Mon, May 30, 2011 - Page 15 News List

In the red: British government to sell off fine wines
負債累累 英國政府出售頂級藏酒

Bottles of wine are seen stored under the Foreign Office’s Lancaster House mansion in central London, May 13.
這張五月十三日攝於英國倫敦市中心外交部蘭卡斯特宮的照片,是窖內藏酒。
Warning: Excessive consumption
of alcohol can damage your health.
飲酒過量有害健康

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

The British government wine cellar is set to get less corking after a minister announced plans on May 13 to sell the most expensive wines to help cut a record deficit.

The total value of the wine stored for VIP functions is more than 864,000 pounds (NT$40 million) and includes vintages such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

After a review as part of austerity measures by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham said there would be a “targeted sale of high-value stock” from the collection.

“I seriously considered abolishing the cellar, but all the evidence shows that we will save the taxpayer money by keeping the cellar and reforming it so that wine purchases are self-funded through sales,” he said.

“The cellar has been part of government functions for nearly a century and through these reforms it will provide value for money, accountability and will continue to offer hospitality to important guests from around the world.”

The review came after British lawmaker Tom Watson, a member of the opposition Labour Party, revealed that the cellar contains a bottle of Chateau Petrus 1978 worth more than 2,500 pounds (NT$117,000), among other top vintages.

Next to a bottle of Chateau Latour 1955, worth about 1,000 pounds, a note was found reading: “Drink on v. special occasions. Spectacular: no need now to hasten rundown of tiny stock. ‘The essence of wonderful claret’. Fresh and lovely.”

Meanwhile a bottle of Chateau Palmer 1975, which costs upwards of 120 pounds (NT$5,600), is described as a “really old-fashioned style claret, rich and excellent with some austerity.”

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. austerity n.

緊縮 (jin3 suo1)

例: The economy is at risk of collapsing because austerity programs are not progressing as planned.

(因為緊縮方案並未按計劃進展,經濟有崩跌的危險。)

2. abolish v.

廢除 (fei4 chu2)

例: Human rights organizations have been urging Taiwan to abolish the death penalty for years now.

(人權團體呼籲台灣要廢除死刑迄今已數年了。)

3. accountability n.

可靠性 (ke3 kao4 xing4)

例: Accountability and transparency do not exist in dictatorial governments.

(可靠性與透明性不存在於獨裁政府。)


One unnamed prime minister writes that a Chateau Margaux 1961 is “silky.”

(AFP)

一位部長五月十三日宣布出售最高價藏酒以減少史上最嚴重的赤字後,英國政府酒窖內封存的酒藏量勢必減少。

供官方招待貴賓的窖內藏酒總價值超過八十六萬四千英鎊(約新台幣四千萬元),包含拉圖酒莊、拉菲酒莊、瑪歌酒莊與木桐酒莊等佳釀。

在英國保守黨與自民黨聯合政府推行的財政緊縮措施的一個檢討會議上,外交部長亨利‧貝林翰表示,從藏酒中,將會有「銷售給特定對象的高價值存貨」。

他說,「我說認真地考慮要廢除這個酒窖,但所有的證據顯示,保留且改造此酒窖,使買酒支出自給自足,將能省下納稅人的錢。」

他說,「這個酒窖近百年來,已是政府運作的一部分,且藉由這些改造,它將合乎經濟效益、可靠性,並且還能繼續招待來自世界各國的重要賓客。」

在野工黨英國議員湯姆‧華特森揭露酒窖裡的頂級好酒中,藏有一瓶彼得呂斯酒莊一九七八年份佳釀,價值超過兩千五百英鎊(新台幣十一萬七千元)後,才舉行這個檢討會。

在一瓶拉圖酒莊一九五五年份佳釀旁,發現有一張小紙條寫道,「在特別的場合喝它。令人驚歎的口感:沒有必要急忙喝下這少量珍貴的庫存。『極好的紅葡萄酒精華』。新鮮且迷人。」

同時有一瓶要價一百二十英鎊(新台幣五千六百元)且價格看漲的帕瑪酒莊一九七五年份佳釀,被稱為一個「極為古典風格的紅葡萄酒,濃郁且口感極佳並帶些苦澀。」

一位不具名的首相以「絲綢般滑順」的形容,描述一瓶瑪歌酒莊一九六一年份的佳釀。

(法新社/翻譯:林亞蒂)

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