Show time: Champions League Finals 2011 (May 28, 2011)

How do you serve wines to guests with a huge variance in love and understanding of wines, while conjuring enough magic to content with a match between the likes of Barcelona and Manchester U?

My usual plan is to start out with deceptively simple wines that I like and have drunk enough in the past, and then work our way up to the good stuff, hoping the neophytes will wear themselves out and leave the good stuff to me.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Rully, Les St. Jacques, 2008

The fruit is purer than ever, behind a veneer of chalk and flint. Perhaps just a hint of iodine as well. Good cut on the palate, lovely salinity, with citrus acidity. As ever, this is so delicious, it is almost too quickly gone.

Tomer Gal, 120 NIS.

Chateau d'Angludet, Margaux, Bourgeois Cru, 2000

The initial glass (the lower-the shoulders glass) is green with hints of eucalyptus and angular but at least finds the bottle in good shape. The sexy Bordeaux fruit and the inherent harmony of a good Left Bank vintage reveal themselves even with this small sample after a few minutes. Unfortunately, as time goes by, the hard truth hits me: this bottle is likely at least lightly corked. Or something. The cork sure smelled like TCA. The aromas showsproper Bordeaux currants and leather, but the palate just trudges along with surly hesitation and even a ten tear old 2000 should behave with more decorum three hours after opening. This bottle just isn't right.

About 40 USD at K & L, 5 years ago.

The d'Angludet was supposed to be the third and last wine, but the guest who was supposed to bring the penulimate forgot it at home. As the d'Angludet, TCA or not, was surely under-performing and done with by half-time, I brought out one of my 'house reds'.

Alain Graillot, Saint Joseph, 2007

I like the fact that even my laymen friends picked up that this wine has kinky elements out of place in a red. That is, there is a yellow, tropical note that edges close to mango. It fairly soon picks up typical black pepper as well. Anyway, this really puts out and behaves very much as it did on our previous dates: languid and yummy. This is my last bottle and I am sad to watch it go.

WineRoute, about 140-150 NIS.