Anthony Rose: 'Wine and sport are strange bedfellows'

 

I haven't entirely given up on my New Year's prediction that Boris will ignite the Cauldron on Friday with Olympic Flame, a sparkling rosé made by RidgeView in Sussex. Even if it doesn't come to pass, one English rosé fizz flying the flag for the 'Isles of Wonder' will be the deliciously tangy 2008 Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé, £36-£39, Waitrose, Wine Pantry (020-7403 3003). It's one of dozens of quality wines selected from the Primrose Hill wine merchant Bibendum's range to wash down the fancy hospitality fare at London's six Olympic venues over the coming weeks.

Famously, the Olympic marathon runner Deena Kastor is said to have enjoyed a glass of wine the night before a marathon to relax. On the face of it, wine and sport are strange bedfellows, although Oxford and Cambridge universities lobbied to have wine tasting ratified as an official sport. There is the Marathon du Médoc, too, in which 8,000 runners, mostly in fancy dress, lurch their way around some of the most famous châteaux in Bordeaux, where they are fed local delicacies washed down with claret from 23 wine tasting stops along the route.

Yet if wielding a discus or javelin is reason enough to go red in the face, there's no reason why spectators shouldn't enjoy a glass or two of vino. It's more than wishful thinking on the part of Prestige Ticketing, the hospitality company, which along with dozens of fine wines from brunello di montalcino to Australian pinot noir supplied by Bibendum, is offering 100,000 lucrative hospitality packages from £295 to £4,500 per person. NHS volunteers will be on hand to deal with hangovers.

Bibendum has also been commissioned to supply the three official Olympic wines, a red, a white and a rosé. Strangely, this is the first time ever that the IOC has permitted a bespoke Olympic wine, which comes in plastic, airline-style, full and quarter bottles with a twist-off capsule. The equivalent of three and a half million quarter bottles will sell for £4.80 a pop at Olympic venues. South Stellenrust, the Fairtrade-certified South African winery which provides the white and rosé, receives a fair price for the wine plus £36,000 given directly to the workers.

And the wines? The Olympic White, a 2012 Chenin Blanc, is clean, fresh and innocuously apple and pear-like. The Olympic rosé, a pinotage, shiraz and merlot blend from the same source, is Day-Glo pink in colour with a light, off-dry, berry-fruit quality that's equally inoffensive.

The surprise package is a gluggable, cherryish shiraz tempranillo from Miolo in Brazil's southern wine region of Campanha, an apparent nod towards the XXXI Olympiad in Rio in 2016. The three wines may not set the pulse racing like Usain Bolt, but they're crowd-pleasers none the less.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism