The rugby and wine match
On Saturday 7th February, I had the greatest experience involving my first ever with Rugby match combined with some amazing wines!
I was invited along by Mark Henry, from Butler's Wine Cellar, and some Italians from Astrum wines, for a lunch before the England v Italy game. I wasn’t sure what to expect but went along to the heart of the St. Margaret’s community, at Brula Restaurant, where I found a welcoming and very professional service with some great French cuisine.
We had a special Grand ‘Crew’ Menu compiled by Kirsty, the person responsible for the private room on the second floor.
Foie gras and chicken liver parfait, Madeira jelly and toasted brioche
Braised shoulder of Berkshire Downs lamb, creamed potatoes, beetroot and mint
Buttermilk pudding, Yorkshire rhubarb and brandy snap
Selection of cheese from ‘La Fromagerie’
From left to right: Al, Simone, Mark, Henry, Stefano, Marco, Max and Dario.
To kick off the day, we had some magnums from the Italians at Astrum Wines:
Riesling am Berg, R & A Pfaffl 2006, Austria
A very exotic Riesling with wonderful opulent peach and apricot fruit, rich, powerful and off dry.
Nova Domus Terlaner DOC 2006
Altenberg St Laurent Pfaffl 2006, Austria
I am Brazilian and so I was very excited when the guys produced a wine form my home country:
Reserva Boscato, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Rio Grande do Sul
A smooth wine, red fruits and soft tannin, it is a complex wine, rich in flavors, good length with strawberries and spicy on the finishing. www.boscato.com.br
In the mid ‘60s the wine industry in Brazil began to seriously expand. Families owning wineries began to send their children to universities to study oenology and viticulture. Today the country has nearly 30,000 acres under vine and produces about 45 million liters (5 million cases) of wine per year, fairly equally split between red and white varieties. The vast majority of that wine production (90+%) still takes place in an area known as Serra Gaúcha which is roughly parallel to Mendoza Argentina and sandwiched between Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean
By now I was feeling very happy with the way the day was turning out. Then to top it all, a wonderful French wine:
Chateau Simone, Grand Cru 2001, Provence
The Chateau Simone was beautiful surprise from Mark and it was a wine that I’ve never had before, and to be honest didn’t even know that I could find a Chateau with my name!
The wine has a light appearance, ruby red colour, with raspberry and dried herbs on the nose. It has pure and elegance on the palate with a good mix of red fruits and lavender. Keeps getting better and more and more effusive with air, has a long length and is well balanced. It could use some decanting. This is a wine that is all about its terroir.
I loved it and will seek out past and future vintages…
Chateau Simone is a wine that I consider a must-drink!!!
A dessert wine:
A Coteaux du Layon, Chenin Blanc
Vintage Port – Quinta de la Rosa 1999
After lunch we have made a move to Twickenham Stadium for the Rugby Union game.
On the way we had more drinks from some Hip Flasks...
Acquavita d’Uva, Most di Fragalino Bepi Tosolini
This high quality distilled spirits, is made from only the freshest and highest quality Friulian grapes that are carefully selected by the Tosolini family. The grapes are left to ferment in ash wood vats, its purity and transparent, white appearance. The distillation then takes place in copper stills in a discontinuous cycle, which was invented by Bepi Tosolini more than 50 years ago in order to guarantee the continuity of the flavours and aromas of the grape harvest. It is a delicate, aromatic bouquet that remains on the palate with perfumes and flavours.
Eau de vie – Poire Williams Capovilla, Veneto
Capovilla makes legendary eaux-de-vies near Bassano. He works with two 150-liter stills set up in a shed beside his house. One is for grape pumace that is the source of grappa and the other for the fruits that are distilled into eau-de-vie. Capovilla organically cultivates old-fashioned varieties of apples, pears, peaches and apricots on five acres of land. Even more remarkably, he scouts out wild or heirloom fruits* which he harvests with his family. Since he adds no sugar or alcohol to his brew, the amount of fruit that goes into a liter of distillate is determined by its sugar content. In 1998 he made 10,000 half-liter bottles of grappa and 8,500 bottles of eau-de-vie.
I was supporting Italy but England won!
England 36 – 11 Italy
It was the first time that I have spent watching Rugby in my entire life...
I can say that it was a good match ... thanks guys!