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Titanic – 100 years on

by Nannette Eaton on April 14, 2012

“Eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we die.” – Bibical mash-up

One hundred years ago, the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank into the icy Atlantic taking 1514 passengers and crew to their final resting place.

The Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne was the official Champagne of the R.M.S. Titanic. If you’re going down with the ship, going out with style seems the way to do it. Sober, not really a great plan. But the Titanic had the booze supply covered. The ship’s manifest listed 1,000 bottles of wine, 850 spirits bottles, 191 liquor cases, and 20,000 bottles of beer. And their last meal? Over the top opulent. Rick Archbold’s book Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner details the menus of that fated cruise. The Armchair lists the menu for evening of April 14, 1912 in the first-class dining room.

And for those of you who are scandalized by the Wine Harlots prodigious alcohol intake, in a crisis, we might outlive you, based on this cautionary Titanic tale. Charles Joughin was a chef on the Titanic, during the evacuation he stocked the lifeboats, heroically helped the passengers to safety and refused a seat in the lifeboat himself. He returned to his cabin and awaited his fate, relying heavily on this friends Jack, Johnny and Jim (Daniels, Walker and Beam). After awhile, he ventured to the top deck and fell into the briny Atlantic. Most of the passengers who were submersed in the frigid water perished, but it is theorized that due to Joughin’s elevated blood alcohol level it provided protection from the hypothermical waters. (Living in Southern California, and not venturing onto boats often, the Wine Harlots risk of hypothermia is low, but you can never be too sure, and like the Boy Scouts, we want to be prepared).

Raise a glass today in honor of those to lost their lives in the pre-dawn hours a century ago.