Affordable luxury – what on earth does it mean? Just had an e-mail from a PR company proclaiming that their product (Prosecco since you ask) offers Affordable Luxury. I’m not complaining that they sent a 293-word press release as an attachment (although why do they bother?). And I’m not carping about the fact that, not being the world’s best typist, I never seem to be able to type affrodable correctly (just as with Chinati). It’s more that I’m questioning the concept of affrodable, sorry, affordable luxury. I like oxymorons (or oxymora? – discuss). Sweet sorrow, plastic cork, interesting Liebfraumilch, and so on. So is that the idea here? If so, then I’d beg to differ. The T K Maxx mentality is all the rage in Britain. We balk at buying a Tesco own-brand shirt for £10, but we’ll happily buy a YSL/Pierre Cardin/Ben Sherman one that has been reduced to £10 (good job no one is fooled into doing similar things with wine…) But at least those brands do have a semblance of up-market-ability about them. But Prosecco – when did that become upmarket? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it agin, it’s the Pinot Grigio of the sparkling wine world. For some reason, it has acquired a level of cachet that is out of all proportion to its quality. Yes, the good examples can be very nice – and I use the word ‘nice’ on purpose – but most of the wines are not exactly head-turners. For me, the word ‘luxury’ should only be applied to things that I want to cross the street for. And in the vast majority of instances and with notable exceptions (Nino Franco, top Bisols, for example) it shouldn’t be used for Prosecco.