Pedal Power

I thought I'd better record some of the wheels within wheels currently hurtling around the Bubble Brothers velodrome before they lose their momentum, or the spokes get spannered. Fearghal and Simon, the Revolution Cycle team, are well on their way to becoming the first Irish circumnavigators of the globe by bicycle. They have confidently added a countdown timer to their website, showing about seven weeks to go before they arrive back where they started in Greystones, County Wicklow. The success of another bicycle-powered enterprise is also heading for the spotlight. We have been very pleased to add the Californian wines of Cycles Gladiator to our list, and recent criticism bemoaning the lack of interesting Californian wine at mid-price has had to make an exception for these handsome bottles (prohibited from sale in Alabama because of the nymph on the label). The wines are a very welcome addition to our range, offering full-blooded flavours persuasively construed by winemaker Paul Clifton, and all represent fifteen euro well spent. I'll be interested to see how the latest version of the label looks across the full range. I've grown fond of the all-blue version, so have mixed feelings about the spring-cleaned version that'll succeed it: Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio 2009 What do you think yourself? The president of Hahn Family Wines and the creator of the Cycles Gladiator brand, Bill Leigon, is coming to London next week on a visit to his English importers, Patriarche, and I've been invited to go and interview him. You'll have to see for yourselves what comes of that. I'm intending to enjoy the trip. If I were of a competitive disposition, though, I'd probably be on my bike and heading for the hills. The bar has been raised rather abruptly (ouch) on the bicycle of Irish wine-on-the-web just lately. The sorts of wine merchants and critics you should be listening to have been interviewing and researching and socializing like there's no tomorrow, except that tomorrow's been in their minds all the time: rather than sleep, they're up all night editing and refining their words and pictures into spring-fresh video clips and articles and disseminating them to every web-publishing house you can think of. Whether all that hamster-wheeling is transformed into efficient peddle power, it's still hard to tell. But a small revolution is gearing up in the way wine works here, and no mistake.