Apologies to those who don't follow the game of football (soccer) but last night was a pivotal night for the English football team. The qualifying stages of the European Championships played their final games last night and half of Europe held it's breath in anticipation of making the Top 16 clubs that compete in the European Championships Finals.
England always get through, the idea that England isn't a top 16 European footballing nation is ludicrous, after all we have Owen, Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, John Terry, some of the best players in the world.
So, last night we had our friends Jack and Gwen over and opened up a lovely wine, the Antinori Chianto Classico Riserva 2001, in anticipation of a win or a draw over Croatia. England needed just 1 point to go through and were playing at the New Wembley, what could be simpler right?
England stunk. In the face of our wonderful Antinori, England were the cheapest bottle of straw covered Chianti you can find. Weak, insipid, uninspired and with a poor finish, I can not even give a score to this vintage. Shocking! 2 goals down in 15 minutes, only to pull them back in the second half and gave a nation hope. I knew we'd go on to lose. I've watched England compete in too many sporting events not to know, I've watched Henman at Wimbledon, the Rugby team, the Formula One drivers. I think all of us watching, live or on the box, knew that we wouldn't hold on, that we'd fall on our own sword and lose the game.
So, I'm giving up on being English. I'm just going to ignore my heritage and hide my passport because I'm tired of being a loser! Yesterday I applied for my Italian "Residenzia" at the local comune. I was expecting a long wait, an arduous task of to-ing and fro-ing but I was all done in 20 minutes! So now, I am officially a resident of Italy.
I can flash my Carta Identita at the airport and no one need ever know that I'm English again! My Team, that being the Italian football squad, are the current World champions. Oh yes, and My Team, that being the Ferrari Formula One racing team, are the current F1 champions.
So, for all you poor English readers with your rubbish teams and terrible wine I'm going to review another of my beautiful homegrown Italian wines, the aforementioned Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2001. This wine went wonderfully well with our "Burger Night", consisting, as you'd imagine, of burger and fries. The burgers were fantastic home made masterpieces so on this occasion, matching with the Chianti went very well. This wine would be well suited to a hearty meaty pasta dish and could easily accompany a nice steak dinner.
Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 - BUY - €20
Very dark colour in the glass, intense dark ruby red with some nice pinky looking hues. The nose is fruity, spicy with the most noticeable aroma profiles of blackberries and vanilla. On the palate we've got some good tannic structure and some noticeable acidity, the wine is well balanced and enjoyable with good length on the finish as well as warming alcohol. Mid to Full bodied wine. 91 Points
I really recommend this Chianti to you. If you've been exposed to bad Chianti in the past you're probably left with a negative "What the deuce" attitude about this wine. Chianti is a little devil, you have to be certain of what you're buying and I'm certain of this. Wonderful year for Chianti so please try some.
Where can I buy this wine?
Americans - Shopperswines - $25
Europeans - Italian Wine Shop - €20
Brits - Winedirect - £15.95
I'm afraid I have some bad news for you all. Tomorrow I leave for my vacation so there wont be a daily update on the blog. However, I am collecting material for a super dooper double blog entry about the USA's Italian wine scene. That sounds boring but really it wont be! Have faith!
Question of the Day?
What does your nation do best?