Following on from our revelation of the Rugby Cellar Wine XV forward pack, below is the second half of the team, the backs.
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Scrumhalf – Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is often crisp, acidic and relied upon to cut through heavy dishes. It was born to play at nine.
Flyhalf – Chardonnay
They can be rich and oaky, like a certain Mr Wilkinson, or, perhaps more often, heady and light. With a range of delicate flavours, there is a Chardonnay to suit all palates. Suffice to say they’re playing fly-half and should not be imbibed before driving…
Inside Centre – Merlot
The characteristics of these two are impossibly similar. Twelve is not an easy position in rugby, requiring subtle touches with hand and boot whilst playing a key defensive role in heavy traffic. Merlots were for many years considered the perfect blending wine, though they are now celebrated in their own right. They can be mellow, fruity and complex, but still a little chewy and a perfect accompaniment to beef. I trust you see my point.
Outside Centre – Châteauneuf du Pape
The Grenache grape is the second most planted in the world and, therefore, can be turned into some fairly unremarkable wines. However, it is also responsible for some giants of the wine world, and there is no more befitting example of that than this Brian O’Driscoll meets Frank Bunce of a wine from Châteauneuf du Pape.
Winger – Pinot Grigio
We’ve gone for a retro selection here, picking an archetypal Welsh, swivel-hipped winger of the 70’s, complete with big hair and sideburns, rather than a muscular, powerful, brush-your-teeth-after-one-glass, Jonah Lomu of a red wine. Flowery, fruity and paired well with thick sauces, the Pinot Grigio is our choice for the wide-open spaces.
Fullback – Chablis
A good Chablis is well-balanced, light and crisp, slightly fruity and with a steely edge. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we’ll be asking it to hit the line from fullback.