Over the weekend, while Irish eyes were smiling all over the Auckland waterfront, my Australian eyes were crying in Brisbane.
Not only were the Wallabies completely fusterclucked by the Paddys, but the rugby watching community were treated like mugs by Channel 9 who, having paid millions for the broadcast rights, decided to delay the coverage of the game played in heaven so they could instead telecast a game of touch football.
Lucky I have Fox.
To improve my mood, I drowned my tears in valium and brandy and a lovely bottle of NZ Pinot. And I felt a little better. But more of that in a minute.
For the very next day, as I settled in to watch the next instalment of matches, I was again throwing pillows at my plasma due to the fact that our friends at Fox are too tight to have the non-Wallaby games commentated by people who can speak actual English, and instead force us to listen to the local speech impediment that is the New Zealandish language.
To be frank, when watching a game of footy, I never wish to hear a man come out with phrases like “He teckled hum on the dick”, “Weepu was cleaned out by the sux”, and “Hore uz the All Blix Mr Fux-it”.
Anyway, despite my natural aversion to the accent and their fondness towards denim shorts, I have to admit that I really do quite like Kiwis. I’m not sure that I could eat a whole one, but they are generally a great bunch of people.
And boy do they make some rocking Pinot.
The Felton Road is pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to Central Otago Pinot. At A$65, it’s certainly not cheap, but it is still exceptionally good value. They could charge twice that and still sell out in record time every year.
The Felton Road vines sit like a verdant oasis in the middle of the barren Central Otagan ranges about an hour from Queenstown. If you’re planning a ski-trip any time soon, you should definitely do a detour and check it out (preferably after you’ve finished skiing for the day).
The wine is simply cracking. Bright purple and glowing in the glass, it looks smooth and svelte and downright classy. And it is.
It smells vibrantly of fresh flowers and all-round sweetness - a preposterously perfumed posy of pinot.
I wouldn’t waste too much time smelling it though, because the drinking is of course what it is all about. Black velvet, in that slow southern style. A new religion that will bring you to your knees.
It’s silken, and subtle, and utterly delicious. Not too heavy, not too light. Just a luscious blend of sweet and savoury that delivers bombs of flavour long after you have gulped it down.
This is, in short, a simply stunning bottle of wine. Well played.
Drink with: Stuffed Wallaby