Fellow Wine Lovers,
So that’s it, is it? We’ve had a couple of days debating a series of ayes to the left and noes to the right and now the timetable is all ready for the action ahead. We’re expecting some hard knocks along the way and the possibility of some disappointment, too.
First off though, we’ll tell a remarkable tale of healing. This tale, whilst not as incredible as the idea of a former security guard becoming President or a former property developer hanging up the phone in an apparent huff with the leader of another country, is nonetheless amazing.
No, no, no, readers, the Australian in this tale is called Eddie and the remarkable tale of healing is that of Joe Marler, who looks likely to start for the England rugby team despite suffering a fractured leg barely a month ago. Tough as old boots, these rugby fellows!
The Six Nations starts on Saturday, with the action starting at 2.30 with Scotland hosting Ireland at Murrayfield. A chance for a comfort break and a quick visit to the wine shop before England stick it to host the French at Twickenham, at 5pm. We round off with Italy hosting Wales in the Sunday game, at 2pm.
In other sports, local giant killers Sutton United FC, having already squashed the cup dreams of AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United, are relishing their 5th round draw at home to Arsenal, who, in the form they displayed this week, must be terrified.
In proper sports, the Tour of Dubai is proving rather eventful. Mark Cavendish came 3rd on the opening days racing, having ridden the last 4km with a puncture. Then, on day 3, Andrei Grivko was kicked off the race and fined 200 Swiss Francs for punching Marcel Kittel. Kittel commented: “I guess Grivko had a coffee too much this morning”.
In other news, we find out that Francis Ford Coppola’s wines will be those poured at this year’s Oscars. In classic Hollywood understatement: ‘What seems logical to me is that if anyone’s going to provide wine to the Academy, it ought to be the Coppola family,’ Coppola said. ‘We were one of the earliest of the film people to get into the wine business; we have the most established, broad-based wine business of any film celebrity and, as a family, I imagine we have won as many nominations and wins as any.’ We understand around 2100 bottles will be consumed on the evening, not a bad sale, we thought!
Whilst we’re on the subject of wine, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that we put some dates in the diary for some Cheese & Wine tastings. First up is Thursday 23rd February at 8pm and I couldn’t help wondering if it might make for a suitable gift for Valentine’s Day. £20 per person gets you a seat at the table , cheese, wine and crackers. Surely that’s more fun than a bunch of roses!
Whilst we’re on the subject of sweethearts, we couldn’t help but notice that Dame Vera Lynn is celebrating her 100th birthday by releasing a new album. It contains guest appearances by Aled Jones, Alfie Boe and Alexander Armstrong; stories of a follow-up featuring Bruno Mars, Billy Idol and the Bay City Rollers are unconfirmed.
We’ll be raising a glass to Dame Vera this weekend with Handcrafted Gruner Vetliner 2016 by Martin & Anna Arndorfer (£14.49). They are particularly lazy in the winery and this delicious white wine is made with a real minimum of intervention: unfiltered, unfined, and with a gentle spritz. Fresh, with a real, life-affirming zestiness.
On the red front, we’ll go a little more mainstream with Boekenhoutskloof’s Chocolate Block 2015 (£23.99 or 6 for £120), a rather delightful little number that you may have heard of. This vintage, all of the grapes are from Swartland.
That’s it from us, Dame Vera deposing Pete Tong’s Classic House from the top of the album chart might be fun.
We’ll meet again!