Let’s talk Olympics. More importantly, whether you’re lounging on your couch or are perched on a bar stool watching incredibly gifted athletes work their butts off, what do you have a glass of in your hand?
This is the lowdown on 6 great wines to drink while you’re watching the games: first and foremost from the host nation, and also from the countries with the top-5 medal standings…
While Brazil is not yet known around the world for wine production, they do have a growing wine industry, and are producing some pretty delicious bottles!
Check out this awesome, Olympic-themed Pinot Noir Rosé from Lidio Carraro:
2015 ‘Faces’ Pinot Noir Rosé: This wine was created with the spirit of the Olympics in mind: excellence, passion, and transformation – a symbol of Brazil’s growth and presence on the world stage. The wine is bright and fresh, with a palate driven by fruit, accented by floral and spicy notes. It is also an “Official Product” of the Rio 2016 Games!
2015 Bedrock Wine Company ‘Ode to Lulu’ Rosé
This is a super Provençal-style rosé. In fact, the name honours Lulu Peynaud, the original proprietress of Domaine Tempier, one of Bandol’s most famous and exceptional producers. This wine is made, much like Bandol, with 100% Mourvèdre. It is bursting with gorgeous notes of watermelon, citrus, spring flowers, and touches of spice… absolutely a must-have when you’re cheering for Team USA – and did we mention it just scored 90 points from Decanter?
English sparkling wines have recently been racking up some pretty serious accolades around the world – much like UK athletes in the 2016 Summer Games. If you’re supporting the UK this summer, shop “local” and support some fantastic wineries while you’re at it!
Knightor Brut ‘Classic Cuvée’ Rosé
This is definitely the wine to pick if you want to impress your friends with your awesome wine skills – just be sure to read up a bit before hand. Reichensteiner, Huxulrebe, Kerner, Rondo, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Seyval Blanc… All of these grapes go into this wine… and even I don’t know what they all are. They do make a pretty delicious sparkling rosé though!!! Raspberry, red apple, and citrus dominate the nose, and lead into a crisp, flavour-packed palate that is perfect to toast the medal-winners.
I bet you didn’t think I would write up a Chinese wine, did you? You would be wrong.
China is starting to be a sizeable producer – though, like our next country, most production stays within the nation. If you have the opportunity, check out a Chinese wine or two, you might be surprised! In recent years, the number of new wineries opening has grown exponentially. Jancis Robinson wrote of one wine in particular, at a 2014 tasting of 53 Chinese wines… “The wine that I thought was best of all turned out to be made by a Chinese woman called Crazy Fang on a new Ningxia estate called Kanaan”.
Check out their 2014 Riesling… a light, bright, clean, easy-drinking Riesling that is super easy-going and fruity.
While Russia has had a thriving wine industry for centuries, most production has traditionally stayed in the country. In the past 10 years, new, higher-quality, technologically-advanced wineries have started to open, and wine quality has jumped way up.
Abrau-Durso Imperial Brut Rosé
This 100% Pinot Noir sparkling, the second on our list, comes from the south of Russia, which we would still consider to be a cool climate. Pinot Noir loves cool climates, which is why it thrives in places like Champagne, England, Canada, Oregon, and even Russia. This dry sparkling rosé is a pretty, light pink, with a fine mousse. A subtle nose of wild strawberry, raspberry, and citrus lead into a palate with great acidity, minerality, and a continuation of those pretty fruit notes.
Germany is producing some of the most fantastic, and best-value, rosés on the market! While there are several that are well-worth your time and money, try this one first:
2015 Schlossgut Diel ‘Rosé de Diel’ Nahe Pinot Noir Rosé
Long name, but awesome wine. Tons of beautiful, bright fruit, coming from the estate’s own vines, pack your glass with flavour. Blackberries and tangerines burst out, followed by a subtle ribbon of stoniness and spice… a little sweetness and a touch of spritz make this wine such a great pleasure to drink.
Whoever you’re cheering for this Olympic Games, do it in style with a bottle (or more) of delicious wine!
Photo Credit: The Black Label