jamie goode's wine blog

Friday, April 10, 2009

Golf and stuff

Currently watching the Masters golf. It's the first major tournament each year, and since the mid-1990s I've watched it almost religously - I guess it's a sort of spring ritual. Shaping up nicely for a good weekend.

It has been a slightly strange day. Younger son went to play with friends, so we went to lunch with older son at Ask Pizza in Twickenham. Nice food; usual anonymous wine list, but i had a pleasant glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Then I popped in and asked the pharmacist at Maple Leaf if he had anything for my eye - one of the kids had caught me in the face a few days ago, and it was really painful last night. He took a look, and told me to see a doctor.

This meant a trip to Teddington Hospital, who told me to go to Kingston Hospital. After signing a form reassuring them that I was a UK resident and was entitled to NHS treatment, I sat down and prepared to endure the advertised two-hour wait.

Miraculously, I was seen within nine minutes. They put some anaesthetic in my eye, gave me an eye test, and then put some fluorescein dye in, before looking again with a blue light. After a bit of deliberation, they decided I wasn't in grave peril, and gave me some chloramphenicol ointment.

So I was out in record time. I wandered back into town and did some shopping, but I wish someone had told me that the fluorescein dye had stained one side my face a bright orange. I looked like a total nutter.

Tonight's wine is a rather faded Jadot Les Climats Pinot Noir Reserve 2004, and the remains of last night's Fombrauge, which seems oakier tonight.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


Just watching the closing holes of the USPGA (for the non-golfers, this is one of the top four tournaments in golf known as the 'majors'), courtesy of Sky TV's website.

A remarkable nail-biting finish is in store. Of course, I am embarrassed by my interest in golf, but I do enjoy it. I took older son to the range yesterday and had a lot of fun, hitting the ball really well. I really *must* play more golf.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Golf at the Belfry

Just back from a tremendous weekend at the Belfry, where I got to play on the Brabazon course. The golf day was organized by New Zealand winery Craggy Range, and Fiona and the kids came too, which was a nice touch.

I was in a fourball with Chris Losh (editor of Imbibe), Warren Adamson (who runs NZ winegrowers in the UK) and TJ Peabody (joint MD of Craggy). Warren and Chris are very good golfers with single-figure handicaps. TJ and I aren't. But we had a fabulous time, and the course was magnificent (although the greens were slower and the rough longer than we were expecting, probably because of the time of year).

I hit one remarkable shot that was heading for a creek, hit the corner of the wooden banking on the other side of the creek and bounced back over the creek onto the fairway. I also hit a big drive into the trees only to see it bounce back onto the fairway. Luck was with me. But I still lost half-a-dozen balls.

It was really hot though, and so by the end we were all knackered. In the evening there was a dinner in the Ryder room, with some very nice Craggy wines. I felt a bit guilty because Fiona was left with the kids, dining on room service and watching TV. But the room did have a spectacular balcony looking over the 10th and 18th.

Pictured is the view looking back down from the 18th green. It's a real treat for someone of my golfing ability (low) to get to play a serious course.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Masters: a top South African wine to accompany it

I know golf is hideously uncool, but I like it. Each year, I watch the Augusta Masters, which is the first major tournament in the calendar, and because of the time difference is pretty convenient for evening viewing over here in the UK, glass in hand.

Even though we've had a family bash here for the last few days, I've managed to see most of the BBC coverage. Tonight it's the final round, and in honour of the third round leader I'm going to be drinking a South African wine - Meerlusts 2003 Rubicon. It's really good stuff. Earlier on I took elder son down to the golf range. He hits the ball really well - I'm hoping that he'll be my ticket to lots of rounds of golf in the next few years, without the guilt of abandoning the family!

Meerlust Rubicon 2003 Stellenbosch, South Africa
A South African classic that lives up to its reputation. In past vintages I've found Rubicon perhaps a little hard and angular, but today the 2003 is showing beautifully, with sweet, elegant fruit. The nose is ripe, sweet, mineralic and cedary, with a subtle gravelly edge to the ripe red and black fruits. There's some soft earthiness here, too. The palate has a lovely combination of sweet fruit with minerally earthiness, in quite a Bordeaux-like mould, but perhaps without the sternness that classic Bordeaux can show in its youth. It's a fantastic wine in quite a traditional style, which is drinking well now but which will age well. 93/100

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