Could be, could be

Bordeaux wine production plummeted 40 per cent in 2017 due to frost – but will prices rise?

Depends upon substitution.

If people demand Bourdeaux and only Bourdeaux then yes, a reduction in supply will lead to a rise in price. If people are willing to substitute across a wider variety of drinks then, well, difficult to tell. Depends how much they’re willing to substitute.

At that point, with substitution, the question is wide open. If the same problems which led to the fall in supply also mean that what remains tastes like rat piss then substitution could be greater than the fall in supply, leading to falling prices.

So how do people learn to use it?

Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found.

The six-year analysis of nearly 2,000 12 to 18-year-olds revealed there were “no benefits” to introducing alcohol to teenagers at home and that doing so only encouraged them to seek it elsewhere.

Writing in The Lancet, the researchers say that despite a widespread folk belief that a parentally-supplied glass of wine over Sunday lunch or a quiet beer in the evening promotes a stable attitude to drinking, there is in fact no reliable evidence to back this up.

Instead, they show that the chances of binge drinking, alcohol-related harm or displaying symptoms of alcohol use disorder are all higher in children provided alcohol by parents.

Bit difficult, really.

The analysis found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who were not given alcohol by their parents went on to binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session – compared to 81 per cent who were.

Ah, that’;s where the problem is then. The definition of binge. What we want to know is which training system leads to more people harming themselves, not the number who get drunk once in their lives.


Just 4 per cent of the population consume almost one-third of all the alcohol sold in England, new healthcare data has revealed.

Seriously, what in hell does this matter in the slightest?

100% of the ballet in the Kingdom is consumed by well under 4% of the population. We are worried about this, are we? What percentage of the population eats kumquats in any one year?

Really, most fun

Britain’s alcoholism explosion – archive, 1970
19 January 1970: Monday is now established as ‘hangover’ day when 250,000 will stay away from work

Britain is in danger of an “alcoholic explosion.” Today, about 250,000 men will be absent from work because of heavy weekend drinking. The cost to the nation in a full year may be as much as £250 millions.

A report by the National Council on Alcoholism says both industry and the country as a whole are trying to hide the growing drink problem.


Pity no one told them of the Victorian love for St Monday…..

Well, this is rather the point

Although those price rises are rather fierce.

The Scottish government’s 50p minimum unit price for alcohol, which comes into force on 1 May 2018, will have a dramatic impact on prices, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Some cider products will rise in price by as much as 90%, according to the IFS briefing note, which also found prices would increase across all alcohol types. The price of a 20 x 440ml pack of Strongbow would double, while a bottle of Tesco cream sherry would increase by 20%.

The minimum pricing policy, which comes into force after a five-year legal battle between the Scottish government and the Scotch Whisky Association, is intended to stop the sale of cut-price, high-alcohol drinks such as cider.

The IFS found that almost 70% of the alcohol units bought in supermarkets and off-licences across the UK between October 2015 and September 2016 were priced below 50p per unit. With a 50p minimum unit price, the cost of these products would increase on average by at least 35%, with lager and cider most affected.

I still don’t understand why they’re doing it this way. Why not change the duty levels? Why give the rise in margins to the retailers/manufacturers?

Really not sure about this

Wine glasses in the UK are now on average seven times larger than they were three hundred years ago, new research has found.

An investigation by Cambridge University identified a steady increase in the size of glassware from the early Georgian era and a rapid enlargement in the twentieth century.

Combined with an increase in the average strength of wine, the larger glasses mean today’s alcohol consumption from wine is likely to be far higher than in the past, researchers said.

For I recall those reports of how much people who could afford to drink actually drank back then. Couple of bottles a man at dinner sort of thing.

Now, obviously, those reports could be wrong. Also, wine drinking was very much a minority pursuit then. Near all except the richest would be drinking beer.

For breakfast.

For the new research, published in the British Medical Journal, the team obtained the measurements of 411 glasses from 1700 to modern day.

Seriously, this is what is being used as scientific evidence these days?

Drink driving

After years of falling deaths as a result of drink driving, the figure stalled at around 240 between 2010 and 2014, leading to fears that educating motorists was no longer enough to stop them from driving while drunk.

In 2015, the most recent figures available, there was a drop to 200, but a spokesman for charity the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said the overall numbers were too low for this to be seen as a definitive reduction.

Hmm. However:

Breath tests for alcohol have fallen by a quarter over five years, figures show, as campaigners warn that drunk drivers are getting away with it.

The fall in breath tests also hasn’t caused a rise, has it? Meaning that we were possibly overdoing the number before?

So, what state would be able to do something about this?

Simon died in his small house, waiting to go back into hospital to dry out. He grew up in a town with men who’d had to dig out children from the Aberfan mining disaster; he died the year Grenfell Tower burned down. When such obvious tragedies strike, the politicians and the press vow to tackle the social injustices that caused them. But Simon was just one man dying in plain sight of his neighbours, his family and state officials. Far easier to chalk up his death to a fatty liver and booze, rather than inequality and austerity and the false promises peddled by politicians from Thatcher to May. A dead man, a dying town: he spent his last days being told he’s fit for work in an economy that has next to no work.

What’s left is a younger brother beating himself up about what he should have done and angry at others for letting them both down.

Before we part, Dave asks: “Why wasn’t there someone who could step in and help? Is that naive of me? To think that a modern, 21st-century society could do that for people who need it?”

How much power would a state need in order to stop a middle aged man drinking himself to death?

Simon had always been a pub man. But now he’d get up in the morning and start on a glass of watered-down scotch and a sci-fi DVD. By the end of a day, he’d have finished the DVDs, his fags and an entire bottle of Scotch.

