Wines that will surely bowl you over

Wine not out
Wine not out

As our great summer weather seems to continue, albeit not quite so hot, one of the great British pastimes of watching the cricket, continues with it.

While most of us who have grown up with the game, roughly understand what is going on, in a slow and sedate sort of way, try explaining some of the rules, or expressions to someone from a non-cricket playing country, such as France.

My wife is from Bordeaux, and she still finds concepts such as ‘“he was out for a duck” somewhat perplexing. “Il était dehors pour un canard? Was he hungry?” Wait until she tries to get to grips with “silly mid off”!

Currently, we are doing battle with one of our great cricketing rivals – India.

Doing well to start with in the recent Test Match, England seemed to lose the plot and fell apart to end-up losing to India who had picked-up pace. However, there are more games to be played and if you are stumped as to what to drink while watching the 22 men in white, you may be bowled over with some wines from both England and India.

Yes, India makes wine, not a fact with which everyone is immediately acquainted. The English wine industry on the other hand, is high profile, with sparkling wines leading the pack, but with many still wines also making waves.

A newly established company that is able to supply wines from both countries is winebuyers.com. This online Business has been developing its systems for some 18 months, with the idea of bringing vineyards, wineries and merchants from all over the world, directly in contact with their consumers.

winebuyers.com is an on-line members club, with no joining fee and no commission to pay. The business acts as a shop front for producers and merchants, who pay a monthly subscription fee. According to the company, the aim is to “bring the wine industry into the 21st century by connecting wine lovers directly with some of the best vineyards, wine producers and wine merchants in the world. Winebuyers instantly integrates with producer websites for automated real-time stock updates.”

Two Wines made from the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc, both from Winebuyers and similarly priced at around £10 per bottle, went into my England/India match, ready for the next game. The English wine was from Blackdown Ridge in Sussex. A racy, zesty wine with good aromatics, appropriately of green grass. Refreshing if the wicket is a little sticky. The Indian Sauvignon is called Soul Tree from the Nasik valley. A Floral nose with a herbal palate and tropical notes. Appealing, and a very worthy opponent to the wine from Blackdown.

A well-matched pair with which to toast the teams, whoever is ahead. In the gentlemanly way, we always congratulate the winner since that’s “playing cricket”.

Just so long as no-one has sandpaper in their pocket, which would put everyone in a spin!

Richard Esling BSc DipWSET is an experienced wine consultant, agent, writer and educator. An erstwhile wine importer, he runs a wine agency and consultancy company called WineWyse, is founder and principal of the Sussex Wine Academy, chairman of Arundel Wine Society and is an International Wine Judge. Twitter @richardwje. Visit www.winewyse.com.

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