Like I suspect many Rusters I follow my colleague Algy Belville’s posts on the wine trade avidly and – though certainly I would never claim to be an expert – I should estimate that over the past six decades I have drunk very nearly my share of wines of every variety that any sane person might care to mention.
One of my favourite memories of watching cricket in the flesh took place at Lord’s – I cannot for the life of me now recall the identity of the match but I believe it involved the Australian tourists then on a Test tour of the UK – possibly over four decades ago now.
I was sitting in the lower part of the Taverner’s Stand with a good friend of mine who later became Best Man at my wedding to my first wife and then – a decade or so later – sadly committed suicide.
But I digress.
At the time – towards the end of the lunch interval – it would be fair to suggest that we (and indeed those around us) had been imbibing grape juice for quite a while and much jovial banter was being exchanged.
It was at this moment that a pair of evidently Aussie spectators in their thirties came towards us, ambling around the boundary, one of them cradling an enormous bottle of wine in his arms – possibly a double Magnum.
As they drew level with us, good-natured quips began flowing between them and the crowd in the Stand.
Suddenly – in response to an item of repartee – the bottle-carrier lifted his giant wine bottle above his head in a gesture of either celebration and/or defiance. As quick as a flash my companion bellowed at him “Ah … my favourite wine – red!” – which drew a huge cheer from all present in response.
Separately, I mentioned yesterday that recently I have been doing some house-clearing.
Yesterday as it happens I came across three bottles of wine that have graced a shelving unit in my drawing room undisturbed for the best part of twenty years minimum.
On a whim I decided to look them up on the internet and see if they were worth anything.
The first was a bottle of Taylor’s 1985 vintage port (Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman), bottled in Porto in 1987.
On the “Wine-Searcher” website, this was revealed to be worth some £65 – not bad, but perhaps a little bit underwhelming compared to my wildest hopes.
The second was a bottle of 1993 Chateau La Louviere (Pessac-Leognan).
On the same website, much to my disappointment, it appeared that this now worth no more than £20!!!
The third was a bottle of 1971 Krug champagne.
I have no idea when I acquired it, or why – and I certainly do not know why it wasn’t drunk within a week of its purchase as most of my wine usually is.
Nevertheless, overnight on the same “Wine-Searcher” website, it came up as now being worth the princely sum of £1,253!!!!
I don’t know whether to laugh, cry … or put it away for another ten years or so …