Of course the traditional UK accompaniment to watching Rugby is beer, lots of it, but with the Rugby World Cup being held in France this year why not get into Le Spirit by pulling the cork, or twisting the cap? Allez les rouges et les blancs!

We kick off with a red wine that has the strength and persistence of a prop forward closely followed by a white from with the light touch of a scrum half. Here the French are storming to victory with winemaker Laurent Delaunay leading the pack

Laurent Delaunay recently carried off the Trophy for Champion Red at the International Wine Challenge,  after in 2017 restoring the prestigious name of his Burgundy wine making family after some decades of decline. He is aso working hard to revive the older name for wines from the region, Bourgogne.

Today the Delaunay name is once more respected and well-reviewed and these two wines are perfect expressions of the skill of the winemakers and should be to hand even if you’re not on the French team’s side

Abbotts & Delaunay ‘Les Fruits Sauvages’ Malbec 2021

The grapes are harvested in the Aude Valley at the base of the Pyrenees where a slightly cooler climate, with a fair bit of reliable rainfall, means good quantities of fine reds despite the rediscovered, 30 year old vines being, by nature, lower yielding than most.

Old vines do produce grapes of greater complexity though, and these are blended with other grapes from the Aude department resulting in a wine of that is thenaged in oak for between six and nine months to become rich, fruity and spicy,  mixing power with subtlety to get it over the line for a guaranteed score especially with a manly steak.

Majestic RRP: £10.99 / £7.99 when you mix 6

Edouard Delaunay Septembre Chardonnay 2020

An elegant and excellent value, barrel-aged Burgundian Chardonnay from Edouard Delaunay, grapes from the Côte d’Or are complemented by a selection from the heights of the Mâconnais adding roundness and fruitiness to the blend.

65% are vinified in the style of great white Burgundies and barrel aged, the rest in steel tanks. Citrus, lemon and orange blossom aromas mix with a hint of barley sugar and white chocolate, followed by notes of melted butter, frangipane and hazelnut on the palate.  Delicious when tackling a Lobster Thermidor or bringing down a bowl of mussels.

Majestic £15.99 or £13.99 mix six 

You can find more about the remarkable range of Delaunay wines on their website