winning at sportWith descriptions more usually seen on wines costing £4.50 for a full bottle then it seems perfectly reasonable to wonder why just a quarter of a bottle costs a whacking £4.50. One supplier in a restricted venue is the answer - so if you want to quench your thirst with 187ml worth of wine at an Olympic site then don’t expect much change out of a fiver.

red white and rose wineA ‘smooth and soft’ blended red, a ‘crisp and fresh’ white and ‘strawberry and cream’ rosé are the result of the commission placed with wine company Bibendum to source and supply three custom wines for the London Olympics.

Designed to appeal to the diverse taste preferences of the average Olympic spectator the result is unavoidably average – if you want to sell wine that almost everyone will enjoy then you can’t take the risk, and expense, of bottling three million mini plastic containers with exotic flavoured wines that’ll appeal to the few.

Mass-appeal comes in the form of a South African Chenin Blanc (its melon and bubblegum flavours go equally well with or without food) and a South African rosé blend – the semi-sweet mix of Pinotage, Shiraz and Merlot grapes promises ‘explosive fruit with hints of peach melba’.

No real surprises there, South African wines nearly always deliver plenty of rounded fruity flavours without the mouth-drying tannins that many wine drinkers find hard to swallow.

red wine swirlingBut what is a surprise is the red – a blend of the very traditional grape varieties of Syrah, Tempranillo and Gamay (more often seen in expensive French regionals and Rioja) sourced from Brazil of all places.

Brazil’s wine industry may be relatively unknown in Europe but they want to change that in a big way – starting with their name associated with a wine that’ll be drunk by millions. And they’ve also provided a wine that fits the needs of the customer exactly: a smooth and soft red that’ll appeal too many and match anything from ‘healthy’ burgers to the canapé and nibbles served in the private dining boxes.

Let the Games commence. Oh they have. Well let the drinking commence. Ahh...

PG Olympic Wine Tip

If you want a taste of the Games but can’t get along to an Olympic venue then don’t despair - Selfridges are selling a twelve bottle Summer of Sport wine case at £130 (equivalent bottle price £10.83 which is still quite a bit but not as much as the in-Games price for the London 2012 wines).

There may be no word ‘Olympic’ in the name of the wine case thanks to LOCOG but the website address reveals what Selfridges really wanted to call this wine selection:

http://www.selfridges.com/en/Food-Wine/Brand-rooms/Gourmet-brands/SOMMELIERS-SELECTION/Olympic-wine-case-12-x-750ml_414-73068659-OLYMPICCASE/