Fancy a drink? Sam Wylie-Harris raises her glass to this week’s best buys.

WITH all eyes on South Africa in the build-up to next summer’s World Cup, Cape winemakers are hoping to join the premier league by raising awareness of their wine gems – and share a taste of the winning team’s good fortune!

A happy football experience should make you thirsty, and the same goes for a great wine. Overseas footie fans who base themselves in Cape Town will not only be rewarded by a magnificent view of Table Mountain, but a memorable glass in their hand.

For the boys back home, Cape Town’s Wines of South Africa is planning a series of international festivals, a World Cup for sommeliers and other novel initiatives in the UK and other worldwide destinations to coincide with important matches in the 2010 tournament.

With so many leading estates from the prized Stellenbosch coastal region vying for our attention, there are plenty of wines to shout and cheer about.

Top scores go to boutique winery Journey’s End (let’s hope it’s not for the England team!) who produce hand-crafted premium wines which can be found in some of the country’s best restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay at Claridges.

Try the elegant Journey’s End Haystack Chardonnay 2008 (£9.75, which is ripe and creamy with rich aromas of almonds and greengage, and the lime acidity gives good balance.