A raconteur with a pro- nounced sense of humour and a taste for the fine things in life, Jago was a repository of stories related to the alcohol industry. His first big success was to reinvigorate the almost forgotten Croft Pale Cream Sherry. He recalled walking into the sample room at Vila Nova de Gaia in Porto at 10am one day in 1963 to find George Robertson, the chairman of Croft, sampling an old tawny and smoking a large Havana. “I was priggishly shocked,” he recalled, then “George said: ‘Everyone smokes a cigar when they drink port.’ ”
Sure, it’s two stories got mixed. But tawny, Porto, that’s port, not sherry.
Still at least the Times has Tom Jago, correctly, inventing Bailey’s not the oft attributed Tony O’Reilly. Which is one of those stories where anecdotes and quotes migrate to a more famous past person – there’s an awful lot that Twain or Churchill didn’t say but others did.