Illustration: Daisy Leeson

Wime Reviews: Rowan Ireland is The Oxford Blue’s wine reviewer and occasional satirist.

Chateau d’Eaueui, 1968: £690 (buy from the Vinyard)

Rowan’s tasting notes:

On the palate: Florid – the sort of flavour that rats in a sewer would flock towards.

Pair with: Goldberg Variations, BWV 998: Aria. (as recorded by darling Glenn.)

Score: 52. One point for every year that this dusty bottle aged in the familial wine cellars.


“Ahha!” I cry, slitting the glass throat of this bottle so that its fetid cork flounders into the fire that someone set in the mantle. A wine for the ages, but only those ages old enough to have amassed an hereditary fortune equal to The Bank of Scotland. I toss back my golden locks, and deep-throat the bottle. Finally some good wine.

As I stride across to the next room I shed my Ming Dynasty dressing gown – old fashion has become so gauche, I only wear Oscar de la Renta – I’ll leave Prada to the Devil, and Gucci to the gang.

Ludavico came for dinner and is playing something on the Steinway in the ballroom, but it’s one of his own songs and by this point no one wants to relive a walk through the school’s music department in 2016, so Boris calls MI6 on him and Sir Simon Rattle connects to the Sonos™ and puts on some Taylor Swift. “God I hate hearing my own music after dinner” wafts Taylor’s voice from another room.

The wine trickles down my neck to where my domesticated lion laps it up. I really thought this party would pass without an intoxicated wild animal, but once Andy (Lloyd Webber) arrived I realised there was no chance of this… he has a way with the felines.

A delicate bottle obscures a crisp wine; this is truly the crown of Uncle Bart’s wine collections from the 1960s. It rested on a small heap of cedar wood shavings for half a century and could happily have rested for another 50 years had we not run out of wood to smoke salmon. That said, the dulcet tones, and resplendent tannins meet the thick frontier of salmon in an internecine matrimony.

I decide to share the bottle around a bit – like good old Wenceslas (incidentally a great-ancestor of mine) throwing meat and libations to that fabled “poor man”. Great-aunt Mercubaba (an 18th century witch and patron of the arts) languid in an Evan Fay armchair, ever grappling for glasses and bottles that might pass her way, comments; “why, it tastes just like Salem”  in an indecorous tone. The ghost of Henry Ford sipps and promptly offers to buy me a similar wine that he had drank after winning Australia in a game of snap

However, no responses really settlewith me, and I quickly rescind my philanthropy to licentiously offer the Chateau d’Eaueui and squander it in much the same way as my father (and Dragon King of Pandemonium) squandered the Elysian Diamonds.

Indolent, lying eagled on a polar bear skin rug I sip the wine and, clasping the bottle by its virilia, sublime into some chthonic lair below the enceinte.

“Hello there” says Satan, whom I presume to be my host.

“How you doin’?” I riposte, looking him from head to hoof.

A blush graces his pre-sanguinated cheeks, just above the peaks of an immaculate beard. From here I can tell quite certainly that the Devil does not – in fact – wear Prada, and is instead wearing Maison Margiela in what is clearly an attempt to fashion himself after Cody Fern as the Antichrist in American Horror Story.

“What lovely eye shadow you wear” I say, turning from the devil to take in my surroundings. It looks awfully similar to Elton John’s Eurovision party in ’19 – perhaps a little warmer and somehow far more euro-pop.

I sip once more, this party clearly died half an hour ago, and I’m hardly going to humour Satan once his compensatory ice-sculpture has melted.

Rowan Ireland is a second year Fine Art student

Rowan Ireland

Rowan Ireland is The Oxford Blue's wine reviewer in exile. A fan of everything, Rowan wakes up with the dawn screaming, and enjoys long walks around his hometown on a remote mountainous island north of England. When he isn't writing wime reviews he can't be found.