Ginola grape goes against the grain

David Ginola was used to turning heads as a footballer. Now he's doing the same as a vintner...

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Ex-Spurs winger David Ginola bought a vineyard in Provence after retiring from the Premiership six years ago – and he seems to be taking his new career seriously. In his debut season as a vintner, his Coste Brulade rosé has just won a silver award at the International Wine Challenge, the most prestigious wine-tasting event on the calendar. Apparently it boasted ‘gentle strawberry fruit flavours with notes of minerality and a lovely soft texture’ – bet that would have gone down a storm at White Hart Lane…

As money-spinning ideas go, footballers buying vineyards sounds about as likely as last night’s Weakest Link WAGs special. But then, David Ginola was never your average footballer. Not content with delighting the fans of Spurs and Newcastle (and to a lesser extent, Aston Villa and Everton) with his silky skills during his seven years in the English top flight, the maverick winger also won over an army of female fans with his flowing locks and Gallic charms – helped by his performances as an uninspired pundit during the 1998 World Cup, and his appearances in commercials for Renault and L’Oreal.

Now the cynic might well conclude that the competition’s judges were as mesmerised by Ginola’s star quality as opposing full-backs used to be by his body swerves and step-overs. After all, celebrity endorsements are not exactly a novel marketing strategy for new products, even within the haughty world of wine – albeit this is a slightly more upmarket offering than Stowells’ attempts to sell more plonk using Emmerdale ‘babe’ Adele Silva (who by her own admission knew nothing whatsoever about the subject).

However, this looks like a very different kettle of poisson. The event was a blind-tasting, so not even Ginola’s rugged good looks could have won over the judges. And apparently, his interest goes right back to childhood, when he used to go the market with his father to buy wine. He’s even talking about putting Provencal back on the map as a wine-producing region.

In some respects it’s a sign of the times that footballers are now buying vineyards rather than spending their retirement fund on the local Dog and Duck. Then again, it seems a bit unlikely that your average Cristal-swigging, WAG-dating, Chinawhites-visiting English footballer will come up with a decent rosé, even if they live to the age of 100...

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