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.
We selected the top twelve wine value-producing nations and seeded them into three groups based on personal prejudice, bias, and, most critically, the ability for us to actually find a nation's wines on local shelves.
Group A: Spain Argentina South Africa Portugal
Group B: Italy France New Zealand Greece
Group C: United States Australia Chile Germany
Like its fútbol counterpart, we'll start with a group stage, with nations facing off against one other in each pool. We'll award three points for each win, one point for a draw. The three pool winners and the top second-place country will move on to the semifinals, the winners of those to the final.
To make it more interesting, each match will require a different wine from each country (if we can -- Greece may prove tough). That way we'll get to plumb the depth of value each country has to offer. We've set a top "value" price of $12 - if we have to exceed that to find enough examples, we'll impose a penalty in the scoring - this is a value wine competition after all. As always, we'll do our best to find the highest-quality examples we can.
Like the World Cup that inspired it, the World Goblet begins tomorrow.