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On the day Margaret Thatcher was being buried with full military honours, I was at an event organised by the Wines of Argentina to mark World Malbec Day. It had been organised long in advance and the timing was neither opportune nor inopportune-—though much commented on.

It was promoted as a cambalache, or market, and created a cultural surround in which to understand Argentinian wines, including lessons on tango and street slang, the drinking of mate (think of a very bitter tea), along with street food, street art and a band. I participated in this extravaganza, in collaboration with Charles…

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