Rugby and Wine, my two favourite interests
Whist I enjoy drinking the odd glass of wine watching a game of rugby, it is pretty safe to assume that the beverage of choice for most rugby fans is beer
But as I always say man cannot live on beer alone
I can’t help but be reminded of Ernest Hemingway when thinking about the different alcohols.
He is rumoured to have said that he drank beer when he was thirsty, Whisky to get drunk and wine for enjoyment
That kind of sums it up for me – I enjoy watching rugby and I enjoy wine, and I have just tasted a wine that brings these two joys together
Gerard Bertrand was a professional Rugby player in France back in the early 1990’s. He is from the South of France, where rugby is almost as popular as wine and he made it to the fringe of International Rugby for France. His family owned a smallish estate, but when his father tragically died he was forced to take over the estate at the ripe old age of 22. For a number of years he shared the two roles of professional athlete and winemaker, but it is a good thing Rugby is a winter sport, for I am not sure he would have managed a vintage if he was also playing rugby at a professional level
He eventually retired from rugby in 1998 and to say he has taken his wine business to another level is an understatement
He now owns 7 Estates in Southern France totalling some 1100 acres and he has been named European Winery of the Year by the US magazine Wine Enthusiast. His wines range from the quaffable to the sublime, typical of large wineries, but it is his passion for his region and wines that really appealed to me. That and his love of Rugby.
Adrian of Felix suggested one of his wines for our next Sommelier Selection, (the 2012 Terroir Minervois) and I have just arranged an allocation from the importer. It is an amazing wine with plenty of peppery richness
Look out for this wine when it comes out in our June selection
In the mean time I will continue to watch my Super Rugby, with a nice glass of Gerard’s wine. I can only dream that the Wallabies will improve and smash the French if they were to meet at the World Cup later this year
Viva la France – well to a certain point anyway!