Dogs, Skeletons, its downhill from here

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Has it really been a week since we last spoke?  God grief, the time has just flown past in a flurry of bad weather and divisive rugby results.  We received a certain amount of criticism last weekend for failing to mention the Winter Olympics starting – much as I’d like to say I was saving it for a special feature this week once some events had actually got underway, I would be talking through my hat and that would never do.

So Winter Olympics, why should I watch you?

You start  half way through the night and then finish up around midday, which makes life difficult for us here as, generally speaking, our most successful sport watching is done under the cover of work, and when work doesn’t start until 11am, well, it’s tricky.  And I’m not sure I’ll ever be to thank you enough for sucking me in last Sunday morning to watch the mixed curling, Canada v Switzerland that finished after 1am – the merciless ridicule that I received from wife and children when I told them of my antics will leave scars; for the record Canada won this round robin match and then proceeded to meet Switzerland again in the final and beat them once more but of course, I knew that would be the case, having been following them from early on… which meant I hadn’t anticipated the fact that the Canada’s ladies would be bottom of the table today after three sessions!

The joy the Winter has over the Summer version is to introduce us to sports that we have never tried ourselves.  If you went to school in the UK you will have done a variety of athletics, there is a definite chance you will have been in a kayak, on a bike, kicked a football, swam a length or played bows and arrows – none of the Summer Olympic sports are alien to us, we can sort of imagine doing them.  Fewer of us can imagine the skillset needed for biathlon and ski-jumping or the mind-set needed for the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton – and here-in lies its viewing appeal.  I was gutted when Elise Christie flew into the barriers and failed to get the medal she so deserves but when my son asked what had happened I couldn’t really tell him what had gone wrong, he just had to watch it for himself.

And then we have the commentators.  With the summer version we seem to land up with industry stalwarts who are used to being at the business end of a microphone and who are dab hand at painting a verbal picture whilst giving incisive commentary.  Watching the Men’s Slopestyle Final (highlights this time, it didn’t finish until 2.30am on Monday) such stalwarts were definitely missing – plenty of ‘wow, that was amazing’, ‘I don’t know how he did that’, coupled with ‘he really won’t be happy about that jump’ made me feel more like I was eavesdropping on some keen amateurs armchair punditry in the pub rather than profound professional commentary – but you know what, their enthusiasm was infectious.  When one of the commentators  put his neck on the line and said, after a fall on the first run, that Red Gerard was going to struggle to medal because he was too light to cope with the cross winds you just knew he hadn’t read the Book of Gaffes to Avoid when on Air – Gerard won Gold!

And of course we’re all about the Skeleton today – could you have told me anything about Dom Parsons yesterday?

So, there you have it, thoroughly engrossing when it’s on, sometimes too engrossing when it’s on late at night and we’ve still got just over a week left – get involved!

Spring Festival

As discussed last week, our four legged friends are front and centre today as we celebrate Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog.  Unlike some of the local pubs, we are yet to stock Snuffle Dog Beer (chicken flavour) or other such dog friendly dog drinks so we’ll have to limit our dog based recommendations to the following wines this weekend:

Mimi Méthode Traditionnelle NV – £12.99

Predominantly Pinot Noir with the merest splosh of Pinot Meunier and a delicate dab of Chardonnay, this fizz has been regaining in popularity as the lights seem to be coming up at the Prosecco party and people are looking to get their kicks elsewhere – the label has a young lady with her pet pooch in her arms, hence the dog theme.

Dog Point Chardonnay 2014 – £25.99

The 2014 Chardonnay reveals a pretty perfume of honey-drizzled white peaches, orange blossoms, marzipan and ginger with savory wafts of struck match (sulfides) and baking bread.  Light to medium-bodied, taut and with a wicked backbone of racy acid, it gives a great intensity of citrus and savory flavors and great length.  Drinking window 2016-2022.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, 30th December 2016

I think the canine link is self-evident here – and as our red we have:

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese 2015 – £20.49

From the same stable as the mighty Sassacaia, this wine is made from the estates younger vines.  The wine is matured for 12 months in a mixture of French and American oak barrels. This vintage is a particularly fine one for Tuscany.

A round and delicious wine with bright fruit and fine tannins.  Medium body, lovely flavors and a fresh finish.  Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese.  91-92 Points

James Suckling, October 20, 2017

Again, it’s the label that has a dog on it, in fact two hunting dogs chasing down a spot of cinghiale for the Sunday roast!

We’ll have the white and the red open for tasting this weekend so do come and join us for a sip or two, they are both truly wonderful examples!

Right, I’m off to catch a nap before midnight – 12 bouts of curling to get through before this time tomorrow, who’s with me?

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx

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