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Independent on Sunday scraps drinks column

Published:  23 July, 2008

by Stuart Peskett
Richard Ehrlich, drinks columnist for The Independent on Sunday, has left the newspaper after a decade - with no successor lined up.

The writer, who will be pursuing a freelance career, told Harpers that no replacement had been named and at the moment, they have no plans to get someone else to write a drinks column'.

After a period as a food writer, Ehrlich moved into the world of drinks, and when hired by The Independent on Sunday was told he could write about any drinks sector he liked, be that wine, coffee, or even fruit juice.

In his final column, he criticises wine blogs (Too many are just a succession of tastings and tasting notes. And too many are written by people who - there is no nice way to say this - don't know very much about the subject'). But he ends by affirming one thing I have grown increasingly convinced of over the past decade: that French wine is the best on Earth'.

Ehrlich told Harpers: They [his employers] decided to end my column; there was no implication of dissatisfaction with me. But to be perfectly clear: the decision was not made by me. So, I'm joining the ranks of the scrambling, desperate freelancers! I hope to be writing about drink someplace else very soon.'

Ehrlich was keen to stress that he had no quarrel' with the newspaper, and praised the team at The Sunday Review

(the section of the paper that contains the drinks column) for being enthusiastic, encouraging and appreciative'.

A spokesman for the newspaper said in a statement: Richard Ehrlich has written a wonderful drinks column for The Sunday Review for many years, but, as part of an overhaul of our Living section, he has written his final column for the magazine.

Richard remains one of the best in the business, and we are incredibly grateful for the knowledge he has imparted for almost a decade.

No decision has been made about drinks coverage in the future.'