jamie goode's wine blog: Cricket and Wolf Blass

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cricket and Wolf Blass

Cricket. Went to the first day of the test series against West Indies today at Lords. Woke up to drizzle. Oh dear. Got to the ground at about 10 am: drizzle. Hmmm. Delayed start. Overcast and dark. England were put in to bat; the West Indies bowled only averagely; England reached lunch at 80 odd for nothing. Cook (below) was batting well; Strauss was scratching around a bit. Straight after lunch England lost a couple of quick wickets and Pietersen came in. After a few choice shots he lost his way a bit and then the batsmen took the light and went off for an early tea. After the break Pietersen got out, but Collingwood and Cook carried on resolutely, went off again, came back again and then Cook completed his century. England added a couple more to reach 200-3, then they came off again for good as it got a bit dusky. Great fun to be at the test; the cricket could have been a little livlier. Given the conditions, England have made a solid start, and if they can reach 380-ish, then they'll be well placed, although their bowling line-up looks a bit short - and if Harmison doesn't click, he's just about unbowlable, in which case we'll struggle to dismiss anyone.

Aside: Wolf Blass, who sponsor the test series, have an interesting sample stand (above and below), where punters can rock up and get free wine. The stand is manned (is there a better term?) by well informed girls who introduce each wine. I turned up as an average, relatively uninformed consumer and got some really good answers and guidance. It's probably hard to assess the effectiveness of this sort of marketing, but intuitively you'd think that getting people to actually taste your wine is a very good idea, and this is one of the few fora where you can do this. All the better if this tasting is guided by the person pouring, and these girls seemed to know their stuff.

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At 10:27 PM, Blogger Michael Pollard said...

Legend has it that in his early days Wolf Blass would drop a case or so of his wines at the foot of camera towers at sporting events in Australia with the request that the cameraman take every opportunity he could to include the Wolf Blass advertising display around the edges of the field.

Wolf Blass has come a long way since those days!


At 12:45 AM, Blogger Salil said...

Sounds like a great day, minus the cricket. Watched the first session with hopes that the Windies would make use of the conditions and make the series competitive, and ended up turning it off in disgust after having too much of Taylor/Powell/Collymore's poor bowling.

Good thing that England didn't bowl - in those conditions, we'd have seen the Windies rolled over for 180 or so.
BTW - nothing wrong with a four man attack with Collingwood as support/rest bowler. The batting looks more balanced now than it ever has, and given Harmison's recent first class form, I wouldn't be too worried about him.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a rumour that a certain Mr Blass can't stand cricket, and had to be "persuaded" to sponsor the game in England!

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous D said...

On the subject of Wolfie I was at a dinner once where he was the speaker. He was talking about the importance of prizes and medals in competition and that winning is everything. "There is no point in coming second. Being second is nothing!" His eyes bulged and his voice reached a crescendo. He then ranted on about the fact that medals were essential because the most important thing was to sell more wine. He was like one of those motivational evangelist preachers: Sell more!

Nice to see therefore that Wolf Blass are involved with two of the current loser teams in world cricket!

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

I was there too and thought the cricket was boring-then I am not an England supporter and I suppose thee good days have been few and far between recently!!
I just wish for the sake of cricket,that the Windies had a stronger team.Such a shame they are now the worst team in the world other than Bangledesh and Zimbabwe.
gave Wolf Blass a miss------cannot understand why ha ha

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Salil said...

Keith, I hear you... I'd been sifting through some old tapes a friend lent me before the game, and was watching clippings of Marshall blowing away Australia, and then of Ambrose producing that stunning 7/1 spell at Perth.

And then half an hour later I was watching Daren Powell spray some absolute dross all around the wicket. Really sad to see what's happened to the attack. Taylor looks promising, but he's still quite erratic and needs a bit better handling. And it'd be nice if they gave either of the two very promising spinners in the area - Mohammed and Jaggernauth - a go instead of some of the tried and tested failure pacemen.

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Summertown said...

I've always thought that England should have picked a team with just 4 bowlers INCLUDING Flintoff, who is a top class bowler who can bat a bit, not a Test quality batsman. The batting always looks dodgy when there aren't 7 guys averaging 35 runs or more in any line up.

Now it looks like you've found your Gilchrist in Prior. I hope he gets a good run as the gloveman.

When Vaughan comes back for Shah and Flintoff for Plunkett England is suddenly going to look like a world class batting line up that bats way down. Even us Aussies are going to respect a team with Freddie walking out at 8!

The only one who I would not have in the team is Harmison. He's a flat track bully - will probably get 7 for versus this sad West Indies team at Lords - but in the true heat of battle he has been found wanting. Nothing to do with his action, it is his heart that is the issue. Much prefer the attitude of Simon Jones, when is he back? Flintoff, Jones, Hoggard and Panesar is a strong attack. KP and Collingwood as back up to give the strike bowlers a break if necessary.

Rob Malcolm
Summertown Wine Cafe

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd suggest that the 'better term' for which you are searching is 'staffed'
Best wishes
Martin Jones

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie, I presume that you were a guest of Wolf Blass for the day.
Rather than just saying "I went to the Test match on Thursday", I think you should be honest and admit that you got a freebie.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Summertown said...

Well geez if you're going to call someone on integrity, it's only fair to leave you're own name, Mr Anonymous!

My money is on Jamie not having got a freebie. But hey, even if he did, I don't see much bias in the report. Sounds like Mr Anonymous needs to find somewhere else to "twitch his lace curtains..."

Rob Malcolm
Summertown Wine Cafe

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