Mine Sweeping, Barolo Style!


When I was a student there was always the slight issue of having next to no money! I didn’t complain too much, nearly no one around me had any either. But no matter how little you had, you always tried to make sure there was enough for a bit of booze at the end of the week. All else failed, you go mine sweeping!

I’m not sure why I’m admitting to this, but kids are dumb. We were kids, and we were dumb! If you ran out of money, you’d wander round the bar or pub finishing off random drinks you found. I’m only just, as I’m typing this, realizing how unbelievable gross and stupid that was. But there we go, it happened.

Well these days when I go mine sweeping in a classy way, it’s got nothing to do with money or trying to get wasted for nothing. It’s more that I go to wine dinners and shows, and at the end of it there are all these open bottles just lying around. Be rude not to at least ask if I can whack a cork back in and take the home with me, right?

First time I did it at a proper wine thing was the London Wine Fair a couple of years back, when I first met Jo from Perfect Friday Wine. We wandered round at the end of the day just picking up what we liked and whatever we could fit in our bags. Purely for research purposes mind you, and everyone was doing it!

Next up was a lunch at Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac during the Primeurs week. There were these two bottles of Pichon Baron (a 2004 and a 2007 if I remember rightly) just sat there at the end of the dinner. “Sorry guys, do you mind if I…”

And then last week, at this Barolo dinner I went to with the wife and Conrad from the Wine Wankers, I was the designated driver. I spat out every one of the 24 glasses I tasted. So feeling unbelievably sorry for me, the guys and girls corked up a few bottles and sent them with me on my merry way. And Conrad, the evil genius that he is, even managed to wangle a couple more that I’d missed. You bloody legends all of you.

They were all greatly appreciated sat by the pool the day after. And I didn’t even feel the slightest bit pikey!!





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