While much of the world is anticipating the World Cup, which begins in South Africa next week, a Berkeley wine company is hosting its own world competition of sorts.

Solano Cellars and Vintage Berkeley are creating a bracketed competition that pits wines from around the world against one another – sort of like the soccer championships. It is called “The 2010 World Cup of Wine,” and an extensive knowledge of wine is necessary to win.

However, anyone who enjoys the taste of wine can participate.

The store has selected wines from around the world that will be matched up and tasted, glass to glass. The winner of one bracket will compete against the winner of another bracket until one wine eventually triumphs. People sipping the wines at various tastings will vote to decide which wine they prefer.

Serious wine lovers can enter the competition by submitting their predictions on which wine will wine each round. The entries for this elimination style competition must be turned in by Thursday June 3. The fun part – the wine tastings – start that night as well. All it takes to taste is a $15 ticket.

The first wine tasting will be at the Vintage Berkeley store on College Avenue. It will feature wines from South Africa against wines from France.

On Saturday, at Solano Cellars, wines from Portugal will face wines from Australia. Other face-offs will feature wines from California, Oregon, Italy, Croatia, Germany, New Zealand, Hungary, and Austria with a final winner declared on July 15.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...