I’m going to assume that Adrian Peterson addresses his fumbling problem and the Vikings win the Super Bowl. This will give me the opportunity to spend my Sunday afternoons in January sitting on my couch watching The Purple win three post-season games (assuming the by week) while I munch on my favorite game-time cuisine. I realize that tradition calls for beer during the playoffs but a few years ago I began to offer wine as an alternative. One by one, just like Detroit fans that started the season cheering for the Lions, my friends began to make the change to something new. In case anyone is looking for a change or simply wants to offer an alternative, I have compiled a short list of great wines to pair with classic football fare. And won’t it be fun when your buddy asks you for a drink, to reply “Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Syrah, or Chardonnay?”
Buttered Popcorn: Meridian 2008, Chardonnay ($9.99). This is a perfect pairing. The wine even smells like buttered popcorn. The fermentation style used to produce many California Chardonnays creates a creamy, buttery taste. Combine that with the creamy vanilla flavor that the oak barrel adds to the wine and you have two items that each make the other taste better.
Sausage Pizza: Seven Deadly Zins 2006, Zinfandel ($16.99). The spicy finish makes this wine taste as if it came out of the same pan as the tomato sauce. This Zinfandel is big and bold enough to stand up to fatty sausage without getting overwhelmed. Bold, spicy, hot flavors are perfectly cut out for bold spicy wines.
Peperoni Pizza: Innocento Tramonti 2004, Sangiovese ($13.99): Sangiovese, the grape used to make Chianti, is a natural for all things Italian. The acidity of the wine fits seamlessly with tomato sauce. This wine also displays a faint smokiness that pairs perfectly with an oven baked pizza crust. The flavors of cherries and red apples are a bonus. Like the Vikings playing well for four full quarters, this wine is complete from the first aromas all the way through to the long lasting finish.
Slim Jims and Beef Jerky: McManis 2007, Syrah ($12.99): The pepperiness of a Syrah, or Shiraz if from Australia, goes hand in hand with spicy meats. There is also a gamey element to this wine which pairs well with beef. These two are like meat and gravy.