Wine and Football

With soccer dominating the airwaves , this week on Movies & Booze we are going to  focus...

11.22 4 Jul 2014

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Wine and Football

Wine and Football


11.22 4 Jul 2014

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With soccer dominating the airwaves , this week on Movies & Booze we are going to  focus  on two wine producing countries who have a polarised experience in the wine  world versus the outcome of their performances in the 2014 World Cup..... Chile and Argentina. 

Chile suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Brazil in a nail-biting penalty shootout having previously beaten Australia and their old enemy Spain in the first round.   Argentina  on the other hand have advanced to the Quarter Finals and will play  Belgium tomorrow evening for a place in the Semi Final.

In the  world of wine in Ireland , the opposite is the case,   Chile is No 1 on the irish market , a place Argentina hopes to get to in the World Cup;   and Argentina in wine terms  is down near the bottom of the league,  though showing great promise for the future, as Chile is in the world of football.


In May 2014 Chile overtook Australia for the number one spot  on the Irish market in the wine league table and is now the most popular country of origin for wine drinkers.  Nearly 50% of all Irish wine consumers  now regularly drink a Chilean wine.   Unlike the soccer world,  Argentine wine  lies near the bottom  of the wine league here  in 9th place.  However, that is changing thanks to their success with promoting their flagship grape, Malbec.  These days  Argentina too is showing some growth and is slowly progressing up the league table.  Lets take a look at two wines from both countries to see why this is happening.

2013 Wave Series by Carmen €14.99

Stockists:  Tesco, Spar, SuperValu

Two weeks ago I opened my door to a very handsome couple with a VW Camper Van who wanted me to sample the newest wine from Chilean producer Santa Rita Estate.  The wine is produced under the Carmen label  is called Carmen Wave.  Using two grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir this new Chilean brand is aiming to capture New Zealand wine drinkers.  The wine has a softer Chilean style and is called “Left Wave Sauvignon Blanc” and “Right Wave Pinot Noir” the concept was developed by Carmen Winemaker Sebastian Labbe who started surfing when he was 10. 

A series of promotional activities including in-store sampling and sampling at outdoor events  and festivals  by the couple will feature this summer.  The focal point is the 1974 VW Wave camper van with its sampling trailer, surf boards and barbeque.

 The 2013 Left Wave Sauvignon Blanc  has a lovely minerality showing through, the fruit is sourced from Leyda Valley one of Chile’s newest wine regions best known for producing cool climate fruit.

2012 Trapiche Reserve Malbec  €11.00 - €13.00

Stockists:  Widely available in most supermarkets  as well as most good  off licences

Trapiche is a winery in Mendoza, it was founded in 1883.  It was twice awarded IWSC Argentine wine producer of the year in 2004 & 2008.  Most of the fruit produced by Trapiche comes from the eastern part of the Mendoza region

This Malbec Reserva was  matured for 9 Months in Oak and is a fine example of Argentina’s best know grape variety.   Trapiche is one of the biggest selling Argentine wine brands  on the Irish market.  They are known as a top quality producer.

Malbec was once a significant Bordeaux grape, but in that region it has taken a back seat to Merlot and the two Cabernets (Franc and Sauvignon). Its origins are cloudy, as in France it has over 400 synonyms.  Malbec is usually low in acidity, high in tannins, and has an inky-black colour. Aromas and flavors of red plums, black currants and dried cherries are common.

Malbec  originates in the Cahors region of southwest France, where it is known as Côt,  The maritime climate of the region does not do justice to this magnificent grape variety.   If  however, you move it to the high altitude of the Andes mountains in Argentina and a transformation occurs.  Malbec has found its natural home in Argentina and you will find that the greatest of all Malbec comes from here.  It  is now Argentina’s  most widely planted varietal and is transforming the country's wine industry.

The fruit for this wine comes from Mendoza,   the leading winemaking province in Argentina. Winemaking in Mendoza, is more and more oriented towards quality,  characterized by a constant struggle to achieve the best match between varieties and terroirs.

The Trapiche Reserva Malbec has plum and blackberry flavours with floral aromas. A good wine with great tannin structure, made to go with meat. 


Staying with the World Cup theme with Germany set to play France in this evening’s World Cup match, the drinks industry has released data that outlines how much tax the Irish and German consumer is paying on drinks as they settle in to watch the match tonight.

The consumption levels in both countries, per person per year, is more or less the same. Germans consume 11.80 litres per person, while Irish people consume 11.90 litres per person – again indicating that price does little to change consumption levels.

And as the table below shows – the Irish consumer is being hit – and hit hard.






Ireland vs Germany




Total tax on a Pint of Beer



Total tax on a Bottle of Spirits



Total Tax on a Bottle of Wine



Total tax per person per year




The drinks industry have launched a major national campaign entitled ‘Support Your Local…’ The campaign is designed to highlight the significant financial and social contribution made by the Irish drinks industry.

Bart Storan, Campaign Manager for ‘Support Your Local…’ points out

 “In less than 12 months (between December 2012 and October 2013) the Irish government increased”:

•             excise on beer by 44%

•             excise on spirits by 37%

•             excise on wine by 62%

Excise Duty is a tax that we can no longer afford- a tax on the hard-pressed Irish consumers. If you’re going to facilitate growth in this sector, the Government needs to reverse this tax”.

This drinks industry employs 92,000 people in every corner of the island,  the ‘Support Your Local…’ campaign is supported and funded by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.  All members of that group – including wine importers, drink suppliers, pubs, restaurants, hotels and independent off-licences are enthusiastically asking people to recognise the massive contribution that the industry makes to local communities all over Ireland, and are calling on everyone to ‘Support Your Local…’


















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