ‘Philosophy and Wine’. You can read the piece I wrote for the FT afterwards (February 2005) in the articles section of this site.
Barry Smith, the organiser, has edited and published a collection of essays, some of them originally papers given at the conference and others written specially for the book, called Questions of Taste.
I contribute a discussion with California’s most philosophical winemaker, Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards, to Questions of Taste. Paul is charming and gentle and thoughtful, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process we went through to arrive at the final version of our discussion. In a way, it’s the light relief in the book; neither of us are philosophers, but we relished the chance to be let off the leash.
The philosophical approach, happily, seems to be surging in popularity — books have appeared or are due to appear before too long on the philosophy of food, of beer, and of whisky. I will be contributing to the last of these: more details later.
Anyway, if you want to catch an easy-going introduction to all of this via the web, then follow the link to Lynn Krielow Chamberlain’s site Wine Fairy. Lynn’s site offers a huge archive of aural recordings on wine and food topics, and programme 705 in the archive will give you ten minutes each of Lynn talking to Roger Scruton (705a), then Steve Charters, Gloria Origgi, Barry Smith and finally me (705e) discussing our segments. Be warned, though: Lynn’s site is addictive. I kept spotting names of contributors to other programmes … and before I knew it, a whole working afternoon had evaporated.