Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Aussie Rules Grand Final

We've had a few e-mails going back and forth lately with Merlot Boy and Sheila, our resident Melbourne buds, because their city was coming to a standstill for the annual party that is the Aussie Rules Football Grand Final. Last weekend, everyone except Boo was in fine spirits as (what we North Americans would call) the Semi-Finals were played and our three teams were still in the hunt. That is, if you could say that Sheila even has a team. She's more of a "footy widow" when it comes to the playoffs, but I suppose she inherits the Collingwood Magpies as her team since the men in her life live for the Pies.

Merlot Boy's Hawthorn Hawks and my West Coast Eagles were still alive as well but only the Pies made it through to the Grand Final. The Pies walloped my Eagles but Hawthorn had an unfortunate loss in the last stages of their game - and that loss dashed poor Merlot Boy's hopes and dreams for the season. The Eagles hadn't really been expected to make it that far anyhow; so, I was still fine. Besides, I don't know if I could have completely invested myself in the Grand Final outcome after this Spring's Game 7 Canucks loss in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Invested in the Grand Final result or not, this was a grand opportunity for a nice, big Aussie wine to match up with the nice, big Aussie blokes on the oval pitch.

947. 2003 Elderton - Ashmead Family Shiraz (Barossa Valley - Australia)

We chose to pull a Barossa Shiraz from the wine rack and we didn't regret it in the least. My love of the over-the-top fruit bombs coming to us from Down Under has waned somewhat; however, the nose, fruit and balance of the Elderton was delicious.

This Elderton is the baby brother to their icon wine, the Command Shiraz, but I think it was fine sibling. It's not often that we can afford icon wines; so, finding a really nice second label is a bonus.

Thank goodness for the wine because the Grand Final was a blowout - unlike last year's tie game. And the win wasn't even for Sheila's Pies. The Geelong Cats had crushed the Pies long before the final whistle blew. We did see perhaps the funniest commercial I've seen in a long time at half time though. Carlton Draft did a play on the operatic classic, Puccini's Nessun Dorma, with slow motion shots of footy players while the soundtrack regaled the joys of men in "shorts so tight."

I wish I could find it on the net to post here because we were gobsmacked when we figured out what they were singing about. I did find Carlton Draft's advert on a similar vein though and it's apparently a big award winner. It's worth a view and the Elderton's well worth a pour.

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