One of the favourites to lift the cup is four-time winner Germany, which is represented by the lovely Schloss Vollrads Rheingau Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2016. From one of the oldest wine estates in the world, this off-dry Riesling offers an abundance of orchard fruit with a touch of pineapple alongside trademark minerality. At a relatively modest 12% ABV and with a touch of residual sugar this is a perfect summer sipper: vibrant and light on its feet just like Mesut Özil.
Another favourite is two-time winner Argentina, represented by Altos Las Hormigas ‘Appellation Gualtallary’ Vale de Uco Malbec 2014. Concentrated strawberry and cranberry fruit with hints of herbs and spice on a backbone of structured tannins. Widely considered to be one of the top five Malbec producers in Argentina this exudes elegance and class, as does star player Lionel Messi.
Spain is another favourite for the title and looking for a wine which reflects the elegance and star quality of midfield legend Andrés Iniesta, our Spanish entry is Cuatro Pasos Mencia 2015 from Bierzo. Made by Luciano Amoedo and Katia Álvarez from 80-year-old vines, the wine has a lovely concentration of predominantly red fruit alongside a touch of vanilla spice courtesy of time spent in oak prior to bottling. Elegant and well balanced, this wine has star quality written all over it.
France has lots of star quality both on the pitch and in the bottle and our representative for France is selected in honour of Mâcon-born striker Antoine Griezmann. Domaine Perraud Mâcon-Villages 2016 was produced by a wild yeast ferment with the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation before being left on its lees for a further six months. The result is a complex, relatively full-bodied Chardonnay which balances citrus and tropical fruits with a long minerally finish.
Portugal have a team chock full of quality which perhaps flies under the radar, much like this gorgeous wine from Portugal’s Dão region. Made from 100% Encruzado, a grape which is complex and full of personality like star man Cristiano Ronaldo. Quinta dos Carvalhais Encruzado 2016 exhibits floral notes alongside zesty citrus and pear fruit and the bouquet is complemented by spicy French oak (courtesy of fermentation in new oak barrel). On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant making it a perfect choice for summer.
And the rank outsider…. yes, it’s England! In case they pull off a major shock for the nation to toast, how about the award-winning Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2010. From one of England’s finest wine producers, this Blanc de Blanc made by winemaker Cherie Spriggs has been aged on lees for more than five years. The result is a complex wine with delicate floral notes accompanying citrus fruit and a hint of vanilla and toast on the finish. Like Harry Kane, this wine always hits the back of the net!