11 wine pairing olympics

Wine 101

11 Wine Pairings for the Winter Olympics

February 03, 2022

Written By Coravin

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have begun and athletes participating in curling, luge, skiing and ice hockey have already taken to the ice or snow to compete towards their gold medal dreams. 

In preparation for the February 4th opening ceremony, we have a wine and sport pairing list you’ll want to bookmark for inspiration now through February 20th. Curated by our resident certified sommelier and self-proclaimed wine dork, William Rohlfing, this list is a great representation of the wines available in the Coravin Wine Shop. Explore styles like Syrah and Sekt, or coveted labels like Penfolds or Laurel Glen. Use your Coravin wine by the glass system to have a glass now, then save the rest for the following week, month, or even the next winter Olympics.

1. Bobsleigh and 2016 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz

It seems silly to pair a wine from a warm island with bobsled competition, but somehow it seems so right. In an homage to the Jamaican bobsleigh team made famous by the movie Cool Runnings, we would like to suggest sipping on Penfolds’ St Henri Shiraz. An unabashedly warm wine with an eye to the history of European tradition, this wine will be perfect to sip on while watching the exciting speed of a bobsleigh race.

2. Curling and 2019 Bien Nacido Estate Syrah

“I’ve always felt that Curling is under-appreciated as a sport,” shares William. “There’s a feeling that every man can still be an Olympian in this sport.” The same, unassuming character is found in every Bien Nacido wine: excellence without pretension. This Syrah will evolve in your glass as you watch stones slide smoothly over the ice, hypnotic in their consistency and charm.  

3. Figure skating and 2018 Domaine Garnier et Fils Chablis Mont de Milieu 1er Cru

Perhaps the most elegant of the winter sports, figure skating demands an elegant dancing partner. Premier Cru Chablis is that dancing partner. High-toned, edgy acid, razor-sharp precision, and persistence that just won’t quit, this beauty by Domaine Garnier at Fils will keep up with those athletes.

4. Ice hockey and 2010 Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Ice hockey has the longest tournament in the Winter Olympics and so needs a wine that will be patient. We’ve waited on this 2010 vintage long enough that it will reward with it’s own patience in return. Suave and broad on the attack, this wine reminds us of The Miracle on Ice – startling and glorious.

5. Ski Jumping and 2018 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir

There’s so much intensity in the in-between-moments when it comes to ski jumping  – those moments when we are waiting for the big action. It’s intense. It’s nerve-racking. The Hirsch ‘San Andreas Fault’ Pinot Noir reflects that in the explosive fruit, licorice, and cola flavors that finish out on a nervous acidity waiting for the next sip.

6. Speed skating and 2013 Sektkellerei Christian Madl Von Weissen Sekt

“On a knife’s edge and racing at breakneck speed is how I would describe this wine,” says William. “Sounds familiar, I think.” Just like this Sekt, speed skaters race their course seemingly floating on a razor’s edge. A sommelier’s favorite and very food friendly, this uber-dry sparkler wants you to bring out some fresh shellfish, sip on some bubbles, and enjoy the race.

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7. Snowboard and 2019 Anthill Farms Harmony Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir

As a brash, youthful, and experimental sport, snowboarding has a lot in common with this project at Anthill Farm. Like Shaun White, the team at Anthill Farms is always looking to push boundaries – one of the first to farm this close to the Pacific Ocean, this crew bucked the establishment and created something new and wonderful. With all the elegance and aesthetic beauty of a perfect 1080 off the halfpipe, this Harmony Lane beauty will help you appreciate the smooth beauty of each run (or sip). 

8. Biathlon and 2013 Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

The great tradition of the Biathalon is mirrored in this Amarone. The only Amarone that still hues to the most traditional methods of aging in cherry wood barrels, this wine that was first made by Dante Alighieri’s family is the perfect wine to sip on and contemplate while watching the careful movement and shooting of the Biathlon. Much like a Biathlete, this Amarone is robust and strong, a true classic.  

9. Luge and 2019 Von Hövel Saar Riesling Kabinett

In a nod to the dominance of Germany in this alpine sport, we’ve selected the Von Hovel Riesling to pair with the Luge. Grown on slopes as steep as the luge tracks – up to a 30-degree grade – this icy, hard-edged Riesling offers focus and precision also needed in a luge participant. Sip as you spectate. 

10. Nordic combined and 2017 Ferdinando Principiano Barolo di Serralunga

The longest and most important of all of the cross-country races requires a mate that is similarly ranked – the Ferdinando Principiano Barolo. With notes of rose petal, berry, and forest floor, this impeccably balanced wine and its long finish can hold its own all the way to the Nordic combined finish line. 

11. Short track and 2019 Buisson-Charles Aligote Sous le Chemin

Explosively delicious and sure to disappear quickly (it’s just so delicious), this Aligote is perfect for a short track race. Sip, cheer, and repeat! The excitement of tasting luscious tropical fruits and honeycomb, with aromas of peppy green apple and florals, this tart wine will pair well with watching short track athletes zip across the finish.

Try these and more amazing wines from the Coravin Wine Shop. And, if you’re pairing wine with your 2022 Winter Olympic spectating, tag @coravin!