Last weekend was the Milan-San Remo cycle race. It’s a classic. It wasn’t on TV until Monday so we agreed to a ‘Likely Lads’ style pact not to find out the result and to avoid cycling websites until Monday afternoon. It was unlikely that we’d learn the result on news or music radio, or UK TV. We watched Match of the Day Saturday night, and when an ad came on for the World Cycling Track Championships I suggested we switch off for a minute in case they mentioned the result. ‘Ha, no, they’ll only mention the result if Mark Cavendish won, ha!’ was the reply. No result mentioned, and we enjoyed Manchester United’s meltdown.
It came as something of a shock to learn on Monday that Cavendish had indeed won. WooHoo! I learned listening to PM. Paul Smith of all people was berating the BBC and news media in general for ignoring the achievement. He was planning on a professional cycling career before designing took over. I’d be very happy if he designed the High Road kit.
So we celebrated Mark Cavendish’s win with a bottle of English wine – If anyone knows of a Manx one let me know – it was a Chapel Down Bacchus Reserve 2007. I’d picked it up form the vineyeard at Lamberhurst in Kent.
It was very good. Not very good for an English wine, or very good considering, but genuinely very good. It was very pale, but with a lovely citrus and spice aroma. It was very dry, with a good slug of acidity. It tasted of limes and sherbet and apples, the flavour lingered well, and we enjoyed taking our time with it.
It wasn’t cheap, expect to pay around £11, but do expect to get a wine that has the character of a French wine at a similar price point. Given the land prices in Kent, that’s quite an achievement.