Liquid Companion

Wine writer Andrew Jefford explores the world of drink.



In ancient Egypt, almost every house had its own brewery, and beer was an integral part of almost every meal.


From South Africa, a look at how New World methods of winemaking differ from more traditional ones.

Plus a focus on how the country is dealing with the dramatic social and political changes that have occurred this decade.


Andrew travels to Rotterdam to interview the chickens that produce the raw ingredients for advocaat and to sample the joys of Thrills Vanilla and Parfait Amour.

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Andrew Jefford journeys down the River Douro to discover how little has changed since the time when wines were fortified to help them travel and prevent spoilage.

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Andrew Jefford braves the horizontal rain of Islay to discover the secrets behind Scotland's most flavoursome whisky and asks to what extent the distillers of today maintain the traditions of the past.

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He looks at British wines, asking why wine-makers here strive on, despite the unpredictable climate and the quality of the competition.

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He turns his attention to the British pub, where the power has shifted from the breweries to the big pub chains.

He asks if this change has resulted in more choice for the consumer or more security for pubs.


He assesses the future of the whisky market, and discovers a few blends that are far from humble.

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He turns his attention to his own profession: who exactly are these self-appointed wine critics, and how much influence do they really have on wine producers and consumers?

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He asks whether the best Bordeaux are for buying, keeping and drinking, or if they are a commodity for collectors and investors.