Ginola scores at world's biggest wine challenge

To his winning free kicks, flowing locks and appearances in L'Oréal shampoo ads must be added another string to David Ginola's bow: fine wine.

The French former footballer renowned for his finesse at Tottenham and Newcastle in the 1990s has carved out a new career as a producer of more than passable plonk.

Yesterday the judges of the biggest wine fair in the world, the International Wine Challenge, awarded Ginola a coveted silver award for his Coste Brulade rosé, praising its "gentle strawberry fruit flavours with a hint of minerality". They also commended two of the retired winger's other bottles.

By triumphing on his debut at the blind tasting, Ginola was cementing the rising credibility of wines produced by celebrities. Only 14 per cent of the wines entered into the competition were awarded gold, silver or bronze, yet well-known faces lent their reputation to seven of them.

The South African golfer Ernie Els clinched three silvers for his Bordeaux-style reds; the 2004 Ernie Els, (praised for its "big fruit oak nose"); the 2006 Cirrus ("ripe crunchy berries"); and Lapa Cabernet Sauvignon ("woody but well integrated").

Els farms at Stellenbosch, South Africa's main wine region, with his friend Jean Engelbrecht and the vintner Louis Strydom.

A red from the American film director Francis Ford Coppola, the Diamond Collection Red label Zinfandel, earned a commendation. He also makes pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon at his vineyard in Sonoma County, California.

Commended were wines from two other famous faces – the former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson, who makes Quentin Wilson's Chateau Gourgues, and Cliff Richard's Vida Nova Reserva.

Two years ago, the pop singer was tricked into criticising his wine in a blind tasting on Gordon Ramsay's Channel 4 show, The F Word.

"He thought one of the wines was amazing," Ramsay recalled. "Of course it was, it was £400 a bottle. Then we got to one which I told him was a £12.99 wine. He said, 'That's rubbish! I wouldn't pay for that. It's tainted, it tastes like vinaigrette. I'd never even buy that.' I said, 'Cliff, that's your own wine!' He went bananas."

Richard is nonetheless proud of his Portuguese wine, a blend of shiraz, aragonez, trincadeira and alicante bouschet.

At the IWC, British wines marginally improved on their strong performance last year, winning 22 medals. A single UK Gold went to a sparking wine from Kent, the Balfour Brut Rosé 2004. The top three medal winning nations were France (696), Australia (587) and Spain (381).

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test