All wine buffs love Eurovision.
It follows doesn’t it? Those with an interest in the finer things in life: high culture and all that.
I needed a fine wine to help me weather the 8 hours or whatever it is of incessant broken-English balladry, bastardised folk elements and endless, endless voting and dancing. Ah, Europe…
I love Eurovision because I hate Eurovision because I love it. It’s a complex relationship. It seems a microcosm for the European condition: I love how some countries get in automatically and some are arbitrarily exempt; everyone hates the richer, more populous countries, and there’s an underlying suspicion from those that all those ‘new’ Balkan and former-Soviet states aren’t really proper countries anyway because they keep voting for one another instead of for France and England.
There’s no doubt similar prejudices exist in the wine world and its awards, except I guess there’s rarely an overwhelming worry that Ireland or Sweden are going to run away with it all.
I chose this cheeky little Tempranillo from Majestic to take the edge off the evening, and even though none of my own personal top five were ever serious contenders (Bosnia did best out of the ones I rated – Dino Merlin came in a respectable sixth) it was an enjoyable affair as usual.
The Tempranillo was characteristically dark and fairly tannic but also pleasantly fruity and drinkable; even once I’d run out of proper food and switched to Marmite chocolate it served well. There was an undercurrent (pun intended) of blueberries or elderberries among the sharper black cherry and booze body, possibly even some distant lavender or potpourri.
It wasn’t as leathery or dry as a lot of Riojas and Tempranillos I’ve had in recent years, which was pleasant actually as it made it much easier to carry on drinking in the absence of food: in fact the whole bottle slipped down quite easily in the never-ending voting section of the show, soundtracked by multinational, multi-lingual TV anchors dragging out their fifteen seconds of continental fame and Graham Norton being bemused by it all.
It ended not with a bang, but a whimper, as usual: and some drunk Azerbaijanis trying desperately to remember a song they’d sung some hours ago which, presumably, they thought had no hope of winning. It was alright in a very 90s sort of way.
Spain’s entry, unlike this wine, was rooted firmly in the past and was not received well. Perhaps their Eurovision selection panel could look to the vintners for inspiration?
Or then again, perhaps that’s a really stupid idea.
The flavours are not at all found wanting, but the best thing about this wine is undeniably the price: a steal at £4.49 – stock up now!