jamie goode's wine blog: BBR wine list from 1909

Monday, November 17, 2008

BBR wine list from 1909

Berry Bros & Rudd, the famous London wine merchant, recent sent out a copy of their price list from 1909. It makes for interesting reading (unfortunately, it wasn't proofread properly and so the rather mixed up fonts ruin the visual appeal). Three points. First, the world of wine was much smaller then. Secondly, wines were valued rather differently: top German wines were as sought after as classed growth Clarets. Finally, the differential between the cheap and expensive wines is much less than now. You can download it here.

[Later edit] BBR have sent me a scan of the same page of the original list, which I'm reproducing below:


At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Julian said...

Thanks, Jamie. It would be interesting to see merchants' lists from earlier centuries, too: there'd be the makings of a little book in that, I'd say, in the non-fiction, what-to-buy-the-old-man-for-Christmas vein.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Catriona Felstead, BBR said...

Dear Jamie,

I am very glad that you enjoyed reading our replica of Berrys' 1909 Price List which we recently sent out in conjunction with our 2009 list. It is indeed fascinating to see market trends from 100 years ago. I would however like to point out that this was a faithful reproduction of the original list (still held in the records at 3 St James's St) and, as such, the different font sizes were deliberately left in as per the original. It was indeed a very different world back then, for print as well as wine, and the intention was that the variable typefaces and spellings of wine names would give a flavour of what it was like to be a Berrys' customer in 1909.

I would be happy to scan/fax you a copy of the real 1909 list if you are interested in a direct comparison.

Kind regards,
Catriona Felstead
Direct Marketing Manager
Berry Bros. & Rudd

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Do Bianchi said...

Jamie, thanks for posting this. I, for one, would love to see the original list. Catriona, if that were possible, it would be great... thanks, Jeremy

At 9:47 PM, Blogger monkey said...

i love the idea of buying a cask, and just imagine great grandad laying down a bottle in 1905 only to find it in the shed at christmas. Would you open it?

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Catriona - sorry for my false assumption. It just looked like a bizarrely modern font that got there by mistake. Apologies.

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous kevin said...

This wine list is amazing. I'm not sure how many merchants today would devote their first page solely to Sherry. How fashions change.

I can remember my grandma being shocked a few years ago when visiting a younger friend of the family that didn't have any sherry in their house or even know what sort of drink it was!!

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I've added the scan of the original list.

Interesting to see that Mumm Cordon Rouge is more expensive than Krug.

And there's a 1783 Hock on the list. Wow!

At 7:09 PM, Blogger The Corkdork said...

Hey Jamie,

I just put up a nod to your post here with an amazing list from 1861 from the St. Louis Hotel. Check it out!


At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Jack Everitt said...

60p then is about 20 pounds now.


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