Cipriani Bellini Arrives In Harrods!


There can be no more prestigious name in UK Retailing than Harrods. It’s long history and reputation for excellence goes without saying and few people know that their origins date back to Borough High Street in 1824 a far cry from the world leading brand that it is today.

Sporting Wine Club are delighted to have introduced the classic Cipriani Original Bellini to the Wine Hall at Harrods.  Mirroring their long history and rise to excellence – originally created in Harry’s Bar Venice in 1948 – the exceptional quality of the Cipriani Bellini is today recognised by Harrods for acceptance into their respected Wine Hall, which offers only the best luxury products from world-leading brands.

We are confident that our Bellini, already a firm favourite with the membership of SWC, will assume a prominent position further afield.

Thank you Harrods, your confidence in us is appreciated and we look forward to a long association.

To purchase a case of Cipriani Bellini direct from SWC please click here.

European Rugby – Vacancies At No. 10


I am not referring to various maverick attempts to take on a political poison chalice, nor is it for me to pass comment on random pre-season behaviour by England’s incumbent stand off,
Danny Cipriani.

Is it midsummer madness or perhaps the endless summer heat, there have been some fascinating pointers towards next years World Cup and they surround the all important no 10 slot. Can it be that the fourth choice All Blacks fly half has come to Wasps as their marquee signing? It looks well justified and yet you cannot dispute that Barrett and McKenzie stand tall, above Richie Mo’unga in the rankings. There is a man who dominated the Super XV for the Crusaders but cannot get selected for the All Blacks. What riches!

South Africa is panicking as they have no back up to Pollard, and nor do Australia for Foley.  Ireland have exported Joey Carberry to Munster to gain experience if Sexton is injured and Wales know they have to make Patchell the real deal to challenge for the World Cup.  France seem not to need a No 10 specialist if they play like they did in the first half of the Third Test v NZ in the summer. This is a team to watch, believe me. At Racing 92 meanwhile, Finn Russell will build on the vision which unravelled England at Murrayfield last year and Scotland will be pleased.

What of England? Farrell should play 10 but the lack of any inside centre causes despair.  Could Jones chat to Baxter and appoint Slade as the season’s 12, then just perhaps for the first time since Will Greenwood we can see some creative decision making.

The season is yet to start, but I wonder if teams will stretch their ambitions – if not, then I suspect they will remain frustrated and it all starts with No 10.

H.

Rugby Wings Take Centre Stage As Beach Beckons


The bad news for England over the weekend comes from an unusual source and will not get any headlines. For the first time in recent memory France showed their true rugby colours and offered a glimpse of what my generation of rugby players experienced every time we saw them take the field. For most of the first half they were irresistible, forwards and backs linking at pace and playing the ball out of the tackle at will. A quite ridiculous piece of referee obstruction cost them momentum and parity with the All Blacks, whose superior fitness and brutal focus on their two game changers, MacKenzie and Ioane, saw them run riot by the end. By the time the World Cup comes along this rate of progress and one or two of their stellar U20 world champions could make them the team to beat – and they are in England’s pool! French holidays on the Cote D’Azur will be laced with optimism for the season ahead.

Elsewhere Ireland have earnt the right to be the form team in the world. It is their match against New Zealand that I await with most anticipation in the autumn. Over-reliance on Sexton and Murray perhaps, but less so, as an avalanche of quality forwards combined with defence based on an indomitable spirit shine through. It was needed as Australia were fearsome and will feel hard done by not to squeeze a victory. Ireland may have raised the bar, with Stockdale now looking world class on the wing, but the men in Gold are not far behind on this evidence.

Argentina is in crisis with three comprehensive home defeats despite the fine performances of the Jaguares in Super Rugby which is counter intuitive and worrying for them with France and England in their RWC pool.

What to make finally of a mish mash ‘last Test’ at Newlands. If it is for the last time, it was a drab way to finish and a forgettable game even if a little bit of history was created for England. We forget that the weather can impact on big matches as we are normally served a diet of free-flowing rugby in bright conditions or covered stadiums. This was an important ‘result’ which allowed Jones and team to call for a resumption of the journey to Japan. Jonny May was the player of the tour, and Cipriani has to start in October – doesn’t he??!! Wouldn’t be so sure.

The statistics show that Jones has picked 100 players during his tenure, falling into the trap of previous England coaches who have surveyed the many resources available to them and done the same. England’s three most successful periods with their greatest players, 1980 (Beaumont), 1991-2 (Carling) and 2001-3 (Johnson) all enjoyed the same characteristics – consistency and loyalty in a shrewd selection process and strong, respected off field management which was spread across different skill sets. It’s not too late – just.

Quite apart from England, I can see six or more settled squads playing an exciting brand of rugby across the world. It bodes well for 2019. Even more exciting is the arrival of stunning wing play wherever you look. Apart from the two Springbok newcomers, Stockdale of Ireland, Marika Koroibete of Australia, Ioane of NZ,  Teddy Thomas of France and Jonny May have all starred in various ways. Ioane in particular is being used to great effect by NZ on running angles almost impossible to defend, as is Mackenzie and these two could be the key for their 2019 World Cup aspirations.

Footnote

Humble, having fun, youthful and ambitious, modest in press interviews, smiling at the world and dreaming of a World Cup – yes, it’s the English Football team who may not have beaten anyone of significance yet but we are all liking their style on and off the field. Bravo!

H.

 

SWC Partners With Queenswood Restaurant


We are delighted to be partnering with Queenswood Restaurant in Battersea Square, London, supplying them with Bellini from our winemaker Francesco Cosulich, childhood friend of Giuseppe Cipriani who invented the Bellini in Harry’s Bar Venice, in 1948.

Queenswood is a neighbourhood restaurant and bar serving plates for sharing, light dishes and wholesome meals, best washed down with a glass of Bellini, one of their cocktails or a great glass of wine.

Click here to take a look and book a table!

SWC & CSM – Corporate Christmas Wine Tasting


SWC had the great privilege to host a pre Christmas Wine Tasting evening at CSM, one of the top global Sports and Entertainment Agencies.
 
Holly Millward, a CSM executive, had won the occasion at an RPA rugby charity auction event for which we were all grateful.
 
We intertwined a blind tasting of some top rugby wines with CSM’s People Awards 2017 which was very entertaining, topped off with a fond farewell message to Holly who is taking on a senior role in Asia soon.
 
We sent everyone home with a bottle of the unique, original Bellini which was mixed by Guiseppe Cipriani himself at Harry’s Bar in Venice and supplied to SWC by Francesco Cosulich, ex Treviso rugby player, who owns the Collalbrigo Estate.
 
Other much enjoyed rugby wines were Schalk Burger’s Chenin Blanc, Jacky Lorenzetti’s Moulin D’Issan and Sumaridge Estates Sparkling Wayfarer and Pinot Noir.
 
We hope to work again with CSM during 2018 for more sporting wine occasions.
If you would like to discuss a corporate wine tasting event please contact michelle@sportingwineclub.com.