Scallies show loyalties when it comes to booze

29 June, 2007

No wonder the police are recruiting bigger kids for test purchase campaigns. Word reaches us that, during a recent campaign in Liverpool, a crowd of youths turned on the lad who was carrying out the instructions of the smirking officials and proceeded to administer their own brutal form of street justice. The off-licence manager may have endured her fair share of abuse from the assembled teenagers in her time, but once the bizzies get involved, it seems the kids of Merseyside know whose side they're on.

Know your limits

A useful maxim overheard at a recent drinks industry lunch, from the lips of a well-placed trade official: "The art of moderation is to drink less than your GP."

Live from Buckie palace

The Glasgow Herald has quoted a lovely snippet from Ian Marchant's book, The Longest Crawl. Published next month, the book is an anecdotal tour of British pubs. "Much of Scotland he loves, but he just had to go to Glasgow to try the legendary Buckfast tonic wine. He tracks it down in an East End off-licence. Writes Ian: 'An array of colourful bottles, looked after by a white guy, the kind of whiteness that you only really see in Scotland, bleached whiter still by harsh strip lighting. He was younger than me, I reckoned, but the absence of teeth and hair made it difficult to estimate.'

"Ian bought his Buckie, passed to him through a gap in the bottom of the blurred Perspex bandit screen. Ian asked the chap if he drank it himself, but the offy assistant said he hadn't drunk for 15 years as he was a recovering alcoholic.

"'Isn't that difficult, working here?' asked Ian.

"'No. Not when you see the people we get in here.'"

Pimp Bud's ride

A billboard ad for Bud Light in the States bears the legend: "We're talking 1970s pimp smooth." It seems the link between advertising and prostitution grows ever closer ...

Away with

the fairies

"The Irish believe that fairies are extremely fond of good wine," according to folklore from the Emerald Isle. "The proof of the assertion is that in the olden days royalty would leave a keg of wine out for them at night. Sure enough, it was always gone in the morning."

Alexei Sayle once scotched a vaguely similar legend about currency. "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" is nonsense, he alleges. After filling his pockets with coppers and assembling a pile of pound coins near a bus stop and walking away, Sayle later returned - and was appalled to find that the cash was missing.

DIY drinks disappointment

Much excitement on the OLN news desk this week when a contact said he'd heard B&Q

was about to start selling alcohol. A patch was cleared on the front page, an e-mail issued from hack to press officer. The anticipated e-mail from the DIY superstore's PR person finally arrives. "We have no plans to sell alcohol as we are a home improvement company," it deadpans. Thanks for setting us straight on that, B&Q. Is Jack Dee working in your press office? And doesn't a well-stocked wine cellar count as a home improvement?

Forbidden fruits

News that a white wine - Pazo Señorans Selección Añada 2002 - has scooped

Best of Show

at the recent New Wave Spanish Wine Awards made us curious to find out more about this champion Albariño.

We headed to which offers full details on the bodega, tasting notes on the wines and tips for food pairing. "Highly recommended"

pairings include all kinds of fish with sauces, foie gras and white meats, while "tolerated" recommendations include cooked or raw fish and shellfish and lightly seasoned red meat.

However, stuffed vegetables, pickles and spicy foods are "forbidden". You have been warned ...

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