Game Day Wines Playbook
February 16, 2023
Every day we all try to find that tricky balance between carbs, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. At the game coming this Sunday we will gladly throw out the old rulebook in favor of punchier dishes, powerhouse “poppers”, and heftier portions, so we are here to make sure you pick up the perfect wine to compliment. Of course, beer is going to have a place at any football game, however, there is a reason you’ve never heard the phrase ‘wine-belly’....
Now, let's break this down. There are four well-known game day food groups: salty snacks, sweet and savory meats, pizza, and spicy foods. Most foods of the spread will fall into one of these categories, and in some cases they will fall into several categories. Thankfully, there is a strategy used to keep your food-wine-pairing game strong in the event that the food groups do cross, or that the variety of food gets a bit overwhelming...
- Pair to the spiciness level of your snackage first.
- Spicy can make your wine taste bitter, so select an easy, crushable wine.
- Pair to pizza like it’s its own course.
- Really drive in on a classic pizza pairing, straight from Italy’s playbook.
- Bust out the heavy-duty red wines for your meat courses.
- Salt is INCREDIBLY wine friendly.
- Just like with food. It makes everything pop.
For practice, consider the following… You’ve made the spread. It’s glorious, the best you’ve ever made. A guest reaches the table and is rearin' to get into the habanero buffalo chicken wings, your own homemade recipe, along with a handful of chips and guacamole, and a slider or two. GO TO RULE #1! Your spicy wings demand a rewarding, refreshingly light wine like the 2020 Roussanne from La Pradera Vineyards. On this play, the salty chips and slider roam around the outfield assisting the receiver - the super spicy wings. Make sense? If you like jalapeño poppers, pepper jack cheese, and flaming hot anything - you better pick up a bunch.
THE OFFICIAL LINEUP:
Ribs, burgers, dogs, and chili. The strength of a bold and smoky wine is the ability to match the weight of the wine with the weight of the meats lined up on the grill. Your boldest wines, such as your classic 2019 Hunter, are made for this moment. Wines with Syrah also fall into this category.
All the chips and all the dips. If salt makes the fruitiness of a wine pop out - and it really does - you want a non-fruity wine in position. Go ahead and pull the bottle of 2019 Malbec from Lost Draw Vineyards out of your February wine club box and taste how the wine gets juicier after a pickle or a hand-full of salted nuts.
The Endgame. In the fourth quarter, when the pizza finally arrives, a good tomato sauce decides our play. The one and only 2019 Sangiovese from Alta Loma Vineyards is a textbook classic pairing with savory and sweet dried herbs notes, understated fruitiness, and the all-important tomato leaf tones that make this pairing a true All-Star.
And remember, Texas wine is made to pair with food...so don't be afraid to Be Be Aggressive!