Churchill had drunk an estimated 42,000 bottles of Pol Roger champagne through his life; he thought nothing of starting the morning with cold game and a glass of hock and ending it at 3am with the best part of a bottle of cognac.
The most famous anecdote -- the Labour MP Bessie Braddock accusing him of being drunk in the Commons, and he answering “Bessie, you are ugly. But tomorrow I will be sober, and you will still be ugly” -- is confirmed by eyewitnesses.
July 14th, 2017 6:39am
Dude lived until 90.
FYI, to drink 42,000 bottles, he'd have to have had 1.27 bottles a day since birth.
Kenny the Robot
July 14th, 2017 11:21am
Obviously he drank more than one bottle/day on many days.
July 14th, 2017 11:33am
His DNA and his own life experience/training/culture made him unique. Don't try to be like him, Io. You won't succeed.
July 14th, 2017 11:35am
Io, you're not like Churchill. You're not a scion of an aristocratic clan and you don't have a well-connected mother to help you through 1/2 of your career.
July 14th, 2017 12:31pm
Never thought there's any resemblance :)
Was just amazed how much he lived given how much he drank. Again, I know I'm not like him :)
July 14th, 2017 12:46pm
"to drink 42,000 bottles, he'd have to have had 1.27 bottles a day since birth"
The 42,000 was an estimate based on his known drinking habits.
It would make more sense to start with that rather than estimate A from an estimate of B that was based on a measurement of A.
July 14th, 2017 1:05pm
The year we have actual numbers for is 1908. That year he bought and drank:
- 108 full bottles and 84 half-bottles of Pol Roger 1895 vintage champagne, plus 48 half-bottles of the 1900 Pol Roger vintage
- 72 bottles of St Estèphe wine
- 60 bottles of port
- 84 bottles of sparkling Moselle wine
- 72 bottles of whisky
- 36 bottles of 20-year-old brandy
- 36 bottles of vermouth
- 4 bottles of gin
July 14th, 2017 1:08pm
So their estimate of 42000 was calculated as 42000 bottles of anything, including half bottles, 600 per year, over 70 years.
The claims it was 42000 of one specific thing are definitely wrong, as are claims it was 42000 full bottles.
Also the amount covered his own habit and those of his many guests.
July 14th, 2017 1:11pm
The figures for 1908 produce an annual alcohol 'unit' total of around 7,800, which is around 20 units a day, which equates in modern terms to around 2 bottles of wine. While definitely not healthy or recommended, most seasoned drinkers are capable of this. Alcoholics typically consume around 30 units/day.
It would appear that while Churchill may be considered to have had a drinking 'problem', he was not actually an alcoholic.
July 14th, 2017 2:05pm
I don't remember anything about "alcoholism" or even "alcohol" related to him in the book I'm currently reading, "My father, Beria".
And they do talk of him. Stalin loathed Churchill. As much as he genuinely liked the useful idiot Roosevelt, he respected but was deeply antipathic of Churchill.
They made fun of him. Beria's son felt very sorry he arrived too late at the Yalta conference to catch "elephant" Churchill stepping out of the plane and going straight to a Russian guard to look him in the eye as if he saw an alien.
Some NKVD personnel had permission to drink with OSS (precursor of CIA) and they conversed genuinely in very friendly terms.
Stalin drank but never more than his guests. He enjoyed seeing his most respected generals (and competitors) make a fool of themselves like one of them getting thrown fully clothed into a river by other two, then seeking them with a pistol (which fired a few times) while they were seeking refuge in the reeds. He enjoyed human weakness which he could later exploit.
Beria hated drinking, yet he had to resort to it often. khrushchev, who killed him and succeeded Stalin was a party man and a party man.
And story goes on... only got to like half the book. At this point I'm asking myself a quant question. Not "what", but "why"?
July 14th, 2017 4:16pm
The Soviets by and large inherited the Tzarist political culture. Stalin was the Tzar.
July 14th, 2017 4:18pm
Not really sure what that means but I enjoyed a TV documentary about Alexander and his visit to London before the war with Napoleon.
Much like the recollections of "dining" with Stalin.
Obviously, the maids at the palais they were housed in were informants for the Brithish royalty. They remember "These Russians were very bad people. They have this habit of driving a wheelbarrow at night through the garden, one high-ranking official in it, puking on the flowers, and another one pulling it. And by the end when they left, all the doors were smashed. And all paintings had bullet marks in them."
July 14th, 2017 4:26pm