In terms of fine wine the words 'Bordeaux' and 'bargain' rarely get put into the same sentence. Everyone knows that in order to drink the premium wines of this region you will either need to be working in the wine industry, have a rich friend who serves such wines at dinner parties, or be that rich friend.
Since time began, love and dating have been doused in booze. Be it a romantic dinner and a bottle of pinot, a cheeky snog anointed by rum and coke or an outrageous one-night affair after slurping on a fishbowl cocktail - Brits' love affair with dating and drinking isn't going to fizzle out any time soon.
I've often said that planning a party sorts the men from the boys. It's either a total shambles, with relations strained and blood shed; or as easy as, well, organising a piss up in a brewery. And as a barman working in bars that sees every single type of party, I've been privy to a few 'do's (and the very definition of don'ts) in my time.
Student life and alcohol are so deeply intertwined that separating the two would be as difficult as imagining Tom Selleck without a moustache, and until Kopparberg becomes ten pounds a bottle, that's not ever going to change. What perhaps needs some alteration is the idea that student night life isn't bearable without alcohol.
TEFAF is 260 exhibitors, seemingly miles of corridors and countless objects, pictures and jewels to admire. But behind all of this sparkle lies a delightful human drama. It is the people that make this show happen, it is the daily flow of passing crowds and hurried meals and chance encounters that create a unique ambience.
Between 2000 and 2008, the tax on a bottle of wine increased by 15%. In the four years from 2008, the year Alastair Darling introduced the duty escalator, it has increased by 46%. It doesn't take a genius to link the steep rise with the wider economic circumstances. Put simply, tax on alcohol is a cash cow for the government that is being used to try and plug a budget deficit rather than change the way people drink.
So here is my confession: too many women feel they need to drink like men. It's something we see time and time again at the bar, always the flick of the eye towards the other drinks being pulled and then the order for something meaty in a pint glass. When did this happen? What happened to girls being allowed to drink fruity cocktails? Is feminism now brandishing a pint glass rather than a bra?
Downing a full beer in one go has never lost its allure as a party trick, but it's also the length of the drinking session. Downing ten beers and four bourbons in an hour is impressive, but not as impressive as downing forty beers and twenty bourbons in twelve hours. Or being out for over thirty-six hours. I've done all three.