9th November 1984: The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) at a Remembrance Sunday memorial service

9th November 1984: The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) at a Remembrance Sunday memorial servicePhoto by Len Trievnor/Express/Getty Images

Unused port ordered for the Queen Mother's visit to the Winter Gardens in Margate sees the light of day after 30 years in the same cellar and was sold at an auction

Ahead of a Royal visit to The Winter Gardens Theatre in Margate by HRH The Queen Mother in 1983, the Head of Wine & Spirits at the theatre, was asked to order her Highness’ favorite tipple, Graham’s Port 1977. However much of it was unused on the visit and it remained in the venue’s cellar untouched for more than 30 years.

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Graham's Port 1977

Graham's Port 1977

It is unclear if the Head of Wine & Spirits at the theatre wanted to make sure that she was well catered for, or her Majesty was having an off day, but most of the port remained undrunk. It proceeded to feature on 30 years-worth of stock counts before the food and beverage manager finally retired and his replacement thought it was time to sell it on. In the theatre bar, the port would have cost £70 per glass, which might have proved a hard sell, so instead, the decision was made to auction it.

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Described by Sam Hellyer, Head of Chiswick Auctions Wine department, as: “Luscious, smooth, with the last hurrah of thick tannins lining the tongue and laying down a plush carpet for the chewy fig and lingering acidity to mingle on. With them came a hint of smoky and chocolately notes, the smell of cigar boxes and freshly sanded wood.”  The port is not just drinkable, but delicious, due to it having been stored in perfect cellared conditions.