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Kingsley Amis

“My close personal involvement with drinks and drinking goes back all of fifty years. In that time my experience has been varied and farflung. I have drunk cognac in Cognac, port in Oporto, raki in Turkey, tequila in Mexico City, moonshine in Kentucky, not to mention poteen in Fleet Street, bitter and industrial alcohol in Oxford, Yugoslav whisky in Yugoslavia, Japanese whisky in Glasgow and sweet Spanish wine and lemonade in Swansea. Also gin in England…

Now we reach the point at which my credentials become slightly less than impeccable. With all those drinks I have got through, what I have not done is drink first-rate table wines at their place of origin, work my way through classic vintages and develop an educated palate. To do that, what you really need, shorn of the talk, is a rich father, and I missed it. No complaints, but my lack of erudition in this department is going to limit my remarks on wine to the short, the sharp and the practical, to what my own God-given taste will reach to.”


A section from the introduction of Kingsley Amis’s Everyday Drinking.