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Reflections on VP and QC (the cause of think dry buy sweet?)


You and all WS members who have downloaded this absolutely free book on Vintage Port are most welcome. I do try and make a contribution to what information is available.
It is for me, an indispensable font of information and knowledge from a VP expert, and might I venture should be part of every wine lovers. library.:grinning:

Any port drinkers?

Glad you weren’t referring to this VP



That reminds me of a bottle from a local off-licenced premises that several of us consumed at a beach shelter when we were about 15!!:relaxed::open_mouth: We were of course all spectacularly ill, post the quaffing and it never happened again.
That was 5 years after a Senior (Junior School) Teacher caned about 20 of us for not collecting metal beer bottle tops (we were frightened of going into prohibited public houses1) to make toy animals with. Today, said Master would be up in front of the local Beak for child cruelty (the cane was called Oscar) and inciting minors into public houses. Happily times have changed for the better!
Thereafter, British or Cyprus Sherry has a very special place in my heart!!:open_mouth:


“In the rosy parks of England
We’ll sit and have a drink
Of VP wine and cider 'til we can hardly think
And we’ll go where the spirits take us
To heaven or to hell
And kick up bloody murder in the town we love so well”

The Pogues Transmetropolitan


Just thinking of VP or QC gives me an instant headache !!:confounded:


I have to admit I have never tried one of these legendary drinks. What exactly are they like?

(To explain that, I need to add that my father used to make home-made wine, as so many did in the immediate post-war period - from pretty much anything that could be persuaded to ferment. The results put me off anything confected).


Another of the British sweeties which surely is one of the causes that many Brits "think dry, buy sweet"Full-bodied, pale mahogany classic which makes a great aperitif on ice. This one will split opinion, as it’s great served at room temperature in traditional sherry glasses but eye-openingly good chilled and poured over crushed ice.

An old-fashioned and very British cream - this one will certainly bring back the ghosts of Christmases past, Baachus please help us !!!

Served at boiler room temperature…I Think they had three grades…Sweet, Sweeter and Sweetest.

Both VP and QC had a red coloured one ( port- like) and resulted in many people knowing what the lining of their stomach looked like).
They both still available…anyone for a tasting !!!


Oh, I wouldn’t turn to him for help! Notoriously fickle… :wink:


Also Baachus was the nickname of my headmaster at grammar school, noticeably stronger on the back hand when administering the cane, and allegedly an imbiber of both VP and QC.


Have split this from the ‘Any Port Drinkers’ by @onlyawino’s request. Feel free to change the name of this thread, Sully! :wink:


How about EMVA CREAM!!:open_mouth:


or this…


… observe the clickable picture …


Apparently a favourite North of the Border!:open_mouth:

…grabbing my coat before I am subjected to a G!@5G0W Kiss, Jimmy!! :cry:


(I feel myself being irresistably sucked into a subject I know nothing about)

Buckie isn’t quite the same as the others - it is supposed to be a “tonic wine”, whatever that implies. I only mention it because it allows me to reference Sanatogen -

It’s for my health, you see -


Tim Atkin’s take on those bottles of red stuff under the pseudo of Fortified British wines. I haven’t bothered checking for misspells because the Gruniad staff had nowt to do with this article)

Fire power
Despite the trend for full-bodied wines, high alcohol content can turn a good bottle into fire water. With wine, as with everything, it is important to strike a balance
By Tim Atkin
Sun 25 Apr 1999 11.49 BST First published on Sun 25 Apr 1999 11.49

It takes a lot to surprise me these days, but I’m still amazed by sales of British fortified wine (the ghastly liquid formerly known as British ‘sherry’). Who on earth drinks this stuff? I’m no wine snob, but I’d rather swallow sulphuric acid than a glass of VP Fortified British Cream.

I’m willing to believe that there are people out there who only buy British, which must make it increasingly hard for them to find a car that doesn’t fall apart after a few thousand miles, but surely the British National Party doesn’t have that many members.

As far as I can see, British fortified wine has only one raison d’être: it’s a cheap way to get pissed. Seventy centilitres of supermarket own-label British Cream can cost as little as £2. As it has 15 per cent alcohol by volume, chugging an entire bottle is guaranteed to make you forget or fall over. That’s why it’s so popular with crumblies and the park-bench set.

Most of us drink wine for other reasons. The effect of alcohol is part of the appeal, but so are aroma, texture, flavour and diversity, not to mention health benefits. Wine is a thrillingly complex drink, and to measure it only by its alcoholic content is grotesque. All the same, it would not be wine without alcohol. If you doubt this, try drinking a non-alcoholic ‘wine’. Surely, it’s preferable to add water to your wine, or buy a spritzer.

Besides, it is possible to find genuine wines with restrained levels of alcohol. Fortified wines such as port and sherry may have 22 per cent alcohol, but, at the other extreme, Moscato d’Asti weighs in at a delicate 4.5 per cent. Further up the scale, you’ll run into German white wines, some of which start at 7 per cent. Mosel Riesling is my chosen summer wine, perfect for Sunday afternoons in the garden. Of course, the irony is that beer drinkers would consider an ale or lager with similar alcoholic strength a head-banger brew.

Moscato and German wines apart, the number of bottles with alcohol levels below 10 per cent is small and shrinking. In fact, it’s getting tough to track down table wines with less than 13 per cent alcohol. This is fine for certain styles, such as Châteauneuf du Pape and California Zinfandel, both of which can attain 16 per cent potential alcohol in the vineyard. (Judicious, and at times illegal, dilution is required to get them into the sub-15 per cent duty bracket.) It is also fine for most Chardonnays. The late Vincent Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet once told me that a white Burgundy with less than 13.5 per cent alcohol wasn’t worth drinking.

But, all too often, power is confused with complexity. I’ve got nothing against full-bodied styles, but unbalanced, top-heavy wines that bludgeon the palate are a waste of shelf space. Most of the worst culprits are found in the New World, but the phenomenon does exist in the Old World. My hunch is that the alcohol content of many of the top Bordeaux wines has increased by 1 per cent or more in the past 20 years, as producers have sought to counter the threat of the New World and conform to prevailing tastes.

However strong they are, the best wines are balanced. That is, the component parts (fruit, acidity, sugar, tannin and alcohol) complement one another to the extent that it’s difficult to tell them apart. Far too many winemakers have ceased to recognise this simple fact. It’s easy to sneer at VP British Cream drinkers, but when the liquid in our glass is smothered by alcohol, we might as well join them.


I also met Vincent, a one off, and very forthright with his views, when asked about one of his wines at a tasting by a writer on wine who implied one of the crus was a bit underwhelming his reply was ‘well don’t buy it’, next !


Just to clear, LeFlaive was speaking to Tim Atkin not me !!!


If I remember these concoctions were rehydrated concentrates from lands afar.
They were infamous for producing the “biggest bang for one’s buck!!”
I think that some retailers provided a brown paper bag, compris!!:open_mouth::open_mouth::cry:


Very much a West of Scotland favourite, particularly in a cocktail with Red Bull…allegedly. Gets them going I am led to believe.


@MarkC , where to ?