Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Hands off the plonk

Because I smoke and am over forty, it's quite pointless me drinking seriously expensive vintages - their subtleties are lost on me. I also dislike all those heavy 13.5% New World reds; give me the old 11% every time. For years I've been quaffing Tesco or Sainsbury bog-standard French Red 11%, from 1.5l screw-cap poly bottles, often with a squirt of soda, sometimes with an ice cube or two. I really don't care.

For years it was £4.99 - £2.50 a bottle. Now it's £6.99, still only £3.50 per 75cl. I may drink a small tumbler, or several. When guests sup, I pour it into a big glass water jug for the table. It's healthy, and it's cheap.

What I don't want when next I crack the screw-top is to have in the vision of the corner of my eye some squint-faced old maid with parts dry as sandpaper and dugs like saggy purses from some State health warning body wagging an admonitory finger at me. Can't we pack all these raddled hags off to climb Everest or something? I didn't vote for this.


Blue Eyes said...

Not sure I understand today's pronouncement from "NICE". Aren't they the people who decide what drugs get bought by the NHS. Isn't health policy / tax policy / competition policy rather outside their remit?

I would say they were lining themselves up for a serious downsizing or full cull. Or maybe this is them in their death throes.

I expect a robust reply from our "liberal" legislators.

Anonymous said...

Don't know who these NICE (aka Clinical Unit for Not Treating the Sick)think they are.

Seems like every time we go to the GP we are to be interrogated as to our drinking habits.

Same thing happened last time I went to the dentist, and I'll tell my GP same thing I told the dentist: "None of your business!"

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"I expect a robust reply from our "liberal" legislators."

Go on, BE, that was sarcasm, wasn't it!

Anonymous said...

I thought all this nanny state crap was gonna halt under the new 'responsible' regime!
They won't touch proscribed substances yet a legal drug is fair game, why don't they all take a long walk on a very short pier?
My experience of the French paysannerie is that they rarely drink expensive plonk, prefering the 'rough' stuff, so I drink as they do and with them when in France.

Woodsy42 said...

Presently drinking myself through the 5 gallons of home grown and home brewed damson wine which have recently completed the fermentation process. Honest ingredients and it tastes much better than cheap plonk. Try and tax that you bastards!

Budgie said...

Henry - now you mention it, the dentist did ask how much I drank. Unfortunately, I did not have the presence of mind to answer other than truthfully.

I remember my children were asked, at school, whether they took drugs. Their written reply was that they started on dope at primary, went on to coke at secondary, and were then mainlining. Ask a silly question ...

Arfur Pint said...

One can understand your annoyance at being lectured by a raddled old hag.

Would it make a difference if the lecturer was an attractive, leggy, buxom 22year old blonde?

Just asking, you understand; and yes I'm partial to the odd glass or two of Merlot occasionally.

Michael St George said...

".....some squint-faced old maid with parts dry as sandpaper and dugs like saggy purses from some State health warning body wagging an admonitory finger at me...."

Raedwald - you've been fantasising about Ms Harridan Harperson again, haven't you? See what abstemiousness does to you?

Scrobs... said...

Woodsy42 - Absolutely!

We went for years on a local farmer's recipe for Elderberries and dry cider. It took about ten days to ferment, a couple more days to clear, and was ready the day after that!

Dead cheap, great fun, and lasted for about four weeks, by when we'd made the next five gallons!

We only really stopped during the booze cruise dashes in the early ninteies, when Calais was only a few hours away, and we could be back before we had to have lunch there...

Raeders, I totally agree with you, except that I won't bother to look out of the corner of my eye - it'll be half closed by then anyway!

Savonarola said...

Raedwald whats with this 'over 40' nonsense - you are still a kid and should be quaffing Borolo at 15% after a couple of cans of Carlsberg Superstrength Lager.

As for the Nanny State reps on £240K pa + IL pension, they are worth every penny.

Robert said...

I gave up French wine of any kind years ago as poor and expensive. Give me New World wines anyday.

The worst French wine is in French supermarkets. That is where they off load all the duff appellation controle to the French who have never tasted anything better.

Never mind Tesco try Lidl or Aldi for better quality and prices. The beer is pretty good too.

English Pensioner said...

Last year I was having serious problem in not being able to sleep, reason unknown. My GP proscribed some pills which didn't help much. Then I saw his locum when he was away, and he was happy to give me some more pills, but he would also recommend that I tried a glass or two of wine about an hour or so before bedtime as an alternative to help me relax. This had been the advice given to him by his professor at college when he'd had the same problem.
My GP was none too pleased when I reported to him that this worked better than his pills!

And if any busybody asks me how many units of alcohol I drink each day, I will give the Inspector Morse response "I don't drink b.... units, I drink pints!"

Anonymous said...

Radders old boy, may I add another bloody good name to your list. Aldi's "Baron St Jean". £3.20 a bottle, 11 - 11.5% and easy drinking. Go on...treat yerself!

Coney Island

Elby The Dipsomaniac said...

BUT - How refreshing to hear the Minster For Health, whose name escapes me, state that they felt that NICE's recommendations penalised responsible drinkers, and that they didn't intend to follow their recommendations.

I was brought up on ale. Robinsons of Stockport, still independent and run by the family. I worked there in my school and college holidays till the Unions moved in and banned "casual" labour. Cracking job. Cracking beer. Their pale mild very very fine, and a pint of mixed just the ticket thanks.

Cider drinker now, with a taste for wine. I do like the big reds, and steer clear of French wine as unless you know what you are doing you can buy a £10 bottle in the supermarket of French wine which is little more than drain cleaner.

However, the surplus of cheap mostly reliable red from Oz means that more and more people are buying that, and hence that supermarkets stock less and less decent mid-priced wine. Penfolds Kalimna, for example, at just under £8 per bottle is as good as it gets for them these days.

Happily, a client of L's gave us a Wine Society membership for our wedding, and that has excellent wine some under £5 a bottle, including a cracking Shiraz from a vineyard I have visited in South Oz. Avery's too, who sell truly fantastic wallet-emptying wine, still do splendid offers on well drinkable reds for under £7 a bottle.