I met up with an old university friend last night - she is still there (Trinity College, Cambridge) doing her PhD.
She told me that last week, the college sent an email to the students telling them they were selling off a portion of their wine cellars. Every student could buy 12 bottles. The stuff they were selling was left-over stock from 2009, nothing special, just the usual bottles they have for fellows' (ie lecturers, professors, etc) evening meals in hall (college is all catered). Also, to get rid of it, and because they couldn't be sure of the quality, college were selling it for a third of its original price. Bargain.
But here's the thing: my friend totted how much was on sale, and it came too:
So, times that by three = £462,000 - call it half a million. And this is wine that is LEFT OVER. Presumably it is a fraction of the amount of wine that was bought and consumed in 2009.
Plus, this is their bog-standard wine. It doesn't take into account any of the wine bought and drunk at special occasions, or any of the wine college has bought as an investment to lay down in the cellars (which it apparently does in copious amounts).
So all in all, you're clearly looking at an annual bill for booze in the millions of pounds.
Pretty amazing, huh?
PS: Trinity was always incredibly generous with its money to students - I had several friends from low-income families who pretty much got their rooms for free, and they offered grants and bursaries like sweets. But still. This is all a bit fucked up.