The Royal Wedding Wine

With Royal Wedding fever in full flow I spotted a news story today about a pub in Nottinghamshire that is putting a unique slant on the festivities.

Roy Wood, the licensee of the Cross Keys, Upton, Nottinghamshire, has decided to offer drinks at 1981 prices, the year Charles and Diana got married, for the Royal Wedding.

Drinkers will get a royal wedding token when they buy their first drink at full price, to get a second beer, wine or soft drink at the price it was in 1981 . . . which could mean a pint for 62p!

Tempting as it is to think of 1981 prices for Bordeaux I reckon the year that should be celebrated is 1982. Both Prince William and Kate Middleton were born in 1982.

As a vintage 1982 has been hailed as exceptional . . . in a retrospective tasting of 61 of the 1982′s in March and April 2000, Robert Parker awarded a perfect score of 100 to Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Lalande, Leoville Las Cases and Lafleur.

Travelling back in time to 1982 a gallon of petrol cost £1.59, the average house price was £23,644, the average salary was £7,117, a first class stamp cost 2p and a cinema ticket cost £1.65. This was the year that saw the release of the films On Golden Pond, E.T., An Officer and a Gentleman, Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.

We were listening to Bucks Fizz, The Human League, Vangelis and Olivia Newton-John and we were watching Magnum, P.I., Dynasty, Only Fools and Horses and Knight Rider. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and the CD Player was invented in Japan.

We were drinking Cinzano and Lemonade, Blue Lagoon cocktails, Beaujolais and Lambrusco, eating Lasagne, and battling with the Soda Stream in the kitchen.

As for what celebratory tipple will be served at the Royal Wedding Decanter have revealed that Pol Roger is the official Champagne.

Traditionally, however, Pol Roger has not been drunk at royal weddings. Queen Victoria issued a royal warrant to Bollinger in 1884, and Prince Charles chose it both for his stag party and for his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Apparently which wines will be served during the wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony in Westminster Abbey is still a matter of debate: there are unconfirmed reports that an English wine will be on the table. I wonder which one it will be?

Duchy Originals, Prince Charles’ organic line, makes an English Sparkling wine. The wine is made in Sussex, at Davenport Vineyards, from organically grown Reichensteiner grapes. The land is free from chemical insecticides, fertilizers and weed-killers. Spiders and ladybugs are used as natural pest controls.

It would be interesting to see a Welsh wine promoted in such a way – Anglesey, the current home of Prince William, has its own vineyard. Ty Croes Vineyard lies in the southern corner of Anglesey at Dwyran and covers around four acres of vines.

The grapes are grown on a north-south alignment on light sandy loam on a shale base. The vineyard was first planted in 2003 and the varieties of grapes grown are the white Phoenix, Solaris and Seyval Blanc and the red Rondo and Regent.

Irrespective of what the Royal couple decide to have at their table to celebrate their wedding I wish them a very long and happy union together.


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