Is wine really bad for you

It seems that after 20 years of promoting and loving the wine business, I now find myself on the wrong side of the Government health watchdogs. Alcohol is bad for you they proclaimed, Hogwash I replied, no level of alcohol is safe they shouted, tell that to a Scot I cried, but we are only looking out for your good health they announced, mind your own sodding business I retorted, but we know best they screamed, not according to my pleasure receptors you dont I yelled and so the argument goes on. The Editor and I had convened an urgent COBRA meeting (Cumbrians Opposed to Bureaucratic Ratifications on Alcohol) and we discussed whether continuing this wine column could see either of us taking a trip to see the big man in a black maria. After much discussion about our abilities to withstand questioning and whether we would have to abandon our families and accept a new life engaged to a Scouse drug dealer named Big Bob, we have bravely decided to take the risk for you our wonderful readers. However if we are snatched off the street and flown to Guantanamo Bay, please turn out in force and remember the Cumbrian Two, united we stand, while  divided we could be writing love letters to Big Bob.

Anyway, regardless of Government pressure, I will fight on in the business even if I end up hovering outside Costa with a big overcoat on, pockets full of illicit claret while trying to decide if any of my street clients are working for the man. In the evenings you will have to call my mobile number which I’ll change every few days so dont forget to step into the BT phone booth on Lowther Street where my number will be constantly updated, Ill probably be alongside Micky who can fix you up with umpteen different powders to snort up your nose and Scary Mary who promises lots of love for under a fiver. This is where having an electric car could come in handy as deliveries in the wee hours of the morning would be silent and stealthy but what about the legal ramifications for you the end abuser of alcohol. If a police search of your house turned up a decanter and glasses would that in the future arouse as much suspicion as gold scales found in a two up two down on Kells? Would possesion of alcohol become an offence or merely consumption? Can you imagine sitting down to a re run of Downton Abbey with a glass of Port and having the front door kicked in by the police. Then again if alcohol gets banned the bureaucracy will probably be in such a state of political correctness that police decision will be made by committees rather than officers. They will be forced to consider so many things before signing off on a raid that you should have time to drink the evidence and wash the offending glasses.

The Rum Story would probably be able to continue but without the sale or sampling of Rum. The new narrative would be written by Kim Yong Ill’s former speech writer who now finds the UK a far more receptive place for his talents. Whether coach loads of people would actually want to visit to be lectured on the hazards of the past and how much more beneficial a carrot and turnip smoothie is to your future longevity I dont know. Then again the cellar under their front shop window could once again be filled with stone bottles of illegal alcohol accessed via the stern assistant who is actually secretly allied to the Cumbrian Two and to whom a secret handshake grants access to medicine bottles full of rum. The number of Grandparents with bottles of Calpol in their overcoats would triple over night. Deli counters in the Supermarkets would ask you to sign a waiver stating that under no circumstances would the pumpkin seeded wedge cheddar you purchased  be washed down with alcohol. Council allotments would have regular inspections by the fruits for fruits sake committee and heaven help you if you seem to be focussing too much on elderberries, blackcurrants or heaven forbid grapes. Theres another product whose sales would be restricted. Grapes would probably have a colour changing ingredient genetically bred into them that turns the resultant liquid high vis yellow if it comes into contact with alcohol. A visit to Wilkos could get you on the terrorist watch list if you ended up combining buckets, yeast, sugar and bottles in the same basket.

Still, despite all the new red tape, you can always rely on the Cumbrian Two to bring the truth (as we see it anyway) to your palate regardless of the looming attention of Big Bob or a bed in Cuba.


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