With most of the world’s great wine-producing countries in this year’s World Cup, the tournament offers plenty of excellent options for the soccer-loving tippler. Then again, most folks associate sporting competitions with huge volumes of beer. But that’s not always the case in Argentina, where beer and wine share the stage at almost any social occasion. So if you want to drink like an Argentine during the World Cup, then we’ve got just the wines for you.
Our first wine is an obvious one: the LEO Malbec 2012 from Casa Bianchi, which is part of a joint project with Lionel Messi’s foundation. This is no gimmicky malbec; it’s got a high, bright flavor more reminiscent of French malbec than most Mendozans, so it’s fine for drinking on its own, even slightly chilled as many Argentines prefer in the summer. It has a suggested retail price of $17, including a charitable donation.
For a white, we’re partial to the Finca Domingo Torrontes 2011 from the grape’s adopted home of Salta. Originally from La Rioja, torrontes has thrived in Salta with effulgent aromas of flowers and tree fruit. This one isn’t too sweet at all, and it’s a bargain at just $13.
Of course you’ll want to pop some bubbles when your team wins, and we’ve got some great options there, too. If you prefer something on the sweet side – perhaps an aperitif before dinner, since most games will end by 8 pm EDT? – then you can hardly do better than Familia Schroeder’s Deseado Torrontes. It’s $14 as well, and full of gorgeous pear and honey flavors.
For a dryer sparkler, our best value is the Enrique Foster Lois Malbec Espumante. It’s lighter than a traditional champagne, and its pale pink tint makes it extra festive. Did we mention you can pick it up for less than $10?
FIFA may not have a big wine sponsor, but if you’re looking for something a bit more interesting than a Budweiser, spend a few minutes on our site. We’ll be taking time off from tasting during the tournament, but we’ll have plenty more wonderful wines when it’s over. Salud!
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