Pernod Ricard Mezcal, tennis & grog, posh wine

Prickly investment

A report in The New York Times 7 June says Pernod Ricard (PR) has bought a majority stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal.

Mezcal is distilled from any type of agave plant native to Mexico, unlike tequila, which comes only from blue agave.

Del Maguey makes a great deal of its single-village productions, and the prices can be high: up to $300 in the US, according to a Google search. Melbourne-based Nicks Wine Merchants has a selection at $125 and Dan’s stocks one at about $100. Both are topped by MyBottleShop, which has a $240 offering.

The price that PR paid has not been disclosed, but there is an element of gamble about the deal. Mezcal is growing in popularity in hipster bars in New York and London, and probably Melbourne too. If it really takes off PR will scoop a jackpot. If not, it’s just another brand in the portfolio.

Grog, tucker and tennis

A good article by Associated Press tennis correspondent Howard Fendrich was published on 8 June. Selected parts:

Crepes? Croissants? Wine? Players tempted during French Open

As a professional athlete who is judicious about what she eats and drinks, Bethanie Mattek-Sands knows all too well how impossible it is to avoid the sweet aroma emanating from a stand selling waffles with a chocolate-hazelnut spread just outside the French Open’s main stadium…

Some players say they resist the carbs, the desserts, the alcohol. Others simply give in. Others hold out until they’re done competing…

Petra Martic, a Croatian ranked 290th, said she celebrated each victory with a glass of French wine as she made it all the way from qualifying to the fourth round of the main draw.

So when she eventually lost, a reporter wondered whether the routine would change that night.
“Still a great tournament, you know,” Martic responded. “You can always find reason for red wine.”

Stakhovsky [Sergiy] would tend to agree.

He said he never drank the stuff at all until he was 22, and even then it was only during tennis’ brief offseason. And now? Stakhovsky said he has a glass — or half-glass — every evening.

Stakhovsky’s fondness for wine is such that he plays club matches at a tennis club in Bordeaux sponsored by area winemakers such as Chateau Pavie and Mouton Rothschild. He orders 40 to 60 bottles while there.

The article also quotes Chanda Rubin, a top-10 singles and doubles player in the 1990s:

“It’s interesting now talking to some of today’s players: they drink more than I did when I was on tour. I was kind of behind the times, I guess. But I’m making up for it now.”

And former player Mats Wilander:

“Professional tennis players don’t hang out as much together now. They don’t go out for dinner together. And what happens when 22-year-old guys went for dinner together in the ’80s, and you just won a five-setter? You might throw in a beer. Or two. And if you lost? … I’m going to call the other Swedes that lost in the first round and ask, ‘Hey, you want to go to out?”

Last word

This week’s last word goes to the Coventry Telegraph (UK) on Iceland, a UK discount retailer that is upgrading its alcohol range. “It is overhauling its aisles to include big brand bubbly like Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon, as well as posh red and white wines.”

Posh red and white wines… looking forward to see what Iceland defines as “posh”.

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