The Best Food & Drink For Your World Cup Party

Life Writer
07.14.18 5 Comments

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The World Cup is wrapping up this weekend. England and Belgium will face each other for a third-place finish on Saturday. On Sunday, underdog Croatia takes on France for all that FIFA football glory.

Soccer gets a pretty big slight in the US. Still, 22 million Americans (about a fifth of the Super Bowl’s viewers) are going to watch the World Cup Final this weekend. Granted, that’s a pretty small drop in the bucket compared to the over three-and-a-half billion people who watch worldwide. Basically, half the planet is going to tune in to see if Croatia can make history against the French. That means there’s going to be a party or two happening and those parties need booze and food to keep them going.

We thought we’d take a note from FIFA’s global approach and put together a drink and food menu for a great World Cup party this weekend. We’re focusing in on French and Croatian food and drink to celebrate those teams’ advancing to the final. It’s a little culture, some great food, plenty of booze, and 90 minutes of intense soccer.

DRINKS FOR THE FRENCH SUPPORTERS

BORDEAUX RED

A nice bottle of red from Bordeaux is an essential wine to have on hand for most occasions. For a World Cup final, it’s crucial. The earthy wines are some of the best in the world, certainly some of the most coveted.

Choosing a label is a rough prospect. Bordeaux has 7,375 chateaus releasing over 10,000 wines every year. So, yeah, where to begin? Look for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec to dominate the scene with an emphasis on Merlot.

Blends are pretty common from the region (and likely more of what you’ll come across stateside). The best chateau blends from the Left Bank of Gironde estuary — Château Latour, Château Margaux, Graves, etc. — are 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Cabernet Franc, and 15 percent Merlot. The Right Bank — Château Fongaban, Château Le Conseiller, Château Fleur Haut, etc. — blends flip the script and are 70 percent Merlot, 15 percent Cabernet Franc, and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Preference really comes down to what you dig — that, and where your price point lands when you get to the wine shop.

HARD CIDER

Hey! We’re in the middle of baking hot summer heatwave. You know what’s superduper refreshing, crisp, and will still get you nice and tipsy? Cider.

French ciders are fantastic. They tend to lean more into the drier champagne-like elements of wine with nice echoes of apple orchards under the bubbles. An ice-cold cider is a perfect beverage to serve a bunch of friends looking to escape the heat and enjoy a little championship footie.

If you can find a bottle of Le Père Jules Brut Cidre de Normandie, buy a case. This French cider from Normandie has a gorgeous crispness to it that quenches a mid-summer thirst, feels light, and just a little apple-sweet.

CHAMPAGNE

We mean, is there any better way to celebrate anything than with a bottle of French bubbly? You don’t necessarily have to break the bank here. A standard bottle of Veuve Clicquot should only set you back about $30. That’s not bad for three glasses of fizzy white wine all the way from Champagne.

Alternately, break that bank and drop a C-note on a bottle of Dom P (also known as Dom Perignon if you want to get snotty about it). Just, please, don’t buy some sparkling white wine from Napa or the Hudson and call it “champagne.” It has to actually come from Champagne, in France, to be called “champagne.”

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