Fri 01 Aug 2014

Looking Back To 1914


The Wine Society’s December 1914 List

The Wine Society’s December 1914 List

This week marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. The centenary of an event of such magnitude evokes a unique combination of feelings; the protagonists themselves are no longer here to share their stories, and historical records take on even greater import and poignancy as a result. Indeed, earlier this week my cousin (somehow) found our great-grandfather’s signing-up papers for service in the British Army in 1915. The mind boggles as to what might have been going through his head filling it out and signing it.

Some glimpses of what life was like at home during the war can be found in our archives. In response to the outbreak of the war, The Society’s Committee was forced to take action by asking members to restrict their orders, and as the conflict went on the membership list was closed. In 1917 there was a ‘patriotic disposal’ of German wines, which were not included on Society Lists again until 1921.

• In January Sebastian Payne MW took a look at the 1914 Society List and wrote down some of his observations in ‘Wines on the Brink of War.’

• A number of members suggested we might scan this Society artefact for members to peruse, which we did so recently. Click here to download the 1914 List as a PDF.

• The contents of this List make for fascinating reading, a fact not lost on trade publication The Drinks Business who published their highlights of this document.

I hope that these documents and reflections are of interest.

Martin Brown
Digital Copywriter

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Ian Leary says:

    Very interesting and I note that recycling of bottles was a standard procedure. Many thanks for copying to the web site.

  2. Hugh says:

    Great post and a fascinating document. Particularly apt at this time. I wonder what other gems are in the archive.

  3. Mike Green says:

    A fascinating document, its a shame that some of these wines couldn’t be bought today at the same prices! Fascinating to see a ‘New World’ Australian Malbec available to the members in 1914.

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