Sunday, July 11, 2010

World Cup Finals

Hard to believe that a month has come and gone so quickly. I don't know if our little World Cup of Wine has been filled with as much excitement and as many surprises as the actual games that took place in South Africa. Our results didn't mirror the scores on the pitch but our final is a worthy battle in its own right. No doubt, it would have been far fetched to find a betting man willing to back the Aussies all the way to the soccer final, but wine-wise, I think that's rather believable.

On the other hand, our other semi-finalists - Italy, Spain and Argentina - could easily have gone a long way on both the dinner table and the soccer pitch. But, here we are, a lot of soccer games and more than a few bottles of wine behind us and we have Spain doing battle with both the Netherlands on the field and the Aussies in the wine glass. Keeping to the sports cliches, a win here on the blog and another on the soccer pitch could give the Spaniards quite the double play.

Seeing as how we started off the World Cup in South Africa with a bang and a group wine tasting, I decided to host a BBQ and wine duel during the grand final as well. Boo had to head off to work and I didn't particularly feel like watching the game and drinking a bunch of wine all by my lonesome. So, it's a good thing that we have friends that enjoy soccer, wine or both.

I had a small supply of Spanish and Aussie wines to open for a mini-taste-off (the Grand Final was set to involve Boo and a couple wines of "bigger" pedigree - worthy of a final), but the gang wasn't completely ready to dive whole-heartedly into multiple glasses with 11.00 a.m. start.

I'm not so sure that this is a sign of true fanatics.

In recognition of the two teams playing the soccer game though, we had a few more takers on the "lighter" side of the wine world. A Sangria was served up for the Spanish backers, while Mimosas were the splash of choice - because of the Orange juice - for those cheering for the Dutch.

519. NV Veuve du Vernay Brut (France)

Looks like a bit of bubble to bring on the Orange is the only way that the French are making it to a World Cup Final this time around - be it for soccer or wine. This Veuve isn't quite the level of a Clicquot or true Champagne but, hey, we're talking mimosas here - and it's doubtful that the French would ever do much to actually help the Dutch out on a soccer field anyhow.

And, when you think about, it's not like the Dutch even have any wines available in the Vancouver market. So, adding a bit of French sparkle to start the day - and to The List - can't be all bad.

I didn't actually make the Sangria, so I'm not sure what wine or other ingredients went into it. The number of guests that grabbed a glass to toast La Furia Roja was a good indication of just how good the Sangria was though. It was gone long before the first half was over and/or the Mimosas were finished.

As for the leanings of our crowd to one team or the other, it was pretty even - although I think the Dutch fans were a little more flamboyant as there was definitely more orange being worn than red. Both sides would have been a little more involved had the game provided more excitement than our wine glasses did.

As the level of game was in need of a bit more excitement, we turned our minds a bit to the World Cup of Wine and brought out another two contestants for the day - a Spanish and an Aussie wine.

520. 2008 Timbuktu Offshore Shiraz/Grenache (South Australia)

521. 2006 Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza (D.O.C. Rioja - Spain)

Both wines were entry level red blends and drank as such - almost as pedestrian as the game was - although there were no red or yellow cards being handed out because of faulty wine. The day's plethora of cards were limited to the play of the soccer game. With this level of wine, fruit is usually the most prominent note - and such was the case here. However, the Aussie was slightly favoured over the Rioja by our crowd.

Despite reaching overtime in the soccer final, our crowd didn't even finish off the wines at hand. Maybe beer remains the beverage of choice for soccer fans.

After the game was over and the gang had dissipated, Mr. D. and I took a jaunt over to The Drive to see how VanCity's "soccer central" was taking the big day. I gather the powers that be were fully expecting a celebratory crowd because the road had been blocked off to cars and the revellers had taken to the street. Despite the odd cry of a lost vuvuzela, the atmosphere was a tad subdued. I've seen The Drive way more alive after big soccer wins by Italy (naturally) and Brazil. Even Greece's win as European champions a few years back seemed to bring out a livelier crowd.

Or maybe it's just that there were no cars driving up and down The Drive honking their horns. In any event, Mr. D. and I didn't hang around for too much longer.

There was a bottle of Spanish bubbly, that had been left at home, that cried out to be opened to toast the new World Champions on the soccer field.

NV Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserva (Spain)

The only "problem" is that it's Non-Vintage and I've already added a bottle to The List at #168. Consequently, it's another of those bottles that can fill the glass but not help us reach our own goal of 2001 distinct bottles.

Now that the play on the field is over, there's just one more task at hand - and that's to wait for Boo to get home from work so that we can have the big taste off and declare our World Cup of Wine winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment