Grapevine Archive for History
141 years ago, The Wine Society was founded at the Royal Albert Hall after the last of the International Exhibitions of the Victorian era (the legacy of the Great Exhibition of 1851). The Society has decided to go back to its roots in a wonderfully innovative and tasty way.
Work has already started on creating air-conditioned cellars beneath the Hall where bottles of fine wine will be stored (just like during the International Exhibition of 1874). The plan is that all will be ready by the summer of 2016, in time for the BBC Proms season.
Many members had expressed their concern that when attending Prom concerts, as well as other events at this prestigious venue, they were unable to take bottles of their favourite Society wines to their seats. This will very soon be a thing of the past. At the push of a button located in the member’s arm-rest, via the wonders of Coravin® technology linked to a network of capillary tubes, wine can be delivered directly from unopened bottles in the cellars through a tap situated right next to the button into a waiting glass. Those in the audience who are not members can sign up on the night and enjoy this facility too.
The wines available will include sparkling wine from England’s Nyetimber (to toast Land of Hope and Glory), merlot from Israel’s Clos de Gat (to accompany Jerusalem) and the Languedoc’s La Clape (to enjoy during long rounds of applause). It’s a nifty idea that we’re sure all cultured Prom-attending members will appreciate. If he were still around, we’re sure Sir Henry would …
Montreuil-sur-Mer is well-known to members of The Wine Society who have ventured across the Channel to pick up their favourite wines at favourable French rates of duty and discovered the many delights of this atmospheric walled town.
What is far less known is that Montreuil was home to the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the largest army Britain ever put into the field – the British Expeditionary Force – from 1916 to 1919. Montreuil was a key strategic stronghold in the 11th and 12th centuries, and its site on a hill surrounded by impressive ramparts still played a role in its fortunes right up to the middle of the 20th century. The part played by Montreuil in The Great War is now celebrated with a permanent exhibition in the blockhouses of the Citadel. Members at our event on Saturday 18th June will have the chance to visit as part of the ‘treasure hunt’ during the afternoon.