Winemaker recreates fruity Spain, chunky Argentina

Mon Jul 5, 2010 9:10am EDT
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By Alexandra Hudson

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - If Spain's soccer team were a wine they would be a classy red, a blend of mourvedre, cabernet franc and tempranillo grapes with a dash of cabernet sauvignon reflecting their elegance and pace.

Argentina would be a fruity and chunky wine with dominant shiraz and malbec grapes over a nebbiolo, petit verdot, cabernet franc and sauvignon body, giving it a lively nose.

South African winemaker Roberto Bottega, whose family run the Da Capo vineyard outside Cape Town, devised different blends of wine to reflect eight World Cup teams as part of the Stellenbosch wine festival.

"First of all, I thought about the players' qualities and then I tried to align these with the characters of different grapes. Merlot for example is like an elegant midfield," said Bottega.

South Africa's famous Pinotage grapes give a wine the strength and firmity defenders should give a team. The more defensive a team the more robust the wine blend. The more attacking a team, the more fruity.

"On paper the England blend is a classy Bordeux. They are supposed to be good but sometimes can be boring," said Bottega.

Argentina have departed after losing to Germany but of the four semi-finalists -- Uruguay, Netherlands, Spain and the Germans -- Bottega prepared wines for all but the Uruguayans.

On the taste front the winemaker declared Spain the clear winner, with the Dutch wine the runner-up.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

<p>Fans celebrate before the start of the 2010 World Cup Group H match between Spain and Switzerland at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, June 16, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hanna</p>