July 11th, 2014
02:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

After a bleak situation four years ago, which saw Spain (lots of wine made there) vying with the Netherlands (um—gin, maybe?) for the World Cup, we are back once again to a final matchup between two great wine-producing countries: Germany vs. Argentina. I am certain that fútbol fans around the world are breathing a sigh of relief about this.
If nothing else, though, this particular game will allow you to drink great wine while supporting your side (great beer, too, when it comes to Germany). And it also puts the two great sides of wine against each other: white vs. red.
Germany, of course, is the homeland of Riesling, one of the world’s great white grapes, while Argentina has become a Malbec powerhouse, lifting a once–obscure French variety into supermarket ubiquity. This situation doesn’t mean you have to drink white if you’re a fan of Thomas Müller and co., nor does it mean you have to drink red if Lionel Messi and his teammates are who you support—but, you know, why not? Here are some suggestions:

2013 Clean Slate Riesling ($11)
A good introduction to Germany’s famed Mosel region (and a great value), this citrusy bottling is also widely available.
2013 Dr. L Riesling ($14)
Focused and precise, just like die mannschaft, with a tiny bit of sweetness to balance the laser-like acidity.
2012 Leitz Out Riesling ($14)
Lemon-peach notes and impressive clarity of flavor from one of the Rheingau’s new stars, Josef Leitz.
2012 Layer Cake Malbec ($13)
Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, known for his high–end Napa Cabernets, heads down to Argentina’s Mendoza region for a few months each year to produce this lush, black-fruited Malbec.
NV Reginato CJR Sparkling Rosé of Malbec ($16)
Ideal for celebrating things like, oh, World Cup victories (or for drowning sorrows in case of a loss) this strawberry-scented, lively sparkling wine is made from 100 percent Malbec grapes.
2011 Catena Malbec ($18)
From one of Argentina’s most acclaimed wineries, this polished Malbec is less over-the-top ripe than some, instead offering impressively fresh, bright, plum-cherry notes.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Carn E. Vore

    I feel asleep as soon as I saw "World Cup" in the title.

    July 15, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  2. tango

    This is a poorly researched article. In fact, through sponsors there is a real competition in terms of beers between both teams. Both of them have a main beer company as their sponsors. One is Quilmes (Argentina, although, technically, the company is owned by a foreign company) and the other is Bitburger (although the core of the German team plays in Bayer Munchen home of the Hofbrauhaus). I thought this article will discuss some real competition and not some general well known things about wine industry in both countries.

    July 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  3. Jeff

    For Germany it should be beer, beer, and more beer.

    July 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
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