The Wine Edition of the Rugby World Cup Final 2011

So after 40+ games in one of the finest sporting nations in the World, the Rugby World Cup is coming to its climax. It’s been a fairly disappointing and quite frankly, laughable campaign from an English perspective what with allegations thrown left right and centre, a gum shield incident and then a swimming race! (Why is it always us?!) At least however, we’ve got two nations in the final that we can connect with in the wine world, the old fashioned and claret driven French against the white wine lovers and young red guns of New Zealand.

The French produce a vast amount of different bottles and vintages of fantastic red, white and sparkling wines, from the world renowned regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone, Alsace, Loire etc. Their old, traditional habits are still visible and recognisable today and the stubbornness of certain regions not to join in with the modern ways of screw caps and to continue, in vast numbers, with corks, is one I agree with. Their production methods are becoming better every year and are based in the modern era, although traditional values are kept and are the equal of other wine producing nations as they pump out 7 to 8 billion bottles of wine per year.

Their Southern Hemisphere opponents New Zealand, most wine consumers think, play slightly second fiddle to their greatest rivals Australia a lot of the time and the Wine World is no exception. The Australians produce fantastic Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst New Zealand takes the white wine option of perfecting Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Oz Clarke is big admirer of the Kiwi’s Sauvignon Blanc and has described it as “arguably the best in the world” and this area is undoubtedly 100% one of the world’s Premier Sauvignon Blanc producers.

So as we’re talking wine, I think France rule the world and therefore they win this battle by default, but if we’re talking Rugby I think New Zealand are going to tear the French apart and celebrate being the World Champions in their own back yard. I’m just glad the final wasn’t Namibia V Scotland!