Pedro Barato, National President of ASAJA, has been in charge of coordinating the round tables that have awakened the most interest at the National Trade Fair on Wine
"What we are going to do today is a healthy exercise, as we are going to join forces and combine two great worlds that arouse enthusiasm: Wine and Sports". These were the words that Pedro Barato, National President of ASAJA, used to start the round table "Wine and Sports: a healthy exercise", activity in which José Antonio Abellán, Sports Director of the COPE Radio Station; Paco García Caridad, Radio Marca; Iñaki Cano, Director of Onda Cero's program 'Al primer toque' and former football players Rafael Martín Vázquez and Fernando Hierro all intervened.
In José Antonio Abellán's opinion there is no better combination than wine and sports. "Both are pleasures, both arouse passions and both are healthy vices", declared the journalist who considers significant the fact that more and more athletes are becoming interested in the world of wine, are learning to drink and are investing in this sector.
This point of view is fully backed up by the activity's coordinator, Pedro Barato. "I love the fact that athletes are investing in the world of wine, of olive oil, etc. It makes me feel proud and they may just be one of the best allies that these sectors can find", ASAJA's President declared.
On his part Paco García Caridad has compared sports with wine, given that both insure physical and mental health. "Wine is a food, which in moderation is more than recommendable, as more scientists are continuously finding healthy properties in the same, thus it is a wonderful complement for athletes". Caridad, along this train of thought, has mentioned an example: "Miguel Indurain used to have a glass of wine at dinner during the Tour de France, habit that foreign teams then also introduced in their cyclists' diets".
Radio Marca's Sports Director has found even more factors for union between both worlds: "Normally wine is not enjoyed in solitude, but is in fact shared and commented with friends, as is likewise the case with sports. Both are factors of consensus and dialogue".
Iñaki Cano has also stressed this aspect. "With a good glass of wine any subject can be undertaken, wonderful friends can be made and I am convinced that one of the things that athletes appreciate the most is to be able to eat with wine, if their coach allows them to of course. This is certainly something I have been able to verify during my 26-year long professional career", stated the Director of the program 'Al primer toque', who is of the opinion that athletes have money to create companies and "where can a better investment than wine be found"?
Former football player Fernando Hierro has also shown himself to be an enthusiast in this aspect, ratifying Iñaki Cano's statements and asserting that he is proud that his companions have decided to dedicate their investments to a product from our own country. Apart from the fact "that their image helps to promote wine".
This leads to another of the matters that have been undertaken at this round table: the problematic involved in commercializing wine. José Antonio Abellán has been very direct with this subject. "We make good wines in Spain, but we do not know how to sell them. The fact that athletes are lending their image and marketing to viticulture projects can only entail positive aspects for wine".
Finally, Rafael Martín Vázquez has commented on the importance of the younger generation initiating themselves in the world of wine hand-in-hand with sports. "In like manner to how parents teach their children how to play a certain sport, they should also introduce them to the culture of wine. On the other hand, I am unable to conceive a good meal without a good wine, as both are absolutely complementary".
Rafael Martín Vázquez and former football players Manuel Sanchís, Emilio Butragueño, José Miguel González 'Míchel' and Aitor Karanka, along with other professionals from the world of wine, are partners of the vine-growing company 14 Viñas, which elaborates 'Casalobos', a Manchego red wine, the same under the technical direction of Enologist Ignacio de Miguel. This wine has been tasted before the round table starting.