Nigella Lawson speaks out after her minesweeping wine tactic sparked backlash from viewers

Nigella Lawson recalls being 'told off' for minesweeping wine

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Speaking on her first Instagram Live with American chef Carla Lalli Music, How To Be A Domestic Goddess author Nigella Lawson, 61, claimed that her technique for enjoying any unfinished wine from her guests sparked a complaint from a meningitis research charity when she detailed her approach to saving leftover booze in one of her earlier TV programmes. The household name uses the method as a way of storing small quantities of wine, explaining that the frozen beverage will keep for up to three months.

I got a complaint from a meningitis society, so I’ve learnt the error of my ways

Nigella Lawson

It comes after the best-selling food writer got involved in her first Instagram Live with US based chef Carla to reveal her “must-have ingredients”.

The caption of the video read: “In @nigellalawson ‘s first (!!!) IG live, she gives me a tour of the pantry ingredients she can’t cook without.” (sic)

The livestream attracted over 3,000 viewers as the London-based chef showed off her famous kitchen.

After discussing the staple wines to have to hand when cooking, the duo went on to talk about what they did with any leftover booze.

Carla said: “I would say, one thing I do if we are drinking wine, if it’s just me and my husband we’re probably not going to finish it but we’ll get close.

“And sometimes I’ll just take whatever’s left, whether it’s half a cup or six ounces and stick it in the freezer.”

Nodding vigorously in agreement with the chef’s approach, Nigella revealed that she too adopted a similar tactic when it came to storing leftover alcohol from her famous dinner parties.

“I used to do that,” she stated.

“Actually, I got told off once because in one of my very early programmes I said that if I’ve had people for dinner, I do what we call minesweeping.”

Minesweeping is the act of picking up a drink which has been left unattended or discarded and claiming it as your own.

In social settings, it is a way of obtaining drinks without spending any money.

Nigella continued to explain: “You know where you take all the glasses – and if anyone’s left any wine – I know a lot of people don’t, I put it in ice cube trays and put it in the freezer.”

“And I got a complaint from the meningitis society, so I’ve learnt the error of my ways.”

Meningitis is an infection that affects the brain and spinal cord.

According to the NHS, the bacterial or viral infection can be spread by coughing, sneezing and the sharing of utensils, cutlery and toothbrushes.

However, vaccinations that offer a level of protection against the infection are offered to babies and teenagers going to university.

While viral meningitis can get better on its own within 10 days, bacterial meningitis can cause long-term health problems including loss of limbs following amputation and recurrent seizures.

The NHS website also states that up to 1 in 10 cases of bacterial meningitis are fatal.

The Cook, Eat, Repeat author continued: “I don’t tend to drink wine when I’m by myself.”

After Carla revealed that a friend of hers had a similar approach to the TV star, Nigella smiled and said: “I don’t judge.” has contacted a meningitis charity for comment.

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