23 DECEMBER 1960, Page 23

Postscript . . .

What has been omitted in order to accom- modate these fascinating facts, without which one would hardly dare to accept a dinner in- vitation, is not yet revealed to me, though rshall be dipping into the new edition, as is my wont, at breakfast; when I ought to be at work; and —to put it politely—in the bathroom, for the next twelve months. But I am sorry to see—it was the first thing I turned to—that the All- England men's doubles champions at badminton are no longer what they have been for many a happy year. Badminton isn't going to seem so All-England as it used to be now that the doubles champions are called Neilsen and Kobbero, and not Lim Say Hup and Tel Kew San. •

Shopping early for Christmas is being carried much farther in Singapore than it is here. A far-flung reader sends us a cutting from the Straits Times in which B. H. T. Doulatram and Company,

The Most Distinguished Dept Store proudly Announces Christmas SALE No body have dared to slash prices in




What the Scots are going to do about it I don't know, but the judgment delivered on Friday by Mr. Justice Danckwerts makes it illegal in England and Wales, anyway, to attach the name `champagne' to any wine that does not come from Champagne, which although it has no adminis- trative entity as a province of France, any more than Wessex has here, is stricft delimited by under the names of the Yugoslav, French, Spanish and Italian Touring Associations, but have no official government connections wi:h any of these countries. There is also the Austrian Travel Agency, which has no connection with the Austrian State Tourist Department.

French law as a wine-producing district. The interesting thing is that in a criminal case before a jury at the Old Bailey last year the Perelada people gut away with 'Spanish champagne': the twelve great champagne houses that constitute the Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Cham- pagne are to be admired for their self-confidence and determination in bringing a civil action in the High Court, their victory in which was cele- brated at the Savoy on Monday, Madame Bollin- ger presiding, in glasses of every one of the champagnes represented in the action.

Some day, I hope, the proceedings in the two cases will be set down in accessible form for public edification and amusement, with due attention to Mr. Raymond Postgate's famous performance in the Old Bailey witness-box where, charged by the Perelada counsel with wishing to reserve the name 'champagne' for the most ex- pensive wines, so that only the rich could enjoy champagne, he retorted that what the other side wanted to do was to call margarine butter so that the poor could enjoy butter.

* It is worth remembering that there are respect- able sparkling wines, from France and elsewhere, that have never assumed a name to which they are not entitled. I have long had an affection for Italy's Asti Spumante, though I know it is sweet for some tastes, and very good sparkling wines come from Germany. (It used to be held against Herr von Ribbentrop, as though he had nothing worse on his conscience, that he once 'travelled in German champagne': actually, he was em- ployed by the firm of Henkel], whose sparkling hock is a very respectable tipple indeed.) Dein- hard's 'Cabinet,' too, is a particularly fine sparkling hock, which most wine-merchants sell, or can get, at 22s.; and Williams Standring, of Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, list a sparkling hock and Mosel of their own (the Mosel is the drier) at 17s. The same firm has a French spark- ling wine—a Villeroy, from the Dordogne—for as little as 14s., which is certainly worth trying for cups and cocktails.

A champagne cocktail (1 think I may use the word 'champagne' in this context) is made by pouring ice-cold sparkling wine into a glass in which are a small cube of sugar soaked in Angostura and a tot of brandy. Andre Simon's recipe for champagne cup calls for a glass of brandy to each bottle of champagne, with two slices of sweet orange, a piece of lemon peel, a long curl of cucumber rind and a sprig of verbena or borage. Let stand for half an hour. the recipe says, and add plenty of ice before serving. My own view is that although the cup should be cold, the less ice you add, the merrier the Christmas.