The week just gone, for me, has been characterised by combat and competition. The common theme is how tribes use colours to create identity and unity against a foe.
Demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur city centre, where yellow-shirted pro-democracy and anti-corruption fans congregated for a peaceful rally, received undue attention from baton-wielding police firing tear-gas and water-cannon.
In the brutal fight of Mayoral politics, London’s two heavyweight contenders “Red” Ken Livingston and Boris “BoJo” Johnson have been fighting for years. The red of Red Ken of course symbolises more socialist principles and the blue of BoJo those of a conservative bent. Voter turn out was low but the result was closer than expected. I stuck to my tribe the Greens and was rewarded with third place. Result for the mungbean eaters!
Sporting combat was epitomised, not by the latest evidence that Floyd Mayweather is actually a boxing-god, but by Liverpool and Chelsea – again red vs blue and crudely socialist/conservative – who fought keenly over the 131st FA Cup Final. Chelsea’s blue ticker tape littered the Wembley evening sky as they held on to win.
Incidentally, with Boris winning in city hall, and Chelsea winning in Wembley the posh/blue tribe had a pretty good week….
Combat for me then has been the daily duels with boredom, brought about by my own abject company. These bouts are punctuated with the simplest of wins; eating out, going rock climbing or having a hair cut. Ultimately though boredom is a bigger and badder foe than me, and is making me pay for it…..
But hey I did win a minor skirmish on Friday by ordering some wine from an online shop, VinetFemme.com. They have a small selection of wines but are not ridiculously expensive and, even better, they deliver! Wine fridge now “stocked” I am prepared to do battle with my enemy (don’t worry, I’m not sinking the whole bottle!)
The colour of my wine-tribe of choice in this hot climate is of course white, so I opted for the Auntsfield Estate Chardonnay 2009 (91+ pts from Wine Advocate no less). Auntsfield are from New Zealand and are the oldest estate in Malborough where chardonnay is a teeny proportion of varietal production next to the behemoth that is Sauvignon Blanc.
This chardonnay really is quite decent, in fact in wine education speak it is ‘Good’ – meaning that it shows the grape variety and wine-making well, and can either be drunk now, or be put aside for a rainy day on the assumption it will improve somewhat (though this doesn’t quite have that potential).
The nose has a buttery, almost goats-cheese twang to it, with orange peel, apricot and some unmistakable oak. It’s slightly honeyed in the mouth, the stone fruit coming through and the oak just sitting quietly in the background. It has a lovely balance; the acidity of chardonnay offset by some residual sweetness, a flinty-minerality and alcohol levels in harmony with the fruit characters. It isn’t super long but interesting enough for me to be happy having bought two bottles. The best bit is that it is a relative bargain at only 66RM (c. £14).
For once, something about this week isn’t about combat. The wine seems at one with itself.