The Wine Society is a mail order wine club with a difference. The International Exhibition Co-operative Wine Society was founded as a non-profit-making organization when a ‘committtee of gentlemen’ met in the Albert Hall in 1874 to discuss setting up a co-operative company to purchase wine ‘in unadulterated condition’.
There was an article way back in the American wine magazine, The Wine Spectator, on BYO (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants. One of the magazine’s reporters had held his nose to rummage in the dustbins of various American BYOs and came up with the depressing conclusion that most people had taken along the cheapest wines they could lay their hands on.
I have to confess that I don’t know a great deal about Butlins, never having been on a Butlins holiday, or whatever you go to Butlins for. Of course if you’re more used to foreign travel, it’s easy to be snobby about Butlins but my ex-neighbours used to take the family there and by all accounts had a great time. The fact that 1.5 million people pass through Butlins every year shows that there’s more interest here than you might have realised, if, like me, you’re ignorant of what goes on at its Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead resorts.
William Shakespeare, bless, distorted the historical record for the sake of poetic licence when he had Richard III crying out on the field of Bosworth in 1485: ‘a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse’. What he was more likely to have said was ‘Cahors, Cahors, my kingdom for Cahors’, only his French pronunciation was rubbish, so thanks to the bard, it appeared that he was offering his entire kingdom for a horse.