February 4, 2016
Which wines to enjoy with football?
Beer and football may be the original combination, but lately Pinot Noirs, Chards and others seemed to find favor with more and more people. Don’t get us wrong, Americans still purchase far more beer than wine over all, but Bud Lights are getting competition. Since the country’s biggest sporting event is right around the corner, we put together a few wines you can enjoy while watching football. Keep reading!
This year, wine will be even more in the spotlight, as the Super Bowl will be played in Santa Clara in California, close to some of the biggest vineyards in the United States.
For starters, football season kicks off in the midst of Indian summer, therefore calling for crisp whites (we’re talking Sauv Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, etc.).
Now that the football season advanced, cooler temperatures and football snacks (hot dishes like chicken wings, pizza, and more pungent cheeses) call for more robust wines: either heavier-bodied whites – such as a buttery Chard or Viognier – or big spicy reds that can stand up to those warm dishes.
Here are a few of our suggestions for your Super Bowl picks and, more generally, football Sundays:
Try a Barbera, the Italian red grape known for its deep color, low tannings and high acidity: 2009 Michele Chiarlo Le Orme Superiore, Barbera d'Asti ($15) has the dual advantage of being a great food companion, and a great value for the price point. Plus, it would be right at home with barbecued ribs or a zesty chicken chili.
2011 Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir ($18) is another great bargain wine, and a true crowd pleaser! Supple, round and mouth-filling, pair it with loaded nachos or a hot spinach dip.
If you’re looking for the right wine to pair with burgers or a hearty chili, go for the 2006 Cline Cellars Estate Syrah, Sonoma County ($12). This is an impressive, balanced and flavorful Syrah for the money. Peppery and generous, it might remind you of a good Côtes-du-Rhône.
On the white side, 2013 Giesen Estate Pinot Gris ($15) from New Zealand or 2009 King Estate Acrobat Pinot Gris ($12) are both good value Pinot Gris, very approachable and versatile food companions. For pairings, think fried chicken or guacamole dip.
“In football, there’s always someone working harder than you, and you wake up at 5 a.m., and you pay attention to every detail,” he said. “You certainly apply that to viticulture and winemaking.” These are the words of Clay Mauritson, who played linebacker at the University of Oregon. Who said football and wine didn’t go together..?