Missing Wine

Like 74 other bloggers, I was fortunate enough to receive a free sample of Stormhoek Wine, and I was looking forward to finally bringing it home for a taste.

Unfortunately, due to the confluence of my own forgetfulness and the incompetence and/or larcenous tendencies of an unknown party, the bottle never made it home. I left it, safely (or so I thought) bundled inside a knapsack on the luggage rack during my train journey from Paddington to Oxford. Arriving, I grabbed my work-bag with my laptop and various papers along with a sack of groceries. Within about 30 seconds of leaving the station I had recognized a nagging feeling: I had left the wine on the train, already departed from the station. So I trudged to the Lost Property office, gave them all of the information, and fully expected to have the wine (and the nice bag it was in!) back the next day.

No such luck. It didn't make it back to Oxford station. So they told me to contact First Great Western Link trains, who (it turns out) had just changed the number of their Lost Property office. Eventually, in the event, they told me to contact Central Trains, responsible for Worcester Station, the final destination of the train. No luck there, either. But maybe it's back in Paddington? So I left a message (that's all you can do) at Paddington's Lost Property office. Still no satisfaction.

So what happened? It could have been taken by a fellow passenger -- but it would be a pretty bold move. It could have been confiscated by one of the train companies and disposed of with extreme prejudice -- not entirely unlikely in these times when an unknown knapsack might arouse a great deal of suspicion (especially one with a strange styrofoam cylinder inside!). Or -- and I admit with with all respect and apologies to the vast majority of people working the rails that I think this a likely possibility -- it was taken by someone emptying the trains and not given in to the Lost Property office.

Finally, then, my apologies to Hugh and Stormhoek who went through a lot of trouble and expense to get me my bottle, only for me to lose it. I look forward to actually paying for a bottle and trying it.

(On a related note, here's a story on a company using science to take some of the mystery out of wine.)