Sunday, February 25, 2007

Packing for your alcoholidays

Scotland on Sunday

By Will Lyons

AS A rule, I have usually avoided non-alcoholic alternatives to wine. Why pretend to be drinking something when you're not? The expansive range of fruit juices, concentrates and cordials are all very well for a hot summer's day or a garden party, but when it comes to accompanying a steak or a poached salmon I would rather stick to the hard stuff.
February in my household is dominated by cups of tea and water as I fidget my way through a month of abstinence. It's a practice I was introduced to by the great Edward Demery, chairman of Justerini & Brooks, who for three blissfully happy years was my boss. Demery's theory was that January is just far too busy to abstain. February, by contrast, is relatively quiet and short - a whole 12 days fewer than Lent. "A lot of my friends give up in January," Demery explained, "but it's 31 days long! Go for February instead, Wills, but beware the leap years."


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