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With less than a month to go before the World Cup kicks off, now is an ideal time to test your palate to find some refreshments to accompany the matches.
With that in mind, The Hour’s wine expert Tom Cannavan has devised a plan, the Wine World Cup, where he will take a look at wines from the top seeded countries of the World Cup and choose the best for aroma, flavour, style and value for money.
This week, sparkling wines from England play off against Spain while Holland battles Argentina in a bid to win the best red wine.
Chapel Down, Vintage Reserve Sparkling Wine, England (£16.99, Waitrose)
This delicious sparkling English fizz is made from different grapes; this champagne-look-alike is from Chapel Down, Kent, who have been making wines since 1977. Ideal for celebrating your teams win in South Africa.
Tasting cues include apples, buttery brioche and lemon.
Cordoniu, Pinot Noir Rose Cava, Spain (£11.99, Majestic)
An elegant Spanish rose wine made from Champagne’s pinot noir grape and is bursting with sweetness. This wine will give the English fizz a run for their money and will please any WAGs at the football party.
Tasting cues include strawberries and raspberries.
Niepoort, Drink Me 2007, Portugal (representing Holland, £9.99, Raeburn Fine Wines, Edinburgh)
Disguised as a Dutch wine, this wine actually comes from Portugal. Holland do in fact have wineries however, their wines are not available in the UK. So representing his home country, Dutchman Dirk Niepoort’s wine is a big, powerful and able to battle off competition from Argentina.
Tasting cues include red berries, plum and cinnamon.
Achaval-Ferrer, Malbec 2008, Argentina (£13.99, Corney & Barrow, Ayr
This Argentinean wine which uses a world class grape, Malbec, comes from the best wine regions in the country. This wine shows off plenty of class and is not afraid to throw its muscle about either.
Tasting cues include green herbs, raspberry and chocolate.
In the end, England and Argentina were given the nod as the two best wines. The Wine World Cup continues next week with four more wines competing against one another for the final two places in the coveted final.