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Croquet, Sterling 1976 Cab and Ch. Mouton Rothschild 1980 Bordeaux. Just Another Sunday

Croquet, Sterling 1976 Cab and Ch. Mouton Rothschild 1980 Bordeaux. Just Another Sunday

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Published by Kris Chislett
Now, I’m not going to try and lead you to believe
this is how I spend EVERY Sunday. No, this Sunday
was a touch different from my usual routine…
Now, I’m not going to try and lead you to believe
this is how I spend EVERY Sunday. No, this Sunday
was a touch different from my usual routine…

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: Kris Chislett on Jul 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/18/2012

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 Croquet, Sterling Vineyards 1976 Cab, & Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1980 Bordeaux. Just An
 
otherSunday.
 Now, I’m not going to try and lead you to believethis is how I spend EVERY Sunday.
 
 No, this Sundaywas atouchdifferent  from myusual routine…
Every few months, myself, my wife, and four of our closestfriends get together for the
Juicy Potato Club
.
The J.P. Club obviously needs a small explanation.
 When we were in
Sardinia
last year for 2 of our friends’ wedding, the day before they were due to be married,my wife and I stopped by a small farmhouse store to pick up some supplies, before then heading to the beachto rendezvous with the rest of the wedding guests. We grabbed some olive oil, bread, cheese, and what we
thought 
were melons. Once we got down to the beach, we unpacked, I started cutting into said “mystery 
melon
” on the nearest large boulder and I took a bite.
“Hey Kris, what kind of Melon is that?” 
asked Philip, the groom’s brother-in-law.
“I’m not too sure Phil!” 
I said, still chewing on the crunchy, but yet juicy melon-like object,
“I think it’s somekind of Juicy Potato.” 
I stated matter-of-factly,
 
I then proceeded to hand round a platter of the now named
Juicy Potato
on the beach, exclaiming
“Juicy Potato anyone? Juicy Potato?” 
Basically the
Juicy Potato Club
is just a reason forthe original Sardinia crew to get together atsomeone's house. Make dinner, drink wine, play games, and generally have a great time.Unfortunately because of work commitments andschedule conflicts, it has been about 6 months sincethe last meet up. Wanting to make it up to everyone, our host for thismeeting, a man by the name of Mr. Lou Irwin,decided to offer up some wine that he had beensaving for a special occasion. But first, we wouldplay some Croquet.
That’s right, I said Croquet.
Everyone was surprised to learn that I (anEnglishman) had never played croquet before. I of course had to inform them that contrary to popular belief, I didn’t grow up in a
Jane Austen
novel, sipping afternoon tea, eatingcucumber sandwiches with the crust removed, and playing a competitive gameof lawn Croquet with my good chums; before then retiring to the drawing roomto talk of current affairs. 
 
In case you don’t already know,
Croquet
is a game that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a malletthrough hoops embedded into a grass playing court, and dates back to the England in the early 1800’s.I’m almost certain however that nowhere in the official Croquet rulebook does it state that the game should befueled by a lager, vodka and lime cordial drink, intense profanity when you miss-hit the ball, trying todetermine just how long you can balance the mallet on your nose before it falls off, and riding the malletaround like a horse when you make a good shot (Happy Gilmore style)! I’m
 fairly
certain those things isn’t inthe rulebook, but I’ll check into it.I was third in line to step up to take my first shot, and figured I would apply some golf-like tactics in order toexcel quickly. I lined up on the ball, adopted a golf-like stance, swung the mallet back slightly, swiftly went togo and hit the ball,
and completely sliced it, missingthe first hoop completely, much to the hilarity of everyone else.
 
 I resigned to the fact that Croquet just isn’t my game!
 Shortly, about 4 shots into the game something actually very mysterious happened…the sun went behind the clouds, agentle breeze blew through the park, the planets moved intoalignment with each other, and
I proceeded to play themost amazing game of Croquet ever played inJacksonville, Florida (I’m guessing).
 I have no idea where it came from, maybe I just haveCroquet in the blood. I’ve never been very good at any sports, however it now seems that I have wasted my  whole life on a career in wine.
I should have been playing professional Croquet this whole time!
 After the spectacular carnage that resulted in me completely annihilating the competition, and thensubsequently having to be convinced by my wife that in fact I
wasn’t 
going to quit my day job in order topursue a career in Croquet, the sun had gone down, and it was time to head back to our host’s house.
For the few years preceding his birth, Mr. Lou Irwin’s Uncle gave him a bottle of wine each year, and not just
any
bottle of wine, as we are about to find out.
 The first bottle which I
couldn’t
 
 wait to open
was the
1976Sterling Vineyards Cabernet(Magnum).
Lou already hadconcerns that the wine had become a vinegar-like substance,due to it being moved amongstmultiple locations, and notnecessarily stored in atemperature controlledenvironment. The
ullage
level of the bottle was fairly low, but no lower than what I would have expected. The“ullage” in a wine bottle is the space between the wine and the bottom of thecork. Over time, this space becomes larger as the wine is exposed to oxygen.The cork was well and truly soaked all the way through, but I managed toremove the whole thing without too much breaking off into the bottle.Next, fingers-crossed as I went to smell the
Sterling
for the first time, and what do you know!?!?!
The wine was still good!!!
 Admittedly showingearth, truffle and tree bark, but there was still plenty of great dark fruit there. Ithink we may have just missed this wine by 3-4 years, but it was still VERY enjoyable!
 

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