The British sweet tooth


A couple of interactions I’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks have been, firstly a Facebook comment about a certain wine – The Guvnor red wine sold, by the shed-load it seems, at Mercadona; and secondly a phone call from a lovely, elderly lady in the Torrevieja area. Both have influenced me to write today’s Cork Talk.

The lady in question, 81 years old and judging by her phone voice as sprightly as ever, apologised for bothering me (which she certainly wasn’t, I’m happy to answer Spanish wine questions, of course, especially when coming from such a charming lady) and then asked a question about a certain sweet wine she’d enjoyed in the UK way back in the 60s! Now, I’m not being ageist here, but I left secondary school, aged 16 years, in 1969 and whilst it’s true that I may have sneaked the occasional illegal half pint or two in the ask-no-questions pubs I sought out, I had no idea about wine in those halcyon days!

However, I knew the wine to which she referred – called, legally in those days, Spanish Sauternes! Although not at all to my liking to this day and beyond, it was certainly popular. It was, as the name Sauternes suggests (after the famous and usually expensive French dessert wine from the Bordeaux area) a sweet wine. Sold in off-licenses in the 60s and then marginalised further by being in the occasional small grocery shop, perhaps a late 60s, early 70s Spar, for example, it definitely had a following.

colin@colinharknessonwine. com
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