Nowadays even the Daily Star has a resident wineologist , but until relatively recently the majority of British folk existed in a wine-free world, weddings and Christmases excepted. The holy trinity of Blue Nun, Black Tower and table-lamp-in-waiting favourite Mateus were as posh as it got, but slightly further downmarket were the British wines, or ‘wine-style drinks’ as they were often known, brewed in the UK from – shock horror – imported grape concentrate. Perhaps feeling slightly guilty over this deception, marketing departments poured on the terribly English heritage. Rougemont Castle advertised itself with that old standby, a suit of armour. Country Manor cooked up possibly the worst slogan ever written: ‘So light. So subtle. So buy some’. Playing to a slightly more continentally aware crowd, Concorde promised a bottleful of fun for under a pound. At rock bottom, however, was the grape-free plastic-corked sparkling concoction known as Pomagne, the nine percent proof prize in many a ‘spin the arrow’ local fete tombola which inspired countless teenagers to re-examine their breakfast.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Metroland is at ten o’clock, John Betjeman’s rightly celebrated tribute to the suburbs behind the various stops on the Metropolitan Line, which was warmly nostalgic in 1973 and even more so forty years on. Before that it’s Betjeman’s biographer AN Wilson who pays tribute to the great man by taking a similar journey but a little further afield, exploring the places in Cornwall, Somerset and Oxfordshire that influenced his life and his work.
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