Popping pills and the return of Blue Nun

Written By

February 14th 2011

Two bits of news reported in the Daily Mail. Firstly, for those of us who only drink for medicinal purposes, there is excellent news. No more visits to the cellar, no more desperate searching for the corkscrew, cleaning of decanters, sniffing, swirling or swigging of wine. Now it is a quick trip to the medicine cabinet for a pill with all the health giving properties of a bottle of red wine.

The other important announcement was that Blue Nun was making a come back. This inspired a great cartoon by Pugh which included the line “if this doesn’t stop young people binge drinking nothing will”.

I can honestly say that my early drinking days were Blue Nun-less. My father, a great claret lover, who disappointingly succumbed to the pleasures of Mateus Rose, managed to resist the lure of Blue Nun.

The new Blue Nun - not looking quite so saintly!
The new Blue Nun – not looking quite so saintly!

Blue Nun was a huge brand selling 2 million cases up until the middle of the 80s. The butt of innumerable jokes but thought to be the height of chic by Hyacinth Bouquet and many others it helped the trend to wine drinking. Although it wasn’t a bad drink, it possibly did long term damage to the reputation of German wines which, unfairly, they are still struggling to overcome.

What’s the new Blue Nun like? I haven’t ventured off to Tesco’s to buy it but two of the Private Reserves team, Eva Hughes and Antoinette Rose, have tried it. They are currently attending Michael Schuster’s excellent introductory wine course . Last week thirty eight students tasted three German style wines blind. There were gasps of astonishment when 50% selected the 2009 Blue Nun Muscat Muller Thurgau as their favorite wine.

Finally, Blue Nun did play a part in my wine life when I was asked to visit a large cellar to do a stock check in view of selling. For very good reason I thought it was going to be a great cellar full of 1st Growth Clarets. Sadly I was mistaken. The cellar was undoubtedly unique but not quite in the way I was expecting. It included the greatest holding of Blue Nun that I will ever see over 250 cases of still Blue Nun and 60 cases of the sparkling which I had no idea it was even made!