AFL Round 19 – Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs: Aurora W(h)ine

Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs

3:30pm, Sunday, 3rd August 2014

Aurora Stadium


What a week Melbourne has thrown up, with temperatures plummeting to levels not seen since 1997. Generally this would not be considered the time of year to plan indoor/outdoor parties, but having a milestone to celebrate we snuck one in last weekend. Luckily, with some well-placed heaters and the traditional open fire in a steel whirlpool drum, a mild winter’s night was easily addressed. There was naturally the odd guest who clearly thought that a “beer jacket” would suffice.

The theme was “When Where or How – dress reminiscent of the time you met me”. This of course meant the crowd was attired in many different fashions including school days, sporting pursuits & recent workplaces. Many different times and all of value in the final make up.

 One of my gifts (from Hawks supporters) was a 1998 Yarra Valley Shiraz, a vintage rating of 9 out of 10 due to the cold and dry winter of 1997. I am looking forward to cracking this bottle with suitably mature slabs of cheese. My mind drifted to the combination of the times covered by my guests attire and the how excellent the wine and cheese would be as I prepared myself for the inevitable pain that a Dogs supporter would suffer watching us take on the Hawks at Aurora in 2014.

Whilst we cannot pin a single year as the vintage of a football team, my mind drifted back to 2008 where we first tasted this Hawks outfit. In the corresponding match, much to my pleasure and a packed Rose Hotel, the Dogs took the honours. But alas the Hawks, even though young to the palate, managed to win the best in show Gold Medal. Meanwhile all the Dogs, with a mature and even balance could manage was another Prelim loss. The word was out though that this vintage of Hawk was going to be a mature and full bodied outfit that would challenge all comers. It is no surprise to the connoisseur that, even taking Buddy from the line up and adding to the Swans, the Hawks remain the benchmark.

The game opened up showing really how good the Vintners at the Hawks are. Their ability to continuously make additions to their blend has ensured they maintain their ascendancy. There latest addition of McEvoy put the game to rest with a dominant first 15 minutes, which saw the Hawks take an early 4 goal lead. From here the Dogs fought hard for a fairly even game, at times matching and bettering midfield and defensive play. The forward line difference was easily identified when comparing the Roughhead varietal, with the 1987 Jarryd clearly outshining the 1990 Jordan. Eventually in the last quarter the Dogs allowed the Hawks to “breathe” and their robustness shone through to the predictable 10 goal win.

Needless to say I also received some more recent vintages as gifts from those folk of different times and places and I trust that with good cellaring I can enjoy these into the future as well as a maturing Bulldog team.

Sommelier’s Notes:

This Hawks vintage is ready to be enjoyed, once decanted they will put up a show against all comers and with the possibility of additions in the form of Lake, Sewell, Mitchell and Rioli we can expect better in the short term. Drink now before Northern Regions mature.

This Bulldogs vintage is an immature Red (White and Blue) outfit that has a pleasing flavour but lacks the back palate of the ability to score. Cellar for 2-3 years. Strong hopes for the future.


Hawthorn                                            5.2          7.6          11.7        16.11 (107)

Western Bulldogs                            2.1          2.5          5.7          6.9 (45)


Hawthorn: J Roughead 6 J Gunston 3 J Lewis 2 B McEvoy D Hale J Simpkin L Breust T Duryea.

Western Bulldogs: T Campbell 2 J Stringer L Dahlhaus S Crameri S Higgins.


Hawthorn: Roughead, Lewis, Shiels, Birchall, Hodge McEvoy

Western Bulldogs: Griffen Morris Libertore Campbell

Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Brendan Hosking, Tristan Burgess.

Crowd: 14187

Our Votes: Roughhead (H) (3), Lewis (H) 2, McEvoy (H) 1.


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Having read this to my Doggies -loving hubby his comment, “I feel quite drunk now!”
    Great story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    We’ll played , Rowds a very enjoyable read ( totally agree re where both sides are at )
    Sounds like a great party thank you !

  3. Nice one, Rowdy. I have fond memories of that 2008 York Park match. Won by five goals and it would’ve been much more had the Hawks not been so accurate – 15.16 to 12.2! Looking forward to the maturation of the current Doggies blend.

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