Having been one of Blair’s strivers, Simon was now one of George Osborne’s skivers. He was moved on to disability benefits, before the Department for Work and Pensions assessors declared him fit for work. His money would periodically stop until his GP contested the verdict. This spring, he was moved on to universal credit, which meant six weeks with barely a penny. Again and again, it was Dave who had to bail him out. It was Dave who suggested jobs Simon could apply for, small businesses he might start. The younger brother was filling in for the state, while Si lived in ripped clothes and ate junk. “The government was abusing a vulnerable man.”

What, exactly, should those powers be? And ho would want to live in a state which had such powers?

So, an interesting little thought

Probably someone’s going to get here before us. However.

Advent calendars have all become rather more posh these days. Some of them have very much more in the value of the products (usually, to be sure, the “brand” composing much of that value) than the price of them.

And then, well, how many advent calendars get sold after the beginning of advent? And how many after Christmas?

So, there will be overstocks, somewhere, and what happens to them? At what price? And how do we find out? How do we buy them?

There are bourbon tasters, beer ones, wine, fizz etc. Some of which seem to be about £50 for perhaps £80 of booze. But overstocks? Would they get down to £10? For 500 pieces say? 10 people each in for £500, that’s doable isn’t it?

But would they get down to that price and if they did, where would they be for sale?


And, you see, I think it would be the booze ones which would fall furthest in prices. Because who is allowed to resell them is limited by law (no e-Bay, Poundland etc).

It might just be possible to take this recycling too far

At the close of the Rootstock sustainable wine festival in Sydney last year, Tasmanian distiller Peter Bignell looked around the tasting room at the carefully-spaced spittoons and thought: what a waste.

Together the spit buckets contained about 500 litres of discarded wine, which had been swilled then dumped during the two-day event.

Some wine had been dutifully spat out by responsible tasters keen to get to the end of their extensive list with tasting notes intact, but the majority was the largely untouched leavings of an overly generous pour.

For Bignell, whose Belgrove distillery in Kempton, Tasmania, is the only one in Australia that runs entirely on biodiesel, all this wasted wine was hardly in keeping with a sustainable event.

The obvious solution was to drink it again.

After 12 months at Poor Tom’s gin distillery in Marrickville, the spit bucket wine has been transformed into an 80-proof clear spirit that tastes something like an unaged brandy.

It is, reportedly, quite nice.

Distillation will obviously have thoroughly cleaned it. But still. It’s not as if the world is short of crap wine to turn into cooking brandy now, is it?

Yes, obviously

Scottish “booze cruises” have been predicted as experts say new minimum pricing are likely to lead to people taking trips into England for cheaper alcohol.

We have a price difference between England and France, booze cruises exist. And?

Not entirely, no

On this day 500 years ago, an obscure Saxon monk launched a protest movement against the Catholic Church that would transform Europe. Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation changed not just the way Europeans lived, fought, worshipped, worked and created art but also how they ate and drank. For among the things it impacted was a drink beloved throughout the world and especially in Luther’s native Germany: beer.

The change in beer production was wrought by the pale green conical flower of a wildly prolific plant — hops.

In one – and rather archaic – meaning, beer is with hops, ale is without hops. Thus the addition of hops doesn’t change beer it creates it.

Tee hee

An Uber driver terror suspect arrested outside Buckingham Palace had originally headed for Windsor Castle but his SatNav sent him to a pub of the same name instead.

There’s the beginning of an Ealing comedy there.

Err, yes?

The New Zealand Medical Association has called for a ban on selling alcohol in supermarkets, saying that having it next to groceries and food normalises a dangerous drug.

Wine and beer have been widely available in most supermarkets around the country since 1990, although spirits can be bought only in bars and off-licences.

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) said having alcohol in supermarkets normalised the drug, and made buying it cheap and easy – meaning people put a bottle of sauvignon blanc in their trolley alongside their bread, milk and toilet paper without a second thought.

Did New Zealand receive a particularly nasty boatload of Puritans at some point?

Gosh, how terrible

English postwar estate bars are often seen as a joke: “Never drink in a flat-roofed pub,” the saying goes. But these pubs – whether they’re 1930s-style redbrick structures with pitched roofs and large beer gardens, or forbidding cubes of wood and brick that squat in the shadow of tower blocks – are now at risk. They’re being closed and converted into shops or apartments, boarded up and left to rot, or completely wiped from the map, leaving a cleared site and an empty car park.

“There’s a huge level of threat: these pubs are dropping like flies,” says Emily Cole of Historic England.

I only scanned it and didn’t see it. Anyone else manage to find where they refer to the smoking ban?

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny

Booze created language:

He believes the need for grain to make alcohol fuelled human development and domestication.
‘We don’t know for sure and have limited archaeological evidence, but if you had your choice, which would it be?’ said Dr McGovern.
‘Once you have fermented beverages, it causes a change of behaviour, creates a mind-altering experience.
‘I think that could be important in developing language, music, the arts in general and then religion, too’, he said.

The proof of this is in what happens when you get drunk with people who nominally do not speak the same language. Matters quickly spiral (up or down, up to you) to where a primal language is understood by all.


“That might be Australian I suppose, but know what you mean, yep.”

No, not totally quite

Norwegian for the act of having a beer (pils) outside (ute). An outside beer. Seriously.

There’s a stronger association than that. It’s that first beer of the year that is had outside. Literally of course the translation is correct, but there’s that usage which allies with spring is sprung, de grass is riz, I wonder where de boidies is.

Perhaps in English, signifying the move from the snug to the beer garden time of year.