The October Revolution Was Nearly Thwarted By Some Wine

Samuel Reason | January 1st, 2018

Well, some wine may be an understatement, the fact of the matter is that the Winter Palace home of the Russian Tsars had one of the largest wine cellars in the world.

So that you can fully understand the size of this wine cellar, this palace which at the time was the principal residence of Tsar Nicholas II had over 1500 rooms! No idea why a Tsar needed so many rooms! Maybe that is what the communist revolution was really about? They just wanted a warm room to sleep in. Of course with so many rooms for guests, you need a very large wine cellar.

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At the time it is estimated this wine cellar contains about(in today’s value) over 75 million dollars worth of wine and vodka. And these were no cheap bottles, the Tsar was known to love the Chateau D’Yquem vintage. Also, it is well documented that the Tsars always had large supplies of Roederer Cristal Champagne ready to celebrate any occasion. Who knows what other rare vintages and high percentage vodkas were in that cellar.

In 1917, Lenin ordered his Bolshevik revolutionaries to attack the Winter Palace. He gave them strict instructions to no touch anything and not to loot any of the palace’s contents. As he believed that everything belonged to the people and that the treasures inside were their heritage. Well as it turns out the Russian soldiers were not very disciplined at the time and everything was looted. Until they stumbled upon the wine cellar, then everyone was drunk!

And when we say everyone we mean everyone, the soldiers sold bottles to the public outside and thousands of bottles were being drunk every single day. Reports say the revolution stopped for a week or so just because the whole of St Petersburg was drunk. Of course, where there are drunk people there are fatal choices and decisions. This caused the whole city to start pillaging and looting as they pleased! Superiors tried their best to lock up the cellar even building a wall, but the soldiers just knocked it down.

They tried pouring the wine down the drainage system of the palace; well the public just collected it up with buckets. Can’t imagine that would have tasted very nice! They tried just dropping the bottles in the river, but so strong was their lust for alcohol they just dove down to the depths to retrieve the bottles!

Eventually, the Bolsheviks had to take matters into their own hands and impose martial law, but let’s face it the only thing that really stops anyone from drinking wine? Is when the wine runs out.

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