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The World Cup is upon us

Published:  18 January, 2007

Yes, it's here. It's arrived. After all the hype, the World Cup is finally under way. And we are now facing up to four weeks of anguish, depending on how Becks, Rooney et al fare in what is the most important sporting event in the world.

This weekend, a large proportion of us will be huddled around the telly seeing what the boys can do to the Paraguayans, and next Thursday it's the turn of Trinidad & Tobago (can we dare hope they will be as bad as Jamaica?). The Swedes will be no pushover, so we need good results in those first two games.

Of course, this column should be - and is normally - about commercial opportunities, and the morals and ethics of the wine trade, looking for the high ground, providing a vision, a beacon for the trade. Not this week.

Frankly, if you haven't cottoned on by now to how to make the most of the commercial opportunities presented by millions of people sitting around their LCD flat screens consuming vast amounts of beer, wine and spirits, you're too late. No, this is personal.

Love them or loathe them, it is time to get behind Sven, Beckham and the rest. Scots, Welsh, Irish - yes, you as well. I know it doesn't seem right, but nothing unites this country more than the football World Cup (OK, winning The Ashes did, belatedly) - just look at all the flags. So, relax and go with the flow - literally. Get yourself a bottle of something nice, settle down and let the action begin.

Christian Davis