Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup Wines. Day Four. Italy vs Paraguay

The Wine Rules:2:If you want to drink Italian, think Italian tells you everything you need to know about how to choose a wine to go with an evening football game featuring four time winners and current World Champions, Italy.

Add the fact that it's Moday night so fish is out - never buy fish on a Monday as it's only likely to have been fresh on Friday (my Scottish Grandparents were fishmongers)

Old joke: 

Customer: That piece of cod I had today wasn't half as good as the bit I had last week. 

Fishmonger: That's strange, it was off the same fish. 

So I'm guessing it will something meaty for dinner tonight unless you're a vegetarian. In Italy that can mean surviving on bowls of Napoletana pasta or eating Pizza Napoletana. Either dish could still involve removing pieces of ham. Ham's not meat apparently.

So let's just stick to a red we know and love (ish), Chianti. It's as variable as the Italian football team - knocked out in the first round in 1974, in 1994 they famously lost their first match 0-1 to Ireland but still went on to reach the final while in 2002 they were eliminated by South Korea.

For everyday glugging pick a young fresh Chianti Colli, Fiorentini or Senesi. Classico Riservas and some of those from Rufina are often longer-lived and will complement any meal with red meat at its heart.

Paraguay falls just outside the world's top 50 winemakers - producing just some 6,000 tonnes of grapes annually; less than Israel, more than Egypt. 

Paraguayan wine isn't comparable with that of neighbours Argentina and their neighbours,  Chile. The best known local wines are probably La Copa and Rey Baco. The former offers three varieties; tinto and rosado table wines plus a Sangria.

Since the 1930s to this day, German settlers have created table wine and produced wine in bulk that is as likely as not to be mixed with cola in to make a drink known as a 'par'.  

Italy rank fifth in the world. Paraguay 31. No contest. Crack open the Chianti.

Italy 3 Paraguay 1.

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