Football and Wine Picks

Football & Wine Picks

October 17, 2018

There are those who live and die by the game of football, and then there are those who enjoy everything else about the game.  Creating new traditions and long-lasting memories by tailgating with friends and family, trying out the latest and greatest of lip-smacking snack food recipes, showing your utmost team spirit by donning your colorful game-day uniform, and ultimately spreading good cheer and being a good sports-person no matter what the outcome of the game.

All of this hard work, either by the host providing such an experience or attendees cheering on the game, is sure to draw up a thirst that needs to be quenched.  Advanced Sommelier Jenny Benzie offers us a quick list of “First and Ten” wines that will not only be game day crowd-pleasers, but also leave room in your pocket to do it all over again next weekend!


Gravel Bar Cabernet Sauvignon and Nantucket WIne GlassIn the division of West Coast wines from the United States, Washington State is not the first wine viticultural area that typically pops to mind when thinking of your favorite all-star region. GRAVEL BAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON showcases the essence and value of what this area can offer.  Hailing from Columbia Valley in the south-central part of the state, this wine is grown in sandy, rocky, alluvial soils that add a plethora of earthy components to the wine.  It is full-bodied with vibrant flavors of black cherry, mocha, and plum, with a subtle finish.

This wine label is owned by Bronco Wine Company, which was founded and is still owned by the Franzia wine family (think Franzia in a Box, like my mother used to drink) who also owns 39 other wine label brands.  They are known for crafting affordable wines for the American table.  Cheap + cheerful for a crowd, indeed!

Pair with Jansal Valley Roasted Salted Peanuts to get the game started


Trig Point Cabernet Sauvignon and FootballHeading to California for a consistent first down performance, Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt, along with his wife Yolyn, have done it again. After flying the globe for many years as a consulting winemaker for numerous large-scale brands, Nick started his own winery with a focus on single vineyard, site specific, small production, artisanal wines.

TRIG POINT CABERNET SAUVIGNON hails from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.  The sustainably farmed “Diamond Dust Vineyard” where the grapes for this wine are grown has an early morning fog (think Nantucket) with warm sunshine to follow until the evening fog rolls in again.  The deep gravelly loam soils are ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.  Luscious cherry, red raspberry and tealeaf aromas are accompanied by red berry fruit flavors.  This wine is well structured, medium-bodied. with a touch of vanilla and black pepper on the finish. The wine is aged 18 months in a blend of different barrel sources. Less than 5,000 cases are produced of this beauty!

Top your game day chili with Shelburne Farms 2 Year Old Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Hunt & Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon in AutumnOften times the half-time show is more memorable than the first or even the second half of the game. In order to have a sure-fire success at this break in all the action, you need a wine that is strong, complex and able to hold up to a stellar presentation.

Our Napa Valley MVP is made by winemaking veteran Chris Hall of Napa Valley, whose family is known for their organic grape growing and full-circle farming system at Long Meadow Ranch.  HUNT & HARVEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON is a well-made, well-rounded red coming from established grape growers of the region. It is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Malbec. The nose has layers of black cherry, blueberries, and cassis.  The palate is fruit-forward, yet supple with long, soft tannins.  It is aged in 75% neutral oak and 25% new French oak, which add structure and complexity to the fruit.  Coach recommended and approved to help keep your head in the game!

 Grab a snack with this one of New England Charcuterie Sweet Soppressata


Justin Cabernet Sauvignon and FootballThe leader of the pack. Responsible for calling the plays. Setting the standard.  Knowing the exact details of every aspect of player of your team that goes into the bottle.  This is exactly what Justin Baldwin was doing when he founded Justin Winery in Paso Robles with the aim of crafting wines that belong in the company of the finest in the world. His mission to make world-class Bordeaux-style blends began with his first release from his own vineyards in 1986. 

The soil in the western part of the region where these vineyards are located is rich in fossilized limestone from eons of marine deposits, making it ideal to craft a big, rich, Bordeaux style red.  The distinctive microclimate here also offers the widest day-night temperature swings of any grape-growing region in California.  With attractive aromas of black fruit and spice, JUSTIN CABERNET SAUVIGNON is aged over a year in traditional small oak American barrels.  This combination of terroir and winemaking skills helps the grapes to develop intense flavor and creates an exceptional wine. Awesome wine for holiday gift giving!

Touchdown when served with  Taza Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Discs

You don’t have to be a devoted football fan to a specific team in order to reap the benefits of game day drinking on a beautiful fall afternoon.  At least join the festivities as a considerate bench warmer to enjoy the snacks (watch out for that fall fifteen before the holidays, though) and a delicious glass of red wine.  There is a punt in the bottom of the wine bottle to assist with pouring – that’s a football term, right?!

P.S. Go Virginia Tech Hokies and Kansas State Wildcats!