Ricky Ponting tries his hand at luxury wine
A cricketer making Shiraz doesn’t immediately look like a natural career progression, but even a novice can say that Ricky Ponting’s first foray into the wine world isn’t so bad. Conceptualized in late 2019 and coming true during the COVID-19 lockdown, Ponting and his wife, Rianna, took their isolation project to the next level with the launch of Ponting Wines.
Teaming up with winemaker Ben Riggs to make sure the drips fall well, the former Australian captain has spent a lot of time (almost a year) perfecting each bottle and choosing which regions are right for the grape.
Beginning with four bottles, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir, a Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon, Ricky and Rianna have bet on a combination of their own love of wine and the expertise of their winemakers. Which for a weekday wine drinker and cricketer like this writer is a winning combination.
“It’s really a godsend. We had nothing to do during the lockdown other than home schooling for three children. It gave us something positive to focus on, ”said Rianna at the virtual launch event, where the famous cricket couple shared the inspirations behind each of the bottles.
“I have a little story to tell about each of the wines… there will be constant adjustment and evolution,” Ricky told the audience, going through each of the tasting notes. From sauv blanc “First Pitch” (“the first session of a test match was very special for me”) to cabernet “Close of Play” (“when the game was over and the crowd was gone, those were the moments. specials ”) each wine has a story to tell.
And from a wine drinker who knows less about tannins and more about whether it goes well with tagliatelle, I can firmly say that I enjoyed Ricky’s wine. In particular, the Pinot and Shiraz, which I found excellent, accompanied by a Friday night cheese platter and a shoulder of lamb. Ad test, right?
The packaging isn’t bad either, with a luxe embossed label with subtle hints of Ricky’s past life in the field.
“The most important thing is that they are tasty. They have to be satisfactory, ”noted Riggs. Riggs has worked on a number of celebrity launches in the past, including Backline Wines, the project of former Wallaby teammates Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell.
But according to Riggs and Ponting, this is not a single successful celebrity project in the headlines, Shane Warne’s foray into the wine industry in 2002. In fact, Ricky and Rianna have been involved in every step of the way.
Discussing pinot noir – an ultra light and easy to drink drop – the cricketer explains the choice of Tamar Valley in Tasmania. “This particular winery is probably 10 or 15 minutes from where I grew up. With Ben, we sat there on a finished product and we sat around the mixer and worked for a while until we found what felt right to us.
And the result is tasty and easy to drink, at least for Ricky, who Riggs said wasn’t very good at letting go while tasting. “We’re still working on Ricky to learn how to spit,” he laughed.
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