Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wine trade bares all

Published:  23 July, 2008

They came, they saw, they screamed. More than 150 female members of the wine trade raised the roof last week while watching eight of the industry's leading male members do (almost) The Full Monty' for the benefit of Prostate Cancer.

The event - The Chippendales of the Chai, held at The Crypt in London - was organised by Women of Wine and raised 7,500 through ticket sales, a silent auction and a raffle.

Audience member, Alison Power of New Zealand Wine Growers, described the event as one of the best nights out I've had in the wine trade. I didn't know so many prominent trade figures had such hidden talents! Mass hysteria is one phrase that springs to mind to describe the audience's reaction to the guys' routine.'

The strippers, introduced on the night as the 'Semillons', took to the stage to the strains of Tom Jones's You Can Leave Your Hat On in fetching black and Burgundy outfits. When their trousers were ripped off five minutes later, revealing bright blue posing pouches, the sound man described the noise from the crowd as so loud I thought my ears would bleed'.

The troupe, consisting of Tim tiger' Atkin, Michael, Chile willy' Cox, Guy I got wood' Woodward, Murray harass me' Harris, Richard the dark horse' Milson, Andrew sure thing' Shaw, Michael the Italian stallion' Palij, and Peter the pensioner' Darbyshire, declared themselves very pleased with their performance. Former Harpers editor Tim Atkin (sporting a freshly acquired deep tan) said the reaction we got from the crowd was amazing'. The boys were even forced to come back for an encore after the second show (which had been set up at short notice by popular demand) after incessant screams of We want more!'

The brains behind the event, Christelle Guibert of Decanter magazine - who came up with the idea when bored one Sunday' - declared herself very pleased with the evening. Everybody had a great time, even the strippers!'

Michael Cox, UK director of Wines of Chile, said he agreed to take part in the show straight away' as he is an unashamed extrovert'. But Peter Darbyshire, managing director of Thierry's, by contrast, said his taking part was due to a classic French ambush. Christelle unveiled the programme bit by bit. At the beginning I didn't have the faintest idea that anything I signed up for meant taking my clothes off.'

Compere for the night, Steven Spurrier, kicked off the evening by reminding the audience of the worthiness of the charity being supported, and by revealing that that he had once suffered from the condition.

As the evening drew to a close Cox remarked: One of us found a tenner in his posing pouch. I found 20 pence - and she wanted change.'

So, how did your alpha male correspondent worm his way into a woman-only event? Dressed as a laydee', of course.