Friday, July 21, 2006
Needing a break yesterday I sat down for some lunch and later discovered I real treat. Though a replay of stage 17 of the Tour de France was playing in the background, my focus was on a glass of Artesa Elements 2001. I had mostly given up on the tour after team Discovery (Lance's old US Postal team) had conceded defeat and Floyd Landis (the top American) had fallen behind by 8 minutes after stage 16. It seemed that once again America would come up short on the international sporting stage.
Lucky for me Artesa Elements 2001 was a wine worth enjoying. The wine is a wonderful blend exhibiting lively black fruit flavors. Supple and spicy, the wine finishes with hints of mint, cinnamon, oregano and some say camp fires. (But I'd argue its a smoky oakish flavor.) As I sat there sipping my wine I realized Floyd was making a move. (I wish I could say I realized this was a specail moment not to be missed, but in truth I thought, hey this is a good enough excuse to enjoy a second glass.)
In a brash American style Floyd raced up and down the mountainous stage 17 on a defiant solo mission to prove one bad day does not define a man. I was rivited to this replay. Though the results could have easily been obtained on the internet, I was able to enjoy the moment as if it where a live event. As Floyd continued to chop into the Yellow Jersey's lead, down to 7 minutes, then 6 and half, then only 5, then 3, can you believe it down to 2 minutes; the bottle of California blend emptied, my buzz grew and I began to cheer at the TV. Come on Floyd!
Suddenly, I have a new appreciation for the Tour. To be in road side in France with a bottle of wine in hand as cyclist fly past sounds heavenly.
In the end Floyd fought all the way back to only 30 seconds off the lead, which many are calling the greatest performance in the Tour ever. I polished off a bottle of wine for lunch which is no small feat either. And after today only 30 seconds, the stage 19 time trail and the final stage 20 ride into Paris seperate Floyd from Yellow. Firmly back on the band wagon I'm left to ponder what should I do in a show of support.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
One simple act can spoil a legacy. Sadly France fans, no amount of aging will soften the bitterness of that moment. Instead, while all of Italy enjoys the sweet taste of victory, the French are left with only thoughts of what could have been. Don't fret Les Bleus, you still have your memories of the 98 World Cup in France. I suggest grabbing a bottle of fine wine from 1998. Sip it slowly, allowing it to help you recall happier times. There is no hurry, we all have until 2010 to enjoy this fine French Whine. See you in South Africa.