Drinks welfare charities have raised concerns that the death of Queen Elizabeth II could lead to a huge surge in unwanted bottles of her favourite drink.
‘Millions of people went out at the weekend and bought a bottle of Dubonnet so they could make the Queen’s signature gin and Dubonnet cocktail,’ said Aravinder Playtex of the Bottle Rehoming Association (BRA).
‘But not all of those bottles will be wanted or needed in the future.
‘In fact, given the taste of Dubonnet, we’d expect none of them will be.’
BRA fears says that many impulse buyers will fall out of love with their new purchase once they realise the scale of commitment required.
‘A lot of these people will never have owned a fortified wine before,’ said Playtex. ‘So they’ll have no idea how to look after it.
‘You have to remember, the Queen was an experienced Dubonnet owner. She knew what she was doing. But if you’ve never drunk this stuff before it can be a real shock to realise that bottles need taking out on a regular basis if you’re ever going to finish them.’
BRA says that its inspectors regularly come across bottles of Dubonnet that are just a few weeks old, but are already stuffed at the back of the drinks cupboard with the pisco.
‘Some of the lucky ones might end up being given to a bar for rehoming,’ said Playtex, but quite a few could just end up being dumped down the sink. It’s such a senseless waste.’
BRA says that members of the public with unwanted bottles should hold onto them until Christmas, then give them to a trained professional who will humanely destroy them by turning them into mulled wine.
Low intervention… high hopes
However, while Dubonnet is struggling with the loss of its biggest customer, low-intervention wine producers are eyeing the future with optimism.
‘Charles has a long track record of supporting things that are incredibly traditional – even old-fashioned,’ said Royal watcher Deferentia Flunkey. ‘Whether that’s architecture, food production or, indeed, the monarchy itself.
‘So I’m sure he’ll be open to giving natural wines a Royal Warrant for the first time.’
The late Queen never awarded a Royal Warrant to natural wines on the grounds that ‘most of them are as hard to swallow as having to host Donald Trump for the evening.’
But producers are optimistic that her son’s famed eco-activism could work in their favour.
‘I’ve been making fizzy brown Bacchus for ten years,’ said Manny Foltz of Bandwagon winery. ‘When we presented it for the late Queen’s approval they threatened to lock us in the Tower of London, but we think Charles could be more open to what we do.
‘Just like his Duchy Originals products my wines are organic, small-scale – and unaffordably expensive for no apparent reason.’
Click here to remember the late Queen’s platinum jubilee – recorded in drinks milestones