At the risk of everyone starting to call me Forrest, I’ve yet again signed up for the 5×50 Challenge. I love running and love this challenge because it encourages everyone to get off the sofa, join and resolve to run, walk, jog, cycle 5 kilometres per day for 50 days. I did it back in the autumn last year and can’t wait to get started on the next instalment on Easter Sunday.
On the face of it, it doesn’t sound like that much but when you’re doing this every day it makes a huge difference, but it’s also a tough challenge. I had quite a few days on the previous one where my body just didn’t want to go anymore but, mind over matter, you get out and get going and come back feeling better for it.
One of my other challenges is sharing some of the wonderful wines I taste on a weekly basis online, on this blog. Sometimes I just lack the motivation to write or say something meaningful, so in tandem with the running challenge I’m going to review 50 wines over the course of the 50 days right here. Hopefully they are going to span the weird and wonderful, the great and, perhaps, the not so great.
Wine Trade folks, if you want to help and you want me to review your wine, please get in touch! But at the very least, if you’re reading this, why not sign up for the challenge yourself? It may just change your life!
And please, drink responsibly!
Update 28 March:
I’ve decided the wine review challenge will now also have to cover 50 grape varieties. That should make for a very varied bunch.
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.