Meant to be playing football tonight, as I do almost every Monday. Can't, though - bit of a hamstring twinge. Last year I was limping for four months because I strained my left hamstring and then insisted on playing sport through the pain barrier, which made it worse. It's funny how on one level you get used to walking with a limp so that it seems normal, yet on another level how frustrating it is not to be able to run. A paradox. Mind you, I'm reluctant to discuss medical conditions with my readers, even sporting injuries, because that's the sort of thing old people do.
Talking of old people, I had a lovely day yesterday with my parents visiting. [This is a joke, the bit about old people: actually, they're remarkably youthful considering they are in their mid-60s.] We sampled a number of wines playing cards together in the evening, including a Graham Beck Coastal Shiraz 2002 from South Africa, which weighed in at 15% alcohol. For me, 15% seems remarkably high for a table wine. But to prove that high alcohol isn't a simple issue, this wine didn't seem too 'hot'. It was certainly sweetly fruited in a modern sort of style. But neither the stratospheric alcohol or American oak stuck out in the way that they sometimes do. Rising alcohol levels are a huge problem with many wine styles these days - it's not just the fact that they get you drunk quicker (which depending on your perspective may or may not be a good thing) but also that the alcohol changes the perception of other wine components. And some varieties carry alcohol better than other s (Grenache is the great example).
Now I'm sipping a nice Rose Champagne from Perrier Jouet. It's a copper sort of colour with lovely rounded, smooth, soft fruit. There's a savoury bite on the finish, but this is a big, delicious softie. Very tasty, and while I can think of several dozen better ways of spending £29.99 on liquid refreshment, this is quite enjoyable.