After sharing a brief smooch with Yonne négociant Nicolas Vauthier’s dog back in 2013.

NOT DRINKING POISON is a newsletter about natural wine culture. It began back in 2010 in the form of a blog about dining and drinking in Paris. Nowadays it’s about highlighting the work of vignerons who uphold a certain standard of purity in farming and vinification.

No poisons in the vineyard, no additives or transformative gizmos in the cellar.

The vignerons working this way comprised a small community in France throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Today, natural wine culture encompasses a flourishing international scene: vignerons and négociants and sommeliers and journalists and restaurants and wine bars and wine fairs, from Tokyo to Vienna to Santa Cruz.

This is the subject of NOT DRINKING POISON. (With a certain emphasis on France. Simply because I live in France.)

About me

My name’s Aaron Ayscough. It’s pronounced, “A scoff.” I write, mostly about wine. Sometimes I do sommelier work. My first book, The World of Natural Wine, was released by Artisan Books in September 2022.

My writing has appeared in: The Financial Times, Wine Enthusiast, Eater, The Feiring Line, Punch, Wine Business International, New York Times: T Magazine, Fantastic Man, and The Happy Reader, among other publications. I’ve run wine programs at restaurants including Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles), YARD (Paris), C.A.M. (Paris), Chez La Vieille (Paris), and Table (Paris).

I’m also the author of two English translations of works by the French wine scientist and natural wine progenitor Jules Chauvet: Wine in Question (Editions de l’Epure 2019) and The Esthetics of Wine (Editions de l’Epure 2020).

Why subscribe?

Subscribers get full access to the NOT DRINKING POISON newsletter: a bi-monthly natural wine review, including feature stories, vigneron interviews, profiles, tasting reports, restaurant reviews, commentary, and contributions from friends throughout the natural wine community.

Straight-talk from vignerons. Honest interpretation. Useful translations. No ads. Very few tasting notes.

It’s the kind of wine writing longtime readers know from the Not Drinking Poison website. I love writing this way. But after ten years of maintaining the site, I realized I couldn’t do the subject justice while writing for free. Think of the newsletter subscription as NOT DRINKING POISON, turned up to 11 - thanks to subscribers like you.


Natural wine culture, by Aaron Ayscough. Reporting from Paris since 2010.


Pronounced, "A scoff." American wine writer, based in Paris. Author of NOT DRINKING POISON, a newsletter about natural wine, and THE WORLD OF NATURAL WINE (Artisan Books, 2022).