Rugby & wine pairing

This Sunday I woke up with the sun, hangover, after a rather boozy wedding reception. ‘But why?‘ would one ask ‘ Why would you choose to get up early in such circumstances?!’ Well, let me here inform my sport-ignorant readers that yesterday was the rugby world cup finale and it opposed my two favourite teams: the dangerous All Blacks from New-Zealand and the reckless but uneven French XV. And this, my friend, was well worth the pain.

So the game was thrilling: our French players were fierce and courageous against all odds and the favourite adversary team.  They tackled, they ran and tried, they cried, they sweated and bleed… Unfortunately and despite their brilliant performance they lost the game [7-8] and I was left, disappointed, with lunch to prepare and a question of the utmost importance: WHAT AM I TO DRINK? Which bottle to open after such an exciting rugby performance?

Then I remembered that evening when I was lucky to meet rugby man-turned-winemaker Gérard Bertrand. All along the delicious diner and wine tasting at Benoît,  I had mentally strung together his life-anecdotes to rugby specificities: fencing the defense with international market breaking, team playing with cooperative opportunities, life injuries with those that rhythm a rugby game, the will to win with the urge to create quality wines etc…

That evening,  I had tasted his wines and they had a terroir‘s backbone (a Dusautoir yesterday) and the vivacity that surprises (a Nonu running across the field in the finale).

Therefore, yesterday, I opened a bottle Gérard Betrand had kindly offered and it was a converted try! His white 2010 Cigalus was a fresh and round vintage, beautiful with scallops. The blend of organic grown grapes of Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon blanc from the South of France created an original, almost quizzical wine, surprising enough to take our mind off the defeat and on life’s simple pleasures: grapefruit and honey nose, round vanilla almost caramel and passion fruit notes…  if it didn’t save the French, it definitely saved our lunch!

Read more about the finale here.