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Chief among such gratifications as this poor, brief life has to offer is the happy confirmation of prejudice by solid and serious research. You can imagine our pleasure, then, to learn that dining habits are in the genes.

Chief among such gratifications as this poor, brief life has to offer is the happy confirmation of prejudice by solid and serious research. You can imagine our pleasure, then, to learn that dining habits are in the genes.

We can't remember being so happy since the last story declaring the miraculous qualities of red wine.

Because, believe us, down here in the Third Leader Department, we have tried. Again and again, we have toyed with the idea of a modest salad comprising a few differently coloured lettuce leaves and some small, raw, vegetable awaiting the drizzle; again and again, too, we have stood at the threshold of all manner of leading fast-food emporia, bracing ourselves for something with "fries"; and, again and again, we have failed. Some power stronger than us was leading elsewhere.

And now, as we tuck into something both more appealing and substantial in an ambience where the loudest intrusion is the sympathetic murmur of a hovering waiter, we finally understand what it was, and are grateful. What splendid things these genes are! Time, perhaps, for some more pudding. And where are we up to with the red wine, by the way? Good or bad at the moment?

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