Looking forward to Superbowl XLV? I am.
Pittsburgh and Green Bay are “old school” football teams. This is the first title game with 2 teams more than 75 years old. Combined, these two teams account for 9 Super Bowl titles.
Football, at it’s best, is testosterone-fueled, hard hitting action. To compete with this level of intensity we need BIG, BOLD, teeth-staining wine.
Keep reading for a couple of my favorite “gridiron greats”- hearty recipes and wines for the big game.
• CALIFORNIA CABERNET.
There are lots of great blends out there (cab sauvignon WITH cab franc/merlot/petit verdot/malbec). But for the largest watched television sporting event in the world- I am suggesting 100% power, from Napa Valley, California.
1. Conn Creek Limited Release Cabernet-around $20, drinks like a wine costing at least 2x as much-herbs, cedar, tobacco..like drinking a cigar humidor (just kidding).
Napa is very well known but is VERY small production. They produce a mere 4% of California’s wine grape production and represent only .04% of the world’s production.
Drink with… ASIAN SHORT RIB SLIDER RECIPE
• RED ZINFANDEL.
These come from some of the oldest vines in the Country (approching 100 years in age), the Sierra Foothills of California. This region has great names to look for on the bottle like “Fiddletown” and “Fair Play”.
2. J Runquist “Z” Zinfandel-Great Old Vines Zin under $20.
2a. Zin91– around $15, on sale. Grapes are sourced from many vineyards so they don’t always come from the Foothills.
Zinfandel is known for full-bodied, high alcohol, spicy, jammy wines. Zinfandel is called “Primitivo” in Italy if you would like to try the Italian version.
Older vines DO NOT=better wines but they do produce more predictable results so there is less variation in the wines from vintage to vintage (year to year).
Drink with…Extra Sharp Wisconsin (Green Bay) Cheddar, or BBQ NACHO RECIPE.
You may not be familiar with this Italian expression of power, but you should be. Taurausi, made with Aglianico is dubbed the “Barolo of the South”. Aglianico is a black grape and can make wines so powerful you may need some help getting back to your feet after this wine knocks you on your a**.
3. Mastroberardino makes my favorite Tarausi wines but they can get pricey. $45+
3a. Feudi di San Gregorio “Rubrato“ is a more affordable version- under $20.
Drink with… dinner-CINGHALE (WILD BOAR) PAPPARDELLE RECIPE.
No Pappardelle? Substitute Egg Noodles or other thick noodle pasta.
You can also substitute leftover pot roast, shredded pork or ground beef when you don’t find boar meat at Acme or SuperFresh. 😉