The UK drinks trade is facing unprecedented disruption next week as it responds to news of a Bank Holiday for The Queen’s funeral on Monday.
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‘I was meant to be at a four-hour round table and lunch,’ said Eton Anne-Oxford, Communications Director at merchants Barely Bothers and Crudd. ‘But now I suppose I’ll just have to answer my emails.
‘It’ll take a while because there’s about six months-worth in my inbox.’
Others have reacted with shock at the news that trade tastings have been postponed or even cancelled altogether.
‘I had a Petit Chateau claret walk-around at 10, a supermarket autumn tasting – with lunch – from 12 to 2, a Bastardo Masterclass at 3 and dinner with a Champagne house,’ said Ivan Aneurism, a Luxury Consultant and house-husband.
He would, he said, be spending the day of the funeral respectfully at home ‘in mourning… for all the free food and drink that I’m missing out on.’
Funeral baked gourmandises
Welfare charity, The Drinks Truss said it was particularly concerned about the impact that the enforced day off could have on wine’s Instagram community.
‘Most of these hard-working professionals eat exclusively at 67 Pall Mall and various rooftop restaurants in The City,’ said an outreach worker. ‘With them being closed for the day there are genuine concerns some could starve.’
A spokesman for the Truss has said it will be setting up a soup kitchen serving ‘a cep velouté decorated with autumn flowers and a range of sherries.’
‘That way we can ensure these key workers have plenty of nutritious content for their reels.’
As used by HM
One group who are looking forward to a day off however are wine’s PR companies.
‘It’s been exhausting,’ said drinks PR specialist Harriet Quite-Poche. ‘Everyone in the office has been flat-out for two weeks finding blurry photos of Her Majesty holding a glass of our clients’ brands at some reception in the 1980’s for them to post on social media.
‘In fact my assistant is quite worn out from billing people for all the extra publicity.’
Drab Forecast of the Wine and Spirit Trade Executive (WASTE) said the day off would have a definite economic impact on the drinks trade.
‘With none of its highly trained professionals working, we estimate the industry could lose millions of pounds,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘Though since this is far better than when everyone is at their desk, what we really need is a way of stopping any of them from ever coming back.’