I was minding my own business as per usual, feeding the cats, doing the laundry, stacking the dishwasher, when, blow me down with a feather duster if didn’t receive an email out of the blue inviting me to a conference in Christchurch. Not the alma mater, but Christchurch, New Zealand. Well, what would you do, say no and continue stacking the dishwasher? Of course you wouldn’t, you’d leap at the chance to be in the Spring warmth and dazzling light of New Zealand wouldn’t you? Bring on the Tardis.
The prospect of the Inland Revenue riding to the defence of wine lovers would seem an unlikely one, I’ll admit, but it may just be that the taxman has declared his hand as the scourge of the wine investor.
Have you spent a small fortune on wine recently in the hope of a great return on your investment? Were you lured by an investment fund, a broker, or, heaven forfend, a wine writer, promising that whatever else happened, your investment would be free of capital gains and inheritance tax? Because if so, you might be about to come a cropper at the hands of the Inland Revenue.
It came, we saw, they went. The Wine Gang’s Christmas Fair, that is, on Saturday and the 600-odd satisfied customers who swirled and slurped and in some cases even spat their way through the 698 wines our exhibitors put on for tasting at Vinopolis. From the moment go, there was a hum under the cathedral-vaulted brick roofs of the Victorian railway arches in Borough Market this year and the hum rapidly crescendoed into an excitedly appreciative but not inebriated buzz.