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  • Writer's pictureJodie Cordell

Football Wine Pairings...Choose Your Team, I'll Pass You A Bottle Of Wine!

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

I read a fun article on Interweave pairing crochet patterns with wines. I thought it was super clever.

But football is back! And if there has ever been a season when we really need a little distraction, it's 2020. It's been a tough year and our collective morale could use an extra kick.

So I had this idea...

I thought, "I bet I can pair wines with football teams." And it was surprisingly easier than I expected.

The really fun thing is several professional football players have gotten into the wine business. WTH? Who knew?

So, while researching I discovered a ton of great wineries. And teams have partnered with wineries to produce some fun, tasty, special edition spirits, too.

Without any further bullshit, here we go...

Are You a Miami Dolphins Fan? Check Out Passing Time's Merlot ($55)

Tasting Notes: Very rich on the nose with a bouquet of dark plum, blackberry, cocoa nibs, crushed thyme, and pipe tobacco.  There is a ton of depth on the palate, with a seductive, silky texture featuring tons of dark fruit flavors, blackberry reduction, chocolate ganache, cigar box, licorice pastille, and lingering herb notes. – Passing Time Wine

From the Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino comes Passing Time Winery in Woodenville, WA. After his pro football career, Marino went into the wine business with former teammate, (whoever the hell this guy is) Damon Huard. They teamed up with a pro-wine maker Chris Peterson to draft their all-star team.

Now, I'm not in the habit of paying more than $25 a bottle for wine, so this one won't be a regular play for me. And if you're in the same damn boat, you might try something like Skyfall Merlot 2017.

At a cool $16.99 a bottle at the local Publix, it's nothing like the Passing Time wine, but it is named after James 007 Bond's house! That makes it cool enough to try out on my o-line. Hell, yeah!

Denver Broncos Fan? Try The Farm Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2018 From 7 Cellars ($30)

Denver Broncos famed former quarterback and all-around cool guy John Elway started up 7 Cellars after retiring from football. His intention was to create some great wine to go along with his top-notch steakhouses. So he partnered with famed winemaker Rob Mondavi, Jr. and created some deeply satisfying wine.

The Farm Collection is the "more affordable" version of their fancy Reserve selection, at just $30 a bottle. At that price, I would even run outside my own playbook and pony up for this bottle.

Tasting Notes: Sourced from premium vineyards in Paso Robles. Aged for 12 months in French and American oak for a medium, full-bodied flavor profile. Hints of rich, dark fruit create a bold, rich wine.

Sounds like an exciting play!

Fan of the New England Patriots? Try Doubleback's Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ($108)

Drew Bledsoe, the Hall of Fame quarterback that handed Tom Brady his career, left the NFL in 2007 and started Doubleback in his home state of Washington. It was a smart move for Drew and he's had a lot of success with his wines.

Drew grew up in Walla Walla and always planned to return to his native valley. He dreamed of running his own vineyard from the beginning. He teamed up with the Josh McDaniels, who's been named a "'Game Changer of Washington Wine', a 'Washington Prodig'y, and a 'Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of America' from Wine Enthusiast magazine." Josh helped propel Drew's winemaking into the superstar player it is today.

Tasting Notes: Leading with graphite, pencil shavings, tobacco leaf and dark cherry. The 2017 has fine grained mid palate richness with an uber long finish.

Winemaking sure beats sacks and injuries. Honestly, who wouldn't trade turf for grapevines?

Doubleback has plenty of high-end fine wines and trophies to back up their winemaking dexterity. But they're not exactly an every-day kind of wine. So, if you're looking for a great back-up that's actually in New England, you might try Jonathan Edwards Cabernet Franc Connecticut 2019. You can grab this bottle for a sweet $25.

Packer Backer? You've Gotta Try Three Fat Guys 2019 Sonoma Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

The Three Fat Guys, Tony Moll, Daryn Colledge, and Jason Spitz, were all three drafted to the Green Bay Packers' O-line in 2006. They consider that first year in the NFL to be an act of fate that brought them together from different corners of the world. That magical day in April that started a friendship and future in winemaking that endures today.

TFG has a wide range of wines. And one of the coolest things that have happened since the pandemic of 2020 is they've started doing virtual tastings for FREE. Anyone can join for the cost of the wine. How amazing is that?

Tasting Notes: Celebrated for its ripeness and balanced acidity, it is known for its fruit forward aromas and tastes of strawberries, nectarines and cherries while preserving its dry finish. Our only offering aged in stainless steel tanks to add to its crispness and vibrant finish.

Now I'm not normally a rosè kind of girl, but this one sounds like it's worth a try. This winery seems like a fun-loving, honest friendship and business partnership that I would want to be a part of. And I'm definitely gonna get in on their next virtual tasting!

So, if you're looking for a way to enjoy your wine while also supporting your favorite NFL team, there are quite a few options! This is not an exhaustive list, by the way. There are actually lots of others out there you can check out. I was very surprised to see how many footballers had gotten into wine after leaving the field.

I guess it makes sense...when you have the kind of money these professional athletes do, wine is actually a pretty good investment. And you get to enjoy the assets, too!

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