Life is full of surprises, even little ones as the actress said to the bishop. The other night after dinner Douglas decided he would like an alcofrolic, something that does not happen all that often as he’s not a great one for the liquor, so I said okay, if he was having one would he ‘bring me a glass of port please?’ He came back to the table with two bottles, a Sandemans and…good grief, Charlie Brown… a 1963 vintage Ferreira! How long had that been lurking in the back of the drinks cupboard? I certainly wasn’t aware of its existence. Chris immediately looked it up on the net and discovered its retail value at the moment is £150. A hundred and fifty quid! In a household that never spends more than ten pounds on a bottle of liquor if it can be helped and used to rely on duty free to replenish the cupboard. So the big question is where on earth did it come from? It must have been a gift from someone but who? We have absolutely no idea. I have to say though, if each small glass is worth about fifteen quid, there’s extravagance for you, it is well worth it. I have only tasted one other port this delicious and that was a Napoleonic one that our late friend Andy Moore had and that one came in at about fifteen quid a sip, never mind a glass. I don’t know where Andy got it from or how much he paid for it but he was a real wine buff so it was one of a number of vintage bottles of various sorts that he had.
When I say that we never spend more than ten pounds a bottle I have to admit there was one exception. Back at Hollings Farm a lady appeared at our door one day selling some German wines. She had samples with her which one was allowed to taste and indeed there was one that was superb and I agreed to take a case. There was a reason other than the wine itself and that was old softie Jones felt sorry for the poor saleslady, her feet must have been killing her and she was working on commission, and so sometime later the case duly arrived, at a cost of almost two hundred quid according to Douglas who had a better memory than I. I don’t believe it was that much and if it was it certainly two hundred quid we could ill afford. It worked out at about £30 a bottle. Whew!
I believe the big spenders in the wine market at the moment, and I am talking not of a hundred and fifty quid but multiples of a thousand, are the new Chinese billionaires who are prepared to spend spend spend. Communism obviously does work for some.
There has been a great deal of aerial activity in our skies recently, particularly at night. We are used to the occasional jet fighter screeching over our rooftops as Greek pilots train or exercise but not quite as much as at present. All down to Libya do you suppose?