The Bordeaux Club

The Seventy-Year Story of Great Wines and the Friends Who Shared Them

Neil McKendrick

Available on November 15th, 2022

$67.95 + HST

“Associations and societies such as the Bordeaux Club are the very acme of civilization. Botticelli and Bach were engaged in the eternal quest for truth and beauty in painting and music, and the Bordeaux Club did the same for viniculture.”
Andrew Roberts

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SKU: 9781913141349 Category:

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The story of twelve friends who gathered to share and celebrate the extraordinary wines of Bordeaux. Like-minded in their love of wine,
they differed wildly (often alarmingly!) in their personal wealth, life and circumstances. Their opinions, always voiced, had the power to ignite anger and divide friendships just as easily as they bound them together.

Neil McKendrick, member and minute-taker for fifty-seven of the Club’s seventy extraordinary years, weaves the tale of this convivial group with the rigour of a Cambridge academic (he is ex-Master of Gonville and Caius) and the humour of a born raconteur. He celebrates the beauty of top-class Bordeaux and the splendour of each setting – from glorious country houses to rickety Dickensian boardrooms – in which these men were lucky enough to dine, serving up memories of vintages the like of which we will never see again.

  • ‘Well over 1,000 bottles consumed…’: Bordeaux’ top wines described by the brilliant Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent and Steven Spurrier
  • Verdicts and opinions from the historian Sir John Plumb, ‘the rudest man in Cambridge’
  • 1865, 1929, 1945, 1961, 1985, 1990… the highlights of these six famous Bordeaux vintages are revealed
  • Haut-Brion, Lafite, Mouton-Rothschild, Margaux and Latour – the Médoc’s first growths appraised by the finest palates
  • From the grandeur of Saling Hall (Essex) to the extensively portraited Master’s Lodge at Caius College, Cambridge: 16 perfect settings for wine enjoyment
  • Keeper of the deepest cellar (and partner to most notorious wife), Lord Harry Walston’s irresistibly scandalous lifestyle explored
  • Notes of the author’s extraordinary £1 purchases from the Christ’s College Cellar (Latour 1928, Lafite 1945) – for sale at this low price because the dons couldn’t drink them with pineapple…
  • Abominations and anomalies, the wines that courted controversy: white burgundy, Moscato d’Asti and the contentious clarets of 1927

Author Bio

One of four children brought up by a young widow – his father having been killed in World War II – Neil McKendrick came from a home in which there was no alcohol. His conversion to wine came via ‘a series of separate moments enjoyed on a single staircase of a Cambridge college’. He continued at Cambridge, becoming professor of economic history and the 40th Master of Gonville & Caius, at which he is now a life fellow. Neil’s love of wine also continued; he was member and minute-taker of the Bordeaux Club for fifty-seven of the Club’s seventy extraordinary years.

After studying at the Universities of Reading and East Anglia, he worked first in publishing as an editor and then, from 1988, as a wine writer, taster, educator, tour guide and occasional radio presenter (on BBC Radio 4). He has written for many British newspapers, notably The Evening Standard and The Financial Times, and continues to contribute columns to Decanter and The World of Fine Wine; he also acts a co-chair for the Decanter World Wine Awards and as an academic advisor to The Wine Scholar Guild. His books include The New France (2002), Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course (2016) and Whisky Island (2019), a book about the Hebridean island of Islay. He has also published poems in The Spectator and The Independent. Andrew and his family moved to Australia in 2009 and to France in 2010, where they still live. He enjoys music and walking, but no longer makes his own wine.

Additional Information

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781913141349
Publication Date: 15 November 2022
Pages: 384