Cockburn’s Port and the Midnight Express

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The distinguished film director – and former advertising man – Sir Alan Parker passed away recently.

I came across the “1977 Alan Parker Agency Showreel”, which included an ad for Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port.

Alan Parker Showreel 1977
Alan Parker Showreel 1977

Special Reserve was first made in 1969 as a user-friendly style of Port. It is essentially a Ruby Port with extended (five-year) ageing in casks.

It’s well worth watching the full 20-minute reel to see how TV advertising was done 40 years ago. A lot of it is very amusing to modern eyes and ears.

Parker was not, as far as I know, a wine man, but his long-time collaborator Michael Seresin is.

Seresin was cinematographer for Parker’s films Bugsy MaloneMidnight ExpressBirdy, and Angel Heart, among others, and more recently for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

I met him many years ago on my first visit to New Zealand and spent time at his Seresin Wines estate in Marlborough.

Alas, Arden Fine Wines doesn’t have any Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port – but we do have some nice bottles of Vintage 1967, made when Alan Parker was a humble advertising agency copywriter.

1967 Cockburn Vintage Port
1967 Cockburn Vintage Port
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