Monday, 16 February 2009

Week two - the big one: Wales 9 - 8 England (HT)

As I made a little rugby nest for myself on the sofa this Saturday ahead of the game, the little sports voice in my head said, "don't worry it'll be alright". We all have a sports voice which occasionally speaks to us before a big game, right? I distinctly remember when I first heard mine- aged 11 on the coach to Wembley in 1983. The soothing words "don't worry" were validated when my beloved Featherstone Rovers beat Hull FC with a conversion in the final minutes by the mighty Steve Quinn, bringing the Rugby League Challenge Cup back to Yorkshire. I cried my eyes out with shear pride and relief. So when I heard that same voice again on Saturday a strange calm descended.
I felt justified in my near-zen state as England held the Welsh at 9-8 at the end of the first half. Whilst England continued to give away easy points through their inconceivable lack of discipline, they showed genuine guts and determination to take the game to Wales. Great strength and belief were evident in their performance, despite their well-deserved underdog status at the start of the game. Yet again Paul Sackey showed just how valuable he is is to England, whilst Andy Goode went some way towards staking a more permanent claim to the stand-off's jersey. But this is Wales and no-one can under-estimate the overwhelming superiority of the current six-nations champions. The second half selection from the kitchen wine-rack was going to be difficult, but at the start of the the game I felt that my wine of choice had to reflect my quiet confidence.

Oddbins £8.99 (tasted 8.i-'09)

100% pinot noir, 12.5% with a screwcap. This looks like a promising pinot - clear, medium and ruby red. Red fruit with vegetal aromas and little farmyard nuances perpetuate the expectation of quality. On the palate: dry, low acidity and soft tannins bring the raspberry fruit through with a delicious caramel texture. A good length draws a satisfying line under the tasting.

A very very good everyday burgundy, especially at this price. A wine with no need to shout about its quality.


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