Wonder Woman

Eileen Hardy (by Lord Snowdon)
Earlier this week, I went for dinner in the Long Room at Lord's Cricket Ground. Now, I'm not a huge cricket fan (remember my Andrew Strauss story?) but you don't say no to dinner at Lord's along with a bunch of cricketing legends during The Ashes. I was there as a guest of Hardys, official wine sponsors of the England cricket team. And one of the highlights was the telling of the story of Eileen Hardy - as told by her son, James - born in 1893 and married to Tom Hardy. Tom was the third generation of the Hardy family to run the wine business but tragically, he was killed in a plane crash aged 46. Eileen, left with three young sons to raise, took charge of the family business along with Tom's cousin Kenneth. She received an OBE in 1976 for her services to the Australian wine industry and was, by all accounts, an incredible life force. This beautiful picture, taken by Lord Snowdon for Australian Vogue magazine in 1977, shows Eileen aged 83. Apparently, she had potential outfits laid out on the bed but Snowdon insisted she wear whatever she would normally wear, doing something she loved - in this case, feeding the seagulls on the beach. It's such a beautiful shot and, I think, hints at both her courage and warmth. Quite wonderful, indeed.  

Current white in the fridge: Tesco Finest Pouilly Fume 2013, £8.99 (normally £10.69), Tesco
The Loire Valley is the place for understated Sauvignon Blanc and this one, made by a great producer called Fournier, is beautifully done. You get gooseberry, lemon and lime flavours but you also get a hint of smokiness, which just makes it all taste, well, expensive. Which given it's price, is pretty impressive. The vineyards of Pouilly Fume lie on the other side of the Loire River to Sancerre, so it's similar but with its own Pouilly personality. 

Current red in the rack: Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2010, £30, Majestic
The idea behind this range is to select the best parcels of Shiraz from regions across Australia and blend them, in this case from the McLaren Vale in South Australia. This is an enormous wine, but not brutish at all. Rather, it's a powerful combination of spice, blackcurrant fruits and smooth oaky flavours. Rich and savoury, this was served with the most gorgeous lamb dish at the dinner. Never mind the cricket legends, I was all about the wine. 

Chin chin x

Nb. This is not a sponsored post. But I did go for dinner, the wines were brilliant and I really wanted you to see this photo. 

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