Wine list from ’66 found under floorboards19th December, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
A wine list from 1966 has been found under the floorboards of a UK restaurant highlighting the styles and prices of drinks served in the on-trade over 40 years ago.
Discovered by builders during renovations of the Giggling Squid Thai restaurant in Stratford Upon Avon, the menu is from a former outlet called The Old Tudor House.
The Giggling Squid has been able to date the drinks list because it was found with a scrap of the Daily Mirror newspaper dated 29 March 1966, the year the England football team won the World Cup.
Among the names featured on the list (see below) are several familiar brands, such as Gordon’s, Johnnie Walker, Rémy Martin, Smirnoff, Harvey’s, Blue Nun and Tio Pepe, as well as the now rather rarer Babycham and Cherry Heering.
Interestingly, most of the wines listed were also available in half bottles, while the presence of “Spanish Sauterne” reminds us that this was written well before the days of EU protection of regional provenance.
As for prices, the 1961 Chablis would cost less than £1 in today’s currency, while the St Emilion as little as 65 pence, cheaper than the Beaune for just over £1 and rather less than the Nuits St. Georges at £1.10.
However, the most expensive wine on the list is a bottle of Moët & Chandon NV Champagne, which at 42/6 would cost around £2.23.
Just one rosé features, costing 58p, while it’s notable that the list includes a “Budget Surcharge” sticker, adding a penny to a pint of beer and 2p to spirits.
To mark the discovery of the wine list, the Giggling Squid is to offer diners drinks at 1966 prices on Monday 20 January, meaning a shot of spirits will cost 13p, a glass of wine 15p and a bottle of lager 10p.
“The Giggling Squid group had a very good 2013 and we’ve never run a promotion, but as 2014 is another World Cup year, we thought it might be fun to do something special as a one off, on a long dark day in January when everyone is feeling a bit down,” said Giggling Squid owner Andrew Laurillard.
The offer is available in all Giggling Squid’s restaurants for diners ordering a 2-course meal for lunch or dinner on 20 January and limited to three drinks, which comprise one aperitif, a bottle of beer or glass or wine, and a liqueur.