Before this World Cup, one thing was beyond doubt – great wine countries can play great football. Just look at the list of some of the recent winners – Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Argentina…. And although countries like Australia, Chile or the USA are unlikely to win it anytime soon they’ve created a lot of great World Cup memories over the years.
So, I think it’s only right that Wine should play it’s part in who we chose to support at this World Cup, plus it would be nice to show our European neighbours some support after the recent spats! Let’s look at a few great options…
The quality coming from Spain isn’t just limited to its footballers. If Spain’s Andrés Iniesta is the equivalent of a well-aged Gran Reserva Rioja let’s look to the young guns of Spain to highlight it’s bright future. Within the Rioja region, Wine Critic Robert Parker awarded our exclusive ‘La Maldita Rioja Garnacha’ 89 points and declared it “a champion for early consumption, ready to be a success… Super Value!” This bargain can be picked up for only £7.49. While those looking for a stylish aromatic white will be impressed with the Abellio Albariño from the North West green corner of Spain; the perfect white wine for Sauvignon Blanc fans who are looking to try something similar but different.
Vive la France
They’ve got the flair, the talent, the speed…but it is France and therefore hard to predict! Like this French football team, their wine industry is full of luxury and extravagance yet there are a few bargains for those willing to delve a little deeper. Chateau Manon from Bordeaux is our current Wine of the Month, while the Rare Vineyards Range from Southern France includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a Malbec (from its native home France, not Argentina) both these ranges are currently available for ‘2 for £12’, it’s time to stock up and Vive la France!
Hang on, what do you mean Italy didn’t qualify! You can’t have a World Cup without Italy, can you?! Well, I guess we are and this calls for something a little special. Given that we all wanted Italy to be there, step forward the Aussies, yes, the Aussies! Not only have their footballers made it to the World Cup but one of their top winemakers is having great success making an Italian ‘Amarone’ style wine in Australia using their Shiraz grapes. The name of this great wine is Nugan Estate ‘Alfredo’ Dried Grape Shiraz and it’s currently on offer at £10 in the run up to Fathers Day (Sunday, 17th June), which is a steal considering it was award 94 points by Australian Wine Critic James Halliday.
While ‘Alfredo’ was not named after him, football buffs will recognise the name Alfredo Di Stéfano as one of the greatest footballers of all time. Uniquely Alfredo played for Argentina, Columbia AND Spain! So if you can’t pick just one team for the World Cup, ‘Alfredo’ is your Wine.
Prices correct at time of writing: 28th May – 16th June 2018