Off topic: question for wine and alcohol experts
Thread poster: veratek

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 23:23
French to English
+ ...
Sep 27, 2008

Hello!

Is there anyone out there who could tell me the following:

If you were a man living in England in the 1920s and you were very rich, and you were having a drink, say in an exclusive club lounge, what would be 3 wines (include year if possible) that you could ask for? and what two or three other alcohol drinks might a guy like this order? (brandy? )
If it makes any difference, this would be a situation during the day and not at night.

thanks,
Vera


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
port Sep 27, 2008

That's the first one that comes to mind, possibly with cigars, after dinner, the ladies having retired.

It occurred to me to see what Winston Churchill drank (b. 1874, hence, in his 40s in the 1920s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

Some extracts from a web: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/winstonchurchill.html

... covering the Boer war. Sent out to the front line, he took with him 36 bottles of ***wine, 18 bottles of ten-year old ***scotch, and 6 bottles of vintage ****brandy (a drink he believed was essential to a stable diet). Clearly Churchill had better access to alcohol than most people on the South African front: his stores were said to contain “many bottles of whisky, ****claret, and ****port.

He always had a glass of whisky by him, and he drank brandy and ***champagne both at lunchtime and dinner.

Only when Churchill reached the age of 76, in 1953, were there signs of change: “I am trying to cut down on alcohol. I have knocked off brandy and take ***Cointreau instead.

One visitor from the period noted: “There is always some alcohol in his blood, and it reaches its peak late in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a ***highball…

And by the way:

“You, Mr Churchill, are drunk.”

“And you, Lady Astor, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning.”

I had to include that!







[Edited at 2008-09-28 11:30]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:23
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Madeira too used to be popular Sep 28, 2008

With Madeira its easy, the best vintages are still available and only the year of growing and the sweetness degree is significant.

But otherwise I can cite German Wikipedia:

"Unter den Liebhabern uralter Weine genießen noch weitere Jahrgänge, wie die 1928er und 1929er, und das legendäre Jahrgangspaar 1899 und 1900 tiefe Verehrung.

Ein Spiel fast jenseits der Wirklichkeit sind noch die Versuche, renommiert gute, trinkbare Weine aus hervorragenden Jahren vor der Reblaus-Katastrophe aufzutreiben, im Bordelais die Weine vor 1875, von denen die alten Väter bedauernd sagten, niemals mehr werde es ohne die originalen Wurzeln nun noch solche grandiosen Weine geben können. Für die damaligen Spitzengewächse z. B. eines 1870er Château Lafite-Rothschild werden gelegentlich fünfstellige Preise ausgerufen."

You cannot go wrong with Château Lafite-Rothschild or for German Wines the classical Names Rüdesheimer Riesling. In those times people preferred sweet wines.

If you are writing a novel you could try a German Sekt "Loreley Extra Cuvee", which Thomas Mann used in his novel "Felix Krull". The hero's father was the producer of this Wine in Eltville, but went bust because he cut price on the cost of quality. Finally only the Russian court would buy his bottles anymore. Fiction of course, but would make for a nice joke.

Cheers
Heinrich


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
wine drinking habits Sep 28, 2008

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If you are writing a novel you could try a German Sekt "Loreley Extra Cuvee", which Thomas Mann used in his novel "Felix Krull". The hero's father was the producer of this Wine in Eltville, but went bust because he cut price on the cost of quality. Finally only the Russian court would buy his bottles anymore. Fiction of course, but would make for a nice joke.

Cheers
Heinrich


Churchill was indeed also said to have "hock" at breakfast, which is a German wine:-)

See this website: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Beverages-745/2008/9/Popular-beverages-late-1920s-1.htm

I know that wine drinkers in the UK would have been partial to Hock (German Riesling) as well as Champagne, Bordeaux...and Chateauneuf du Pape. And of course British beer, Guinness, and Scotch. I don't think German drinking habits would have been too different from today--good beer and Riesling from the Rhine, with an occasional schnapps to settle the stomach!

A few more links:

http://www.wineintro.com/movies/citadel/

Cocktails would also have been popular, as some of the best known ones were invented around this time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail

Finally, a scholarly journal:

Alcohol and Drugs History Society
http://historyofalcoholanddrugs.typepad.com/



[Edited at 2008-09-28 11:31]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:23
Member (2002)
French to English
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MODERATOR
Claret Sep 28, 2008

I remember when I first arrived in England at the tender age of 20, a student of English literature, with my head full of scenes where everyone, it seemed, drank claret. I was so anxious to try it, but no one could point me in the right direction. I imagine it was Burgundy, in fact, and just renamed with the times, like Hardy's Fume Blanc (I worked in wine bars both in England and in Quebec, and in Quebec I sold many, many bottles of Fume Blanc.) The Fume Blanc is now labelled as Sauvignon.

As for cocktails, who could forget F. Scott Fitzgerald's mint juleps?

Nancy


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2007)
English
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Maybe not brandy during the day Sep 28, 2008

This type of person would probably never have used the term brandy, preferring terms like Cognac, Courvoisier, Armagnac, Calvados etc. However, I'm not sure any were widely drunk during the day, they were more on an after-dinner drink.

I agree with other postings about Champagne, German white wines, also Port, Madeira, Sherry. Was Pimms around then? How about Dubonnet?

What prompted the posting, Vera-Tech?

[Edited at 2008-09-28 19:06]


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