Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aussie Rules Grand Final

The Aussie Rules Grand Final was on tonight and we had a couple of dilemmas on our hands.  Our first conundrum was were we going to root for the Hawthorn Hawks or the Sydney Swans?  Boo barracks for the Brisbane Lions and I'm a West Coast Eagles kind of guy; so we weren't exactly invested in either of the teams battling the final.  Granted our good buddy, Merlot Boy, is an ardent Hawks fan and we've been gifted a fair collection of Hawthorn paraphernalia over the years.  So, decking ourselves out in Hawks gear would be easy enough, but there was a Canadian chap playing a central role for the Swans.  In fact, he's the first Canuck to ever play in the AFL league - and that left us feeling a definite tug for some Swan love.

Our second dilemma was even more stressful.  How could we decide whether to drink beer or wine?  Having been lucky enough to see two league games live earlier this year when we were Down Under, we know only too well that beer is the footy beverage of choice - and it just so happens that today is National Drink Beer Day in North America.  Having a "guest" alcohol appearance on the blog is all fine and dandy but this is one sporting occasion where pulling a nice Aussie wine out of the old rack just makes too much sense.

I suppose the obvious answers to our problems were to 1) start the game with beer and then move into wine and 2) just cheer for whichever team had the better looking players on the field.  Both solutions offered us plenty of options. 

1252.  2001 Rosemount GSM (McLaren Vale/Barossa Valley/Langhorne Creek - Australia)

After an initial visit with a local brewer, we moved on to a big, old Aussie red.  Not only did this Rosemount wine use Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre - three Rhône varietals that thrive in South Australia - but they also sourced grapes from three different regions in the state. The blend was largely G&S - with 7% M - and I'm not exactly sure how it was still hanging around our place a decade later.  Thankfully, the bottle was still drinking nicely.  I'm assuming the fruit had mellowed out but there was still enough dark juice and spice there to live up to a bruising game like Aussie Rules.

As it turned out, neither of our dilemmas proved to be much of a problem.  We were still functioning the next morning after both beer and wine and Boo and I were able to root equally for both the Hawks and the Swans as it was a cracker of a game.  It wasn't clear who was going to win the game until the final whistle.  Unfortunately for Merlot Boy, the Swans hustled to a win and are taking the cup back to Sydney with them.  We'll have to see if Mike Pyke, the Canadian playing in the game, gets to bring the trophy home to Vancouver and Canada for a visit.  I think that'd be a treat to see and a great little promotion for the game up here.

Hopefully Merlot Boy didn't have to drown his sorrows too much.  Making the Grand Final is a helluva season for the Hawks - and at least it wasn't a seven game series where your team loses Game 7 and the city breaks into a riot.  Been there, done that.

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