Football and Wine

The press is reporting that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is considering becoming a wine importer when he retires.

Ferguson has always been a connoisseur of the finest wines and is famed for sharing a bottle with rival managers after matches, and the Scot is known for splashing out £5,000 on a case of his favourite burgundy.

Apparently he now intends to set up a small business importing wines from across Europe after leaving Old Trafford. Ferguson has reportedly told friends of his desire to launch the business, which would be predominantly based in his beloved France, with the objective of bringing the best wines over to the UK.

A friend of Ferguson’s told the News of the World that he has always dreamed of owning his own vineyard and that he and his wife Cathy have already decided they will spend half the year at their home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and half in France after the United manager decides to quit the club.

The couple’s intention is to tour the country’s vineyards with the intention of scouting for the very best wine around, with the advice and support of respected wine critic Robert Parker.

Ferguson is an avid collector of Burgundy and Bordeaux and Wayne Rooney has been consulting him concerning his own wine cellar. One of Ferguson’s favourite wines is Pesquera, which comes from the Spanish Ribera del Duero, located in the country’s northern plateau within Castile and León.

It is also one of several recognised wine-producing regions to be found along the course of the Duero river. The DO is dedicated almost entirely to the production of red wine from the Tempranillo grape. Ribera del Duero is home to the highly-prized Vega Sicilia, enjoyed by Prince Charles and Pesquera has become highly fashionable as a cult wine.

The trend of celebrities owning wineries and vineyards is not a recent phenomenon – ex-Spurs winger David Ginola bought a vineyard in Provence after retiring from the Premiership, David Beckham bought a Californian vineyard as a birthday present for his wife Victoria and the Leicester player Matt Oakley has recently set up as a wine merchant dealing in fine wine investment.

Across the pond in America wine making is also becoming a popular career for NFL footballers on their retirement as you can see from the list below:

Former New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills star quarterback Drew Bledsoe
Retired NFL coach Dick Vermeil
Former president of the San Francisco 49ers Carmen Policy,
Wife of former University of Michigan coach and icon Bo Schembechler, Cathy Schembechler
Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana
Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino

Finally you might be surprised to know that there is even a wine named after Argentine football legend Diego Maradona – let’s hope the ‘Hand of God’ should it make an appearance comes in the shape of a bottle rather than a ‘sleight of hand’ against England in the forthcoming world cup against in South Africa!!!

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