Drink

A six-year-old sharpshooter and a New Zealand white – both bound to improve with age

News from the junior branch of the Odd Bottles, plus some stories from its senior service

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

The Honourable Society of Odd Bottles began proceedings with a report on the activities of our junior branch. These youngsters are not yet eligible to become drinking members, but they are chosen because of their unremitting hostility to vermin and their burgeoning enthusiasm for killing game.

Young Charlie, the Nimrod of his generation, has been prodigiously active. It is surprising that there is a single grey squirrel still alive in Somerset. Any rat that comes his way goes no further. He is also mightily effective against rabbits and pigeons, which he enjoys scoffing, after he has skinned or plucked them. Charlie has inherited a .410: the fifth generation of his family to use it. It is a notoriously fickle calibre, the excuse I always use when I miss with one. To kill, you have to be dead-eye accurate, which Charlie is. It may help that the gun is a Purdey, a beautiful piece of kit. Craftsmanship in the service of sport, a poetic fusion of aesthetics and weapon-hood, cherished over the decades; this is not just a shotgun. It is a piece of England.


Florence, his intended bride, cannot wait for the stalking season and her visits to the gun room. Her parents are postponing the tearful moment when they will have to break the news. At the age of six, she is too young to shoot a stag. But she has wielded an air pistol with joyous success, though so far only against a target. There will be rapid promotion: vermin beware. Her mother, a toothsome little minx who looks too tiny to handle a gun, is rapidly emerging as one of the best female game-shots in the country — and not just female. It will not be long before the rivalry of mother and daughter re-echoes from moor to forest.

We moved on to military matters. One of our number served in a Guards regiment. Returning to barracks one night, he heard a noise coming from the parade ground. Investigating, he found one of his guardsman running round the square, holding his mattress above his head, repeating, ‘I pissed my bed.’ The sergeant supervising the punishment confirmed that the said guardsman had indeed been undisciplined in micturation, and had been atoning for it throughout the day, when not required for other duties. The Bottle sent everyone to bed and in the morning, the sergeant got a rocket from the CO, who told him that you cannot do that sort of thing in today’s army. (Why not?) It was unclear whether regimental public opinion was on the colonel’s side. For the rest of his army career, the unfortunate laddie was known as ‘Swampy’.

We accompanied our deliberations with a selection of wines. Two stood out, the first from New Zealand. In recent years, that admirable colony has been playing better and better cricket while making better and better wines, especially Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We drank a Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay, 2012, which could have stood comparison to a Puligny or a Chassagne. Beautifully made — butter, honey, hay, flint: full and succulent, but also crisp and incisive — it was barely ready for drinking and will keep. Farr Vintners are charging under £20 a bottle. That is a bargain.

For red, we stuck to Pomerol: the 2000 Vray Croix de Gay. This is a true Pomerol, mostly Merlot, some Cabernet Franc, no Cabernet Sauvignon, but for all that disciplined and harmonious. The bad news is that it is a small property which is becoming increasingly well-known. No bargains here. The Bottles adjourned: next meeting in the Highlands, with a columnar report to follow.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • rosebery

    Chardonnay?

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

    100% POWERFUL AND GENUINE SPELL CASTER,My name is Mr.Johnson from France and I am a 59 years old man. I was married to Mrs.Helen Baines Johnson and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{salvationlovetemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Sam for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. salvationlovetemple@gmail.com, Thanks…,

Close