It appears that the phrase ‘One for the road’ needs an update, particularly where travelling on the ocean wave is concerned.
My educated iPad has revealed that the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians would offer libations of wine and invoke the gods to protect them on their voyages. The link between alcohol, specifically wine and to a lesser extent beer, and the sea, doesn’t end there.
Champagne has become synonymous with ship launches. In some quarters, it is believed if that an event doesn’t proceed smoothly some bad luck can be anticipated, and reportedly the bottle of Champagne intended for the launch of the Costa Concordia reportedly failed to break on contact ......and look what subsequently happened to that ill-fated vessel!
The British Royal Navy deserves a mention at this stage, related of course to the daily practice in times past of “Splicing the mainbrace”. That of course relates to the order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with an alcoholic drink, specifically a daily tot of rum. The benefactors were not only the matelots, but also, by all accounts, two specific brands, Lamb’s and Pusser’s.
The latter practice sadly ceased to be, no doubt a sacrifice on the altar of expediency and tighter budgets. Firstly the tot was watered down, not a popular decision by the Admiral who took the decision. Worse followed. On “Black Tot Day” rum rations were discontinued by the British Royal Navy. On July 31, 1970, they officially stopped the daily ration of rum to crewmembers aboard naval ships, ending a centuries-old tradition.
A love of wine and lack of overland routes has meant that, for centuries, the trade in the UK and elsewhere has been tied to shipping companies to ensure delivery of their wines. I recall when Union- Castle Line had stainless steel tanks installed on some of their mail ships to transport wines in bulk for later bottling in the United Kingdom.
Cruising and wine are two interests that make a perfect pairing. Not only can most cruise lines transport you to destinations that visit notable wine districts all over the world, but many also bring wine tastings, presentations, and experiences onboard as well. If you consider yourself something of a connoisseur, or even just enjoy a simple glass every now and then, but would like to learn more, there are a number of destinations and types of cruises that could be right for you.
Cruise lines select bottles from vintners around the world. Carnival Cruise Line orders hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine each year. Each of the line’s 25 ships carries about 5,000 bottles of wine at any one time, with the stocks constantly being replenished. The ships have the impressive advantage of being able to serve thousands of bottles of wine an evening to a fairly captive audience. That puts them in the big-league buying arena with large hotels. I believe that the Carnival Group alone has an average of 190,000 passengers a day, which of course represents a substantial market.