One heck of a Challenge

The past 50 days I have been running a lot. I have covered over 340km in this period as part of the 5×50 Challenge. A challenge designed to people off the sofa and committing to regular exercise. Today marks the end of the challenge but it doesn’t mean I will now return to sitting on the sofa. This challenge has inspired me to stick with it and keep running through the winter and get ready for some longer runs next year.

The 5×50 core team also inspired me to something else. And that was to find some amazing wines that would appeal to the running types. Because believe me, it is not all health and fitness, there is plenty of room for the good things in life.

Working with Cross Stobs Wine, a local independent wine shop I have found five wines to inspire the runners and of course a sparkling wine to celebrate the achievements. A percentage of each case sold will go to the 5×50 chosen charity, Sport Relief, so not only will you taste some lovely wine, you’ll feel great about it too!

You can now get the six bottle case (one bottle of each wine) for £55,  or two bottles of each wine for £110 (delivery charges apply). And don’t forget you’ll be helping a worthwhile charity at the same time.

The wines?

Domaine de Montredon Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc, France

An energetic, fast-paced sprinter with lots of energy. Perhaps struggles to keep up with Mo Farah, but who wouldn’t?

Raats Chenin Blanc, South Africa

The versatile type, can do fast-paced runs over long distances and still has a bit left in the bottle to pull out a sprint

Don David Malbec, Argentina

The rugged, outdoorsy type. Thinks nothing of running to the top of Ben Nevis and back for fun but needs some sweet ripe fruit on the way to keep the energy levels topped up. 

La Multa Old Vine Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain

The social runner. Not the fastest and keeping fit is a useful byproduct but it’s really about the chat on the way. Life is for living after all.  

Mas des Amours, Coteaux du Languedoc, France

One for the long haul. More marathon than sprint, but intense, runs it in well under four hours and still manages a beautifully graceful finish. 

Casa Defra Prosecco Spumante, Italy

Cooling down time, don’t forget to stretch and then toast your success and put your feet up. You’ve achieved your goal.

Help yourself to a case by clicking here and join me in next year’s challenge!

 

Food, Fun and Fizz

‘Tasting Scotland’ and ‘Cork & Bottle’ join forces again in what is sure to be a fabulously different wine & dine event. Bring friends, family or colleagues to enjoy a unique new experience consisting of a perfectly executed blend of pop-up tapas dining, traditional wine tasting & some gourmet ‘look what’s on your doorstep’ education! Your evening starts with a glass of fizz and nibbles, followed by a 7 stage tasting menu that gives you a unique insight into some of Tasting Scotland’s favourite local artisan food producers. I have selected 9 accompanying wines that have a story of their

own to tell which I will share with you during the ‘Cork & Bottle’ wine matching masterclass.

Where? The Tasting Room at The Good Spirits Co. 23 Bath St, Glasgow

When? Thursday 22nd November 2012

Time? 19:00

Cost? £35 per person

Menu? 7 Scottish Artisan Food Producers in 7 stages

1. Fizz and nibbles on arrival

2. The Smoked Salmon Taste Trail

3. The Rare & Native ‘Irn Bru’ Pig

4. The Smoky Soup of Scotland

5. The Game Stew is on!

6. Little Miss Muffet’s Dairy Box

7. A wee bit of fudge

 
To book? info@tastingscotland.com or 0141 239 4907

Cork and Bottle Live@29Studios

Thursday October 4th I was fortunate enough to host a wine and cheese tasting at 29Studios in Glasgow. About 35 cheese and wine lovers had gathered to work out which wines and cheeses they liked best. The fire was on, the glasses were full, the cheese plates were showing their best and not a drop was left at the end of the night.

I’ll do a full blog post on the various wines and cheeses we tasted next week, but for the moment I wanted to post this video of the event, produced by the team at 29Studios.

I also want to thank Brenda Anderson from Tasting Scotland for co-hosting the event and Ann Dorward from Dunlop Dairy and David Prow from Cross Stobs Bottle Shop for their generosity in supplying the tasters.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you were there on the night, let me know how you found it!

Running Fuel

Back in February, coming out of a long winter I was feeling decidedly unfit and despite the fact I last ran about 25 years ago, I felt I had to take it up again and get some fresh air. Then I met Kelly Mason and the core team of the 5×50 Challenge (http://5×50.co.uk/challenger/pieter-rosenthal) and started running with them every Wednesday lunchtime. It didn’t take too long to get bitten by the bug and now I’m more than halfway on a 50-day challenge running at least 5k a day.

It’s a great feeling even though my legs have been in various states of protest. Going out there every single day, regardless of how busy work is, or the increasingly inclement weather. The sense of achievement is helping me keep perspective through what are tough times for everyone right now and it helps to keep me sane. This is not just a physical challenge but as much a mental one. How’s that for a metaphor for life?

Clearly my love affair with wine continues undiminished, I have a big heart so there is room. And there is no way I would give up wine for any challenge, but I do feel that I’ve earned myself an extra nice bottle after the punishing schedule I’m imposing on myself. That’s my excuse anyway. Encouraged by the core team, Kelly Mason and Mark Houston in particular, I’m now imposing a punishing tasting schedule as well, with a multitude of bottles of wine priced around a tenner. One of those great value price points where you can get some seriously interesting wines that bring fantastic drinking pleasure. This could well become the ‘wine 5×50′ or 5 great bottles for £50. I’ll share my first one here and now, but expect more updates over the weeks to come of other wines that will have the honour of joining the challenge.

The Mas des Amours from the Coteaux du Languedoc in Southern France had an outing or two recently, among which was a tasting at Curlers Rest in Glasgow’s Byers Road in September and back in August at the Cross Stobs Bottle Shop, which stocks the wine. Both times the gasps of enjoyment were almost too much to bear, earning it a place as my first wine in the challenge. Unfortunately the sumptuous dark berry fruit doesn’t count towards your five a day but it’s a smooth talker that soothes my tired legs any day.

It is available from the Cross Stobs Bottle Shop for £9.95 : http://crossstobswine.co.uk/red-wine/375-mas-des-amours-coteaux-du-languedoc.html