SAS insiders are making a killing flogging notoriously bad regiment-issue plonk to war buffs.
Fans of the Who Dares Wins troops pay up to £100 for a bottle of the tipple served at the regiment’s Hereford HQ.
Such is the demand among wannabe elite soldiers that even empty bottles fetch £20 each.
The Ministry of Defence is said to buy in the wine at a cost price of around £4.50 per bottle.
There’s a corking profit for insiders who hoard it and sell it to Civvy Street.
One person to sample the dubious drink was less than complimentary. They said: “The wine served up in the messes makes you wince when you drink it.
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“Worst of all, it is often warm by the time you get a glass.
“The trick is to get a few glasses of decent wine down your neck first, so you are slightly half cut by the time the cheap booze comes along and then it doesn’t taste quite so bad.
“But no one really minds. There aren’t that many wine connoisseurs in the regiment and at £4.50 you can’t expect too much.”
They added: “The would-be SAS types love the stuff and you can make a small fortune selling it.”
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The most sought after bottles have a label with the words 22 Special Air Service Regiment, accompanied by the phrase “We are the pilgrims, master, we shall go always a little further.”
The line is from the SAS’s regimental poem The Golden Journey to Samarkand by James Elroy Flecker.
The general verdict is the red is better than the white – but only marginally so.
Both the sergeants and officers’ messes hold numerous dinner nights and functions every year, hosting the likes of royalty and foreign heads of state.
Top quality booze appears on the tables for VIPs.
But for events such as when a member of the regiment is retiring or being posted away, the cheap stuff often makes an unwelcome appearance.
The Ministry of Defence does not comment on special forces.