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The World Goblet Round 2: Italy vs. Greece

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While scanning the World Cup groups in order to plan our daytime drinking over the next month, Gut Check noticed that most of the great wine-producing nations are represented in the tournament field, including all of those with a reputation for crafting good, value-priced wines. Because Gut Check never saw a value we didn't like, we resolved to stage our own tournament to determine the 2010 World Goblet Champion.

Today brings what shapes up as a wild and woolly match, as the Italians dip into their indigenous-grape horn of plenty and dig out a white vernaccia, while Greece goes all Fred Flintstone on their ass with a retsina, a wine flavored lightly (one can only hope) with pine resin, a combo that became popular two millennia ago when wine-storage containers were sealed with resin to prevent leakage.

To view all 2010 World Goblet matches to date, click here...

Next: Goblets up!

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Dave Nelson
2007 Toscolo Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Tuscany ($11)
Extremely pale in color. If you like smells like orange blossoms, almonds and honey -- and let's face it, who doesn't? -- inhale deeply. The flavor's light and very lively, with citrus, sharp acidity and a hint of nuttiness on the finish. Very light and summery, to be sure. But delicate enough that if you want to pair it with food, you gotta go light fish or fowl.

NV Cambas Retsina ($6)
It smells like Christmas! Well, not exactly, but pine and rosemary own your nose once you stick it in the glass, not a hint of fruit to be found. Surprisingly, some fruit flavors do put in an appearance on the palate, but only if you squint real hard. The lack of acidity doesn't help matters, it only pushes the pine-forest aspect further to the front. If you like retsina and can't scrape together more than $6, this is the wine for you. Suffice to say, though, that it ain't the wine for us.

Result: Italy

Don't blame Greece. Blame the crappy selection of Greek wines in St. Louis. We tried to avoid resorting to retsina in this competition. The wines do have their place, and that place is at a taverna, with an ouzo or two already down your gullet and a huge plateful of food bound for the same destination. This isn't a bad retsina, but it's far outclassed by the Italian.

Group B Standings:

Country

W

L

T

Pts

France

1

0

1

4

New Zealand

1

0

1

4

Italy

1

1

0

3

Greece

0

1

1

1


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