Aaron Ayscough

Aaron Ayscough

Paris-based wine writer Aaron Ayscough splits his time between the city and the vineyards, and his blog-turned-newsletter “Not Drinking Poison” offers an invaluable source of knowledge to anyone with an interest in the art of winemaking and the culture of drinking.

His work has appeared on the Financial Times, The New York Times: T Magazine and The Happy Reader amongst others. With a new book just hot off the press, “The World of Natural Wine”, Aaron joined us last month for a tasting and we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about all things wine.

Aaron Ayscough

Aaron AyscoughAaron Ayscough
Aaron AyscoughAaron Ayscough

1. You're handed a wine list, what do you do?

At certain, rare, beautiful restaurants - Villas Mas in Catalonia, for example, or Le Soleil in Savigny - I tend to secede from conversation for a few minutes, engrossed in the wine list. On other occasions, I just ask what beers are on tap.

2. How do you know the wine you're drinking is good?

You feel it. A good wine is wholesome and nourishing - it makes you feel good.

3. What is something fascinating you’ve been told over lunch?

"You've had something caught in your teeth since breakfast."

4. In whose company do you most enjoy drinking wine?

The obvious ones - friends and family. But friends-who-are-vigneron(ne)s come first. Particularly Corine Andrieu of Clos Fantine, Kenji and Mai Hodgson in Anjou, Jon Purcell in Burgundy, Joe Jefferies in the Languedoc, etc.

Aaron AyscoughAaron Ayscough

5. Can you describe your ideal combination of wine, music, and setting?

Kakha Berishvili playing accordion on a hammock strung between two trees in his backyard forest glade beside the river in Artana.

I would prefer to be the one playing the accordion, rather than the one standing with a glass in his hand at the outskirts of the glade. But I cannot play the accordion.

6. What sort of food would you add to the equation?

I wouldn't add food to the immediate scenario described above. But invariably there will have been a delightful vegetarian Kakhetian meal shortly before, or there will be one shortly afterwards.

7. What is the most memorable bottle of wine you’ve drank?

Yvon Métras' Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2000, in 2013.

8. Where did you drink it?

Le Pot d'Etain in Isle-sur-Serein.

Aaron AyscoughAaron Ayscough

9. Is there a characteristic you look for in a wine and in a friend?

Honesty, of course. But my friends are all delicious and intoxicating, too.

10. What is your approach to drinking?

I bring the liquid to my lips, usually in a container of some kind, and I incline the container, allowing a certain quantity of the liquid to flow, via gravity, into my mouth, where it is soon ingested.

11. Do you apply this approach in other aspects of life?

Not that I can think of. Only when drinking.

12. What shall we open next?

Planque Paris? Planque Bretagne?

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