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You guys are so lucky! (A sob story)

November 11 2001 at 11:11 PM

Mark Seaman  (Login MarkSeaman)

Purists – Having been busy for a while, trying to earn (and justify) a living, I have just had the pleasure of reading a couple of months worth of posts on the wine board. It was a very enjoyable half an hour or so and prompted me to consider my own situation.
I’ve concluded that you fellows are very lucky. Many of you live in the US, UK or S.E.Asia. All places with a wide selection of wine merchants with whom you can develop a relationship, seek professional advice, perhaps utilize their cellars for laying down your own collection etc. Furthermore, many of you living in temperate climes are perhaps even lucky enough to have your own cellar – what luxury!
Contrast that with my situation. Here I sit in Bahrain, an Islamic country in the middle of the Arabian Gulf. Temperatures range from 12C in the winter to 50C in the summer, hardly ideal wine storage conditions. The importation of alcohol is strictly controlled, with only 4 companies having a licence. All these are generic alcohol importers, with none particularly specializing in wine. Of course the market is not particularly large, so wisely, these 4 companies tend to concentrate on fast moving, popular wines. No shelves full of ’97 Chateau Latour here I can assure you!
What’s more, as world events remind us, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts in a few days. During this time all the alcohol stores are closed, therefore it is vital for us “infidels” to stock up on our supplies.
To ensure you appreciate the depth of my suffering (!), I can tell you my shopping list for this week has been as follows,
Beer -
48 bottles Peroni Nastro Azzuro
24 cans Carlsberg
24 bottles Fosters Ice
48 cans Draught Guinness
48 cans Draught Tetley
12 bottles Spitfire Ale
12 bottles Drostdy-Hof Cape Red (very pleasant, good value daily drinking wine from S.Africa)
8 bottles Drosdty-Hof Chenin Blanc (S.Africa)
4 bottles Californian Chardonnay
4 bottles Frascati
4 bottles Cotes du Rhone
3 bottles St.Emilion
2 bottles Lanson Black Label champagne (It will be my Grandfathers 80th birthday and we’ll open a bottle over the phone to let him know we’re with him “in spirit”.

Please note, I do not expect to consume all of this during one month! (It might last until Christmas)

Finally, should the Purists get together in the UK next July, count me in.

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(no login)

It is altogether too easy to take something...

November 12 2001, 4:18 AM 

such as easy access to wine somewhat for granted, at times.

Should there be a purist meeting then I'd be delighted to recommend a London vintner to you that could supply you with whichever wine you should be looking for (that's assuming, perhaps erroneously, that you can carry wine back into Bahrain?).



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Mark Seaman
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Thanks Andrew.... I would be able to import

November 12 2001, 12:06 PM 

ONE bottle, so it had better be a good one!

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