“Hang on a minute, that colour looks amazing…” says Gary Lineker, eyeing a 1934 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia towards the end of another of Noble Rot’s trademark long lunch interviews. He picks up the glass of 90-year-old Rioja and begins inspecting it, using a white napkin as a background. Noble Rot is impressed: have you seen people do that before, or do you actually do it yourself? we ask. “Nah… I saw it on [TV show] Drops of God!” he says, bursting into laughter, as immortalised on our new cover. Gary is, among many things, one of England’s greatest strikers and anchor of Match of the Day. But he’s also never been afraid to air personal opinions contradictory to the British government on social media, which last year caused him to be temporarily suspended from the BBC – while also confirming his national treasure status. Saint Gary, who famously never received a red card throughout his career, talks to us about his love of wine, football dads, the Hand of God, and becoming a born again cook in Noble Rot 35.