Friday, June 30, 2017

Washington BDX Style Blend vs. Right Bank Bordeaux

The Tour de France starts on Saturday.  This year's route covers 3,540 km over 21 stages with plenty of terrain that offers the opportunity for a variety of riders to achieve victory.  In the end, there is only one true winner - the rider that arrives in Paris wearing the Maillot Jaune, aka The Yellow Jersey.  This is the rider that completes all 21 stages in the fastest cumulative time.

There are other jerseys are on the line too, including:
  • The Green Jersey for the best all around rider.  This jersey has come to be known as the Sprinter's Jersey in recent history.
  • The Polka Dot Jersey for the best mountain climber.  This rider is also known as the King of the Mountains.
  • The White Jersey for the best young rider.  This is the highest placed racer under the age of 23.
All these opportunities add up to multiple races within the bigger race.  There are more than a handful of racers eyeing victory in this year's tour.  All the top riders finished off their preparation with the Criterium du Dauphine or the Tour de Suise.

Just like the pro racers, I've topped off my Tour preparation with a recent Bordeaux Right Bank Ruckus featuring St. Emilion vs. Washington.

2014 Auclair Right Blend vs. 2008 Chateau Barde-Haut Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington Red vs. California Meritage

The Tour of California overlaps with the Giro d' Italia.  It typically attracts racers that are preparing for the Tour de France or trying to earn a spot on their team's Tour squad.

This year the race started in Sacramento and headed South, finishing in Pasadena.  As the racers toed the line for the first two stages they may have had the opportunity to enjoy some wines from Sonoma.

This week's challenge features a Washington Bordeaux Style blend taking on a California Dry Creek Meritage challenger.

2014 Mullan Road Cellars Red Wine vs. 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner

Andrew Talansky won the "Queen Stage" of the race on top of Mt. Baldy.  Talansky's nickname is The Pit Bull because he never gives up.  Just like Andrew Talansky, both these red wines are focused and assertive. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Washington Grenache v. Cannonau di Sardegna

The 100th Edition of the Giro d' Italia kicked off Friday May 5th on the island of Sardegna (or as we say in the states, Saridinia).  The first three stages featured some exciting racing with some unexpected results in the opening stage and stage 3.

The racers are already enjoying their first rest day on Monday as the race moves to Sicily for an early test of the climbers legs on Mt Etna.  Mt. Etna may be more famous for volcanic eruptions than bike racing.  The Giro organizers are always looking to inject excitement into the race.  Maybe they are hoping for an eruption while the racers scale this active volcano!

This week's Lucha Vino matchup features a Washington Grenache taking on a Cannonau challenger from Sardegna.

2013 Novelty Hill Grenache vs. 2012 Gabbas LiLLove' Cannonau di Sardegna

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Washington Gruner Veltliner vs. Austria

The Tour of the Alps is the new name for the Giro Trentino.  The race starts in Austria and heads due South with the majority of the stages taking place in Italy.  The overall winner of this year's edition was Geraint Thomas, a strong rider with a big motor that usually rides in support of Chris Froome at Team Sky.

The first stage of the race started in Innsbruck and finished in Hungerburg.  Michele Scarponi took the opening stage showing that he was working into good form to be Astana's team captain for the Giro d'Italia.  Sadly, Scarponi was hit, and killed, by a car when heading out for a training ride this past Friday (April 21).

Michele Scarponi was a friend to nearly every cyclist in the pro peloton.  Several riders dedicated their victories to him over the weekend.  Following their lead, this Lucha Vino matchup honors Michele Scarponi with a matchup of Gruner Veltliners, one of Austria's primary wines grapes.

2015 Syncline Gruner Veltliner vs. 2014 Winzer Krems Kellermeister Privat Gruner Veltliner