A great day of cricket, and a stunning sweetie
Today has been one of those rare days where everything simply goes much better than expected.
I was playing cricket for the wine trade XI against the Further Friars, down at Keevil Manor in Wiltshire. I didn't have access to our car today, so for the modest outlay of £30 I thought it was worth hiring one. Luckily, I got upgraded from the smallest, poxiest vehicle they had (which is what U'd paid for) to a brand new sporty Mondeo - OK, not a Mercedes coupe, but better than a Ford Ka.
Then, driving down to the game along the A303, the sun broke out. After the summer we have had, here, a perfect summer's day in September is not to be sniffed at.
We bowled first. Our opening bowlers were brisk, and the pitch was bouncy. The opposition batsmen made slow progress. Jasper Morris was run out, just after he had hit a six with a prettly flat aerial shot over mid off. I got a bowl just before lunch, as second change. I did a bit of work on the shiny side of the ball and ran up. The ball swang nicely, into the right handed batsman. The second ball lifted a little outside off, and the batsman kindly edged it behind. Two balls later, the new batsman gave a simple lofted catch to midwicket. My figures at this stage were 1-1-0-2. I carried on and the swing was incredible. As an example, I bowled one ball that started well outside off stump, beat the batsman on yorker length, and then ended up missing leg. After six overs I finished with figures of 4 for 19.
They were all out for 75. At no. 7 I wasn't expecting a bat, but I came in when there were 10 runs still to be scored. I decided to have a bit of a go, but didn't really connect very well, being dropped three times (yes!) on my way to 4 not out. But I did hit the winning run.
After play concluded, In recognition of the fact that it was his 2oth wedding anniversary, Jasper opened a rather nice magnum of Andre Jacquart Cuvee Speciale NV Champagne Grand Cru which we drunk out of plastic picnic cups. It still tasted pretty good. Other wines were opened, including a fantastic Tokaji, brought along by Christopher Fielden: Istvan Szepsy's 2003 Tokaji Szamorodni 'Daniel'. The bottle was hastily snapped (below), with Jasper's legs forming the backdrop.
Even though it was drunk from plastic, this was one of the very best sweet wines I've had in a long while. It was complex, pure, sweet, balanced, with lovely weight and poise. You know when you are tasting a really serious wine, and this was one of them. It's hard to convey the perception of such a wine in words.