10.08 am, Friday 3rd September , Yalumba Clocktower, Angaston, Eden Valley, Australia
Wow – where did that week go? Shoong! Done and gone. Right this minute there’s a massive thunderstorm hovering right upstairs on top of Yalumba, with the whole lightning and thunder sideshow going on. The rain is hammering down, and a quick trip upstairs to the viticulture office to check the radar and it looks like BIG RAIN is here and more coming. Not that we’ll ever complain about more end-of-winter rain, but earlier this week across a three sunshiney day spell, the Robinia trees (thanks to gardener Dave) at the winery front gate had popped their blossoms like white fluffy popcorn, and we almost thought that spring was on the doorstep. Not today! Cold, wet and stormy – just the kind of weather that you want to be ploughing through off to Ireland, England and Scotland – which is what I’ll be doing later this evening. Tony has put all the individual consumer events for this tour into the ‘Dates’ section of the blog, so if you’re in the neighbourhood, let us know – or even better … drop in! (Check the dates here.)
This tour looks like a good one, as it’s almost an even split between catching up with old mates and introducing ourselves to new people. Old mates like the folks at On The Grapevine from Dalkey (Dublin) who always put on an excellent event with the ‘Indian food mafia’ – the Jaipur boys. If you haven’t been to one of their restaurants in Dublin – you’ve missed the authentic aromatic and flavour overdrive food that these lads do. There’s Jaipur Georges Street in the middle of the city, Jaipur Dalkey where we’ll be next Tuesday night, Jaipur Malahide, Chakra, and Jaipur Ongar. Two years ago, we had an outstanding turnout to our Dublin trade event and jammed 90 trade into the Georges Street mezzanine and downstairs – and the chefs’ eyes widened a bit, they threw the original menu out the window, and just kept sending out food from the kitchen until the job was done! Great night, great group of restaurants – and I’ll make sure to put in some pics of the food, and maybe a recipe if I can get one.
New folks will be those like the distributor that has just taken us on in Scotland – Wine Importers. We’ll be doing a six-night stand in Edinburgh and will be doing masterclasses with their sales teams as well as the local trade, and consumers that get along to the Tesco Wine Club Fair across the weekend of the 25th & 26th September. So it will be a mixed bag of events through the cities and regional areas alike – from private members clubs in London and Dublin to country house hotels in Windermere. We’re even doing an event at the Abergavenny Food Festival in Wales! First for us! So I promise to put up a story at least once a day as I should have no shortage of material.
But before signing off – Hey Sportsfans, a lot has happened in the football world – all four codes that we follow – and I want to update my position:
- Rugby Union: I believe in Robbie Deans. The Wallabies scored 3 tries in 10 minutes and still let the Springboks back in – Robbie Deans will have nearly no hair left to tear out by the time they click together into the well oiled Webb Ellis winning machine that IS going to happen. Stick with them travellers … I have a feeling!
- Rugby League: as we go into the finals, my excitement machine Balmain Tigers are in there again – running hot and cold, but when it’s hot they’re scalding, so it’s worth the frustration. Watch those young kids Ayshford, Lui and Ryan.
- AFL: Talk about hot and cold – that’s how my Saints have run all year. Lucky for us that blokes like Brendon Goddard have had big games otherwise we wouldn’t be playing Geelong in the first of the finals tonight. With any luck we’ll give them a serious hurdle and push them to the bell. I’m packing my Saints scarf for the trip, but not nearly as confident as last year.
- The Round Ball: Stay with me, as this trip I’m going to introduce you to the Brentford Bees est 1889 – the Coca Cola Division 2 Champs from Middlesex, England. Theirs is the only football (soccer) ground in England – Griffin Park – which has a pub on each corner, and we’ll be out there for the game on Saturday September 18th when they take on Hartlepool United.
So I guess I’ll see you when we’re on the road.