Minimum Alcohol Pricing: The Return of the Pub Trade?

In whats being described as a move to curb excessive drinking the Welsh Government has announced plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol, with the price being set at £0.50 per unit, which would see things like a pint of Carling having to be priced at at least £1.15, and a 440ML can at a minimum of a £1, and your double Jack and Coke will have to cost a £1. Good luck finding those sorts of prices on a night out (if you do, share the knowledge) . However, what this policy is aimed at is to cut out the binge drinking that cheaper prices in the supermarkets lead to, I mean, whats the point in going out when you can get over 30 cans for £20, save yourself cab fare and control the music?

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But with the new policy what we could see is a resurgence of pub drinking, over the past few years, thanks to the smoking ban, and cheaper supermarket prices pubs have suffered, but if it now becomes only marginally cheaper to drink at home, will we see more people returning to pubs and clubs? Maybe. A quick survey of the pubs and clubs I frequent show that very few prices would actually be affected, (the only one drink that I found that would increase was absinthe on sale for £1, which was more to do with getting rid of the bottle than a clever promotion).

So if the policy is enacted and even the cheapest of spirits in supermarkets go up in price (a 750ml 40% spirit would have to cost a minimum of £16 regardless of quality) Welsh pubs may begin to see an upturn in trade, as it only becomes marginally more expensive to go out (not factoring in taxi’s, kebabs, outfits, entry fees and the high cost of dignity).

Decanting My Wisdom- How To Make Your Port Passable

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One of the things that I’ve discovered this year is that I actually rather quite like port. But with anything that I like, you can bet that there is quite a series of rules and complications that surround it.

Port is a fortified wine hailing from the sunny climes of Portugal, its usually very sweet and is served as an aperitif or as a dessert wine, it goes well with cheese, most notably Stilton and other varieties of blue cheese (try it with a cambozola and then put me in your will).

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Serving

The best way to serve a bottle of port is to decant it before serving. Port is actually pretty unusual among wines in that the older a bottle is, the less time you need to leave it. for example, a 40 year old bottle would only really need about 1-2 hours, where as a 10 year old bottle would need about 3-4 hours, and a young port, you’re better off leaving open for a week, although within 10-12 hours would be fine.

When it comes to actually pouring from the decanter tradition in the UK calls for port being served at a formal dinner to be passed to the gentleman to the left (“pass the port to port”), who will also pour for any woman on the right. Some schools of thought suggest that the bottle or decanter should not to touch the table on its way around. If someone fails to pass the port one should inquire “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” if this hint isn’t taken up etiquette suggests carrying on “He’s a wonderful chap, but he often forgets to pass the port.

Recommended Tipples: 

  • Taylors: 2012 Reserve 
  • Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port
  • Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port NV