Shooting and drinking a fortified Tannat

Spent a great day at a stag do for my buddy Richard today. He’s getting married in a few weeks, and so he gathered a bunch of chums to see him off in style.

We started off taking part in one of his favourite pursuits: shooting. Of late he has taken to going off for the 10 week pheasant shooting season, with his Baretta shot gun and tweed attire. Most of us have never held a shot gun before, but to get a chance to take part in shooting clays at a club, we had to avoid disclosing this fact.

S0 on a freezing January day, we made our way to the traps to be assessed. We’d been briefed on gun safety, but as we lined up to shoot (and I was first on the list), we didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately, no one was killed, we were all safe, and while our shooting left a bit to be desired, we weren’t kicked out.

The clays were shot out at a variety of angles and speeds. I’m delighted to say that begind Richard, who is a regular shooter, I came second. We were all pretty bad though. After the shooting we went off to Twickenham, for some beer and a curry. We enjoyed a number of pints of Naked Ladies, from Twickenham Fine Ales, which is pale and quite hoppy in an English sort of way. The curry, at the Rawalpindi, was fantastic.

Now home, I’m hitting the fortified Tannat, from Maydie (£12.95 The Wine Society). Deep coloured, rich and intense, this has lovely vivid black cherry and blackberry fruit with lovely sweetness and definition. It’s like a vivid young vintage Port where the tannic structure balances the sweet fruit. Thoroughly recommended.

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