Sunday, 12 February 2017

Fine wine and a little bit of rugby

Majestic Leicester hosted another of their great wine tastings earlier this month. This event was a Fine Tasting event with tickets being £20 although this is refunded in the form of a credit against your next purchase.

To avoid peak hour train prices we; Hubby, myself and our Bar Manager son, took an early train into Leicester and enjoyed a pre-event drink at the Mecure Hotel followed by dinner at The Last Plantagenet.

We have attended many Majestic events; general tastings, wine courses and Fine Wine tastings. They are always very relaxed occasions with great wine, food pairings and superb knowledge about the wines which have certainly helped Hubby and I learn more and more. At this event we had bubbly, three whites and four reds - a great variety.

On arrival we were greeted with a glass of Balfour 1503 rose, an English sparkling wine from Kent. Although a rose this wine was so pale it could be mistaken for a white. A very refreshing glass of bubbly made from the three traditional champagne grapes; chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

To my delight our first fine white was Sancerre, my favourite white wine.

As with any wine there can be huge variants depending on location, soil, wine process to name but three.

Sancerre Chambrates from Domaine Vacheron this 2013 was had citrus notes with a hint of minerality, a satisfying smoothness with a medium finish.

My favourite of the evening, and we were only on the first white.

I recognised our second white wine almost immediately, not that particular wine but being a chablis.

Les Vaucopins is a great example of a Premier Cru full of peaches and green apples with the hint of citrus.

Our final white was a fiano which our son recognised - we're getting good at this wine tasting!

Planeta Cometa 2015 was a creamier wine than the first two. It had fruit notes, tangerine, peaches and a delicate herbiness.

It's made from 100% fiano grapes, comes from Sicily and is an intense heavy white.

With all three whites we had cheese pairings; goats cheese, soft french cheese, guyere; as well as pate which was a surprisingly good with our final white.

Moving onto reds we tasted four quite different wines: 

Four reds at our Fine Wine tasting 
Saintsbury Pinot Noir - a USA wine with plenty of cherries, subtle spice and a nose of tobacco leaves. Pinot noir is not a grape we drink very often however this was lovely, especially when paired with the pate. 

Promis 2013 Gaja - this Tuscan red was a merlot, sangiovese, syrah blend with plenty of cassis and dark fruit. It has a soft spice which matched it's soft tannins - all in all a very nice glass of red.

Emilio Moro 2014 - a tempranilo wine which was not to my liking but enjoyed by Hubby. Aged 50% in French and 50% American oak for 12 months it had plenty of blackberries, smokiness and vanilla.

Two Hands Shiraz 2014 - a lovely full-bodied Australian shiraz, my favourite of our four reds. Black cherries, full of darkness and spice this shiraz was lovely on it's own and would be amazing with food, especially a good steak. 

Thank you Majestic for another great evening where I enjoyed new experiences and certainly discovered more in the vast world of wine. 

And so to the rugby - two games in two weeks. It is heightened rugby season now as the RBS 6 Nations competition is under way. This does give a new dimension to club rugby as many of the top teams have players away in International camps. 

This was the situation for our first rugby game - Wasps v Ospreys

Wasps Rugby
As Wasps have relocated to the Ricoh stadium they are now our nearest team and with Hubby working for one of their main sponsors, Landrover, we often get ticket offers. They have some great players: Joe Launchbury (who makes me look small), Elliot Daly, James Haskell, Nathan Hughes, Tommy Taylor who are currently in the English squad. But even with these strong players not available Wasps is a forbidable team not having lost at home for over 12 months.

Opsreys Rugby
Opsreys are in a similar position with Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Alun Wyn Jones (Welsh Captain), Sam Davies to name but four currently away playing for Wales. Ospreys are my favourite Welsh team so when the fixture to play Wasps came up in the Anglo-Welsh competition tickets were a must. 

It's a far way from Swansea so understandably there were very few Welsh supporters but we did our bit.  
Supporting Ospreys at the Ricoh.

It was a great game - lots of new players to watch and in the final few moments a superb try from Hanno Dirksen saw Ospreys take the win 31 to Wasps 22. Unfortunately although equal on points to Exeter Chiefs they did not qualify for the next round on try difference, however they beat Wasps at home and have now won 12 consecutive games. 

I am English, we do live in England, however for this RBS 6 Nations I am again supporting Wales. A few reasons but mainly because although there are some great Wasps and Leicester Tigers players in the England squad I'm not a fan of Eddie Jones and I certainly do not agree with his choice of Captain (bad behaviour should not be rewarded). 

Of course with our daughter living in Cardiff and working closely with the Welsh squad and Welsh teams my support of Wales is also showing her support. My absolute passion is the game itself - I have favourite players which leads to favourite teams but I don't solely follow any one team be that club or country. Each game I support who I feel more connection with, I just enjoy a good, injury/trouble free game. 

So yesterday at the Prinicpality Stadium in Cardiff with our daughter it was Wales who had my support as you can see from my warm weather outfit. 

At the Principality Stadium 
What a game - I was on my feet many times and shouting along with the 75,000+ others. The atmosphere in the stadium is amazing, never more so than the tribute and minutes silence held for Joost van de Westhuizen. He was a great South African player who sadly passed away on Monday at the age of 45 after battling motor neurone disease for six years. 

Principality Stadium - amazing atmosphere.
A win for England in the final stages of the game (Wales 16 England 21)  - it's a shame Wales didn't win but it's hard to be disappointed too much when you'd just had the privilege of watching a good game in a great place. Another day of memories, another day to treasure. 

I have no idea when our next wine tasting will be and I have no idea when our next rugby game will be, but whenever they are I hope they will be as enjoyable as the occasions we've just enjoyed !

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I'm so pleased you're enjoying my travel and wine ramblings - I love reading your replies too, thank you for posting a comment