Monday, 19 September 2011

Verdicchio, Wirra Wirra, Bordeaux, Victory 5!

Sunday brought my first race in a long time - the first since the London Marathon in April. I had originally decided to aim for as many of the races in the Hampshire league as possible - and then promptly failed by missing the first one (fair point - because we were on holiday for a week!). I was also aware that my running has been a bit goal-less in recent months, so there was something about sticking to what I had said I would do - and if nothing else, we'd know where the fitness levels really stood...

..and the answer was, most satisfyingly, pretty good! The Victory 5 is a flat-as-a-pancake race from the track at the Mountbatten sports centre in Portsmouth, up to IBM, and then back to finish on the track. Just under 1000 runners, with some really fast Johnnies at the front end. I started well enough, then had to pul in to the side of the track after only 100m to tie my shoelaces - and experienced the pain of the field rushing by me! I rejoined and spent the next 2 minutes weaving in and out of the back of the field, until we got to the open path and I could start to push on. Psychologically, however, I think this might have worked in my favour, as I passed other runners at every stage of the race until about the last 1/4 mile, when I finally caught up with my 'correct' running group. Final time was 32m06s, just off my target of 32m01s, which is 70% on the 'age-adjusted' tables, pretty much my target now for races. All told, a great morale-booster - and I met some lovely people too!

On the wine front, I know that some time in the last 7-10 days I drank these bottles as I saw fit to photograph them. But I am getting all out of step with my weekly chronology! Still, I shall not endeavour to redress that just yet.

Firstly, a Verdicchio from Monte Schiavo 2010 (Wine Society - £8ish?). Continuing my enjoyment of this fresh grape from Marche, this caught my eye as it was also highly praised in the Decanter wine awards. And, rightly so too, for it was fragrant, with a hint of apricots, and on the palate, clean, dry, good acidity, and with an almost almonds finish. Just the wine for fish or chicken. Much to be recommended here. 

Secondly, an altogether bigger wine, the Wirra Wirra Original Blend 2009 from Mclaren Vale (WineSociety, £12ish?). So the story goes (and plucked from their own website), when Greg Trott first intended to release his now famous "Church Block" in 1972 it was a Grenache/Shiraz blend. However he was persuaded to modify that by Brian Croser to a cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot. So, as a bit of a homage to the first wine, he now produced this blend. Phew - long story! Anyway, it is a gloriously ripe and rich hottie. Lovely with chunky meats.

Pip pip

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