And so, after years and months of anticipation, the FIFA World Cup 2014 has arrived. Today marks the day I'll be abandoned in favour of the other half's second love, football. Yes, for the next month I am a football widow.
Whilst some wives and girlfriends may have welcomed the World Cup with open arms, I am less excited about the football element, and more excited to be embracing all things Brazilian, particularly the drinks we are seeing this summer.
Though Brazil is perhaps better known for it's cocktails (Caipirinha anyone?), it's also a wine-producing country. Brazil has a relatively large number of vineyards, with a large part producing table wines from varietals we all know and love.
Due to too much heat and humidity closer to the equator, most of the wine production in Brazil is concentrated in the South, close to Uruguay and Argentina, in a state called Rio Grande do Sul.
Though a recognisably Brazilian wine style is yet to evolve, the wines of Brazil are generally quite aromatic with great fruit and acidity and produced from varietals which we've all heard of; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.
New from our friends at I Heart Wines, is the I Heart Brasil Sparkling Moscato - a neat package of medium-sweet Brazilian wine from the Muscat grape, packaged in the colours of the Brazilian flag. Vivacious, effervescent and refreshing, it's a superb celebratory party popper and the perfect sparkler to toast the kick off later tonight as Brazil take on Croatia in the first match.
Full of summery sweetness, it's bursting with fresh floral aromas and on the palate is full of grape and passionfruit flavours. Of all the varietals, Muscat is the only one to smell and taste of what it's made from - grapes! - and this doesn't disappoint. With an abv of 8.5%, it makes for a lovely lunch-time tipple, or a perfect picnic partner. I Heart Wines recommend going all out Brazilian and pairing with chicken with molho de maracuja - a traditional Brazilian passionfruit sauce - but it's also great with antipasti, or fresh fruit desserts. Versatile? Yes, I'd say so.
I picked up a couple of bottles off the shelf in Tesco for £9.99 each but it's now on offer at £7.99 a bottle until 1st July! It's also available online by case of 6 at Wine by the Case, and whilst I agree that you'll find other sparkling wines at a fraction below this price, this is delectable.
Not content with waiting until kick-off tonight, I popped a bottle open to taste last night, both on its own, and as part of my own cocktail creation. Yet to think of a creative, witty name for my cocktail, it shall simply be known as the Brazilian Passion Cocoscato - you'll soon work out why....
Brazilian Passion Cocoscato
1 part passionfruit coulis
1 part coconut liquer
3 parts I Heart Brasil Sparkling Moscato
Mint to garnish
1. In a tall glass/jar pour the passionfruit coulis, coconut liquer and ice. Stir to combine.
2. Add the I Heart Brasil Sparkling Moscato - careful, it's fizzy! Stir gently to combine.
3. Pop in a sprig of mint and a couple of straws. Enjoy!
Tim-tum - that's cheers in Brazilian!