It has been said that the perfect meal, paired with the perfect wine, can change your entire perspective on life…but what about wine and sports paired together? Can the same effect be achieved?
Wine tends to be overlooked when it comes to the drink of choice for most sports fans, but for no good reason (that I can think of). I wanted to buck this trend. Through experimentation, I created my own pairing of sports and wine that will hopefully make you reconsider before grabbing a beer before game time:
Baseball paired with Miner Viognier
The true summer staple and American pastime. Nothing can define a warm July day like an afternoon at the ballpark. Baseball is my true love, and I go to a lot of games, but on this particular occasion I snuck a bottle of Miner Viognier into the stadium (in the name of research).
With fresh cut grass of the field and the aroma of salted peanuts in the air, the ripe citrus notes and honeydew melon-finish of the Miner Viognier was the perfect adhesive to bring it all together. After inhaling a box of Crackerjacks and a hotdog slathered in yellow mustard, along with a swig of Viognier to wash it down, I knew I had the perfect pairing.
Football paired with Miner Syrah
Football always reminds me of the coming of fall. Unrelenting heat yields to cooler evenings and sweatshirts. With this weather change, I always gravitate to a red wine over a white. I found that my favorite is Syrah. Taking the savory and smoky characteristics of the wine into account, it was the perfect wine to open during a tailgate party while sticky ribs were cooking on the grill. During the game, the brisk tinge in the air was totally negated by the warm Syrah and BBQ in my belly. It was perfect.
Generally speaking, football is a rugged game and a wimpy wine would not suffice in such a environment. Luckily the Miner Syrah held its own against the beer-swigging masses.
Side note: Speaking from this experience, when passing around the pigskin in the parking lot, don’t drink a bottle of wine and expect to be the next Fred Biletnikoff. It won’t happen.
Hockey paired with Miner NHL Red Blend
Being that the bulk of hockey season transpires during the throes of winter, I decided to bring a bottle of our Miner NHL Red Wine to a recent game. After all, with Miner as the official wine of the NHL, it only seemed appropriate.
Prior to the game, a friend had an electric crockpot plugged into his car, and within was a hearty steak stew that been slowly morphing into a sloppy assemblage of flavor. This wine proved to be an excellent complement to the pre-game meal, but also fueled our vigor for the chaos of slap shots, body checks and reverberating Plexiglas that was about to commence. Given the brazen and embattled undertones of the sport, this Bordeaux-blend was the ideal companion for the day.
Basketball paired with Miner Rosato
Basketball is a sport that thrives on vigor and energy. In that vein, my thought went straight to our Miner Rosato, which is a Rosé of Sangiovese.
Bright, vibrant and full of bounce (no pun intended), our Rosato is a wine well-suited for the raucous and wild environment in a basketball arena. Being discreet, I managed to bring in chilled Rosato and enjoy it with a fried oyster po’ boy sandwich…a combination that went down as easy as a Steph Curry jumper. Overall, the Rosato’s acidic, crisp intensity was the ideal partner to match with the feverish pace of the game and the crowd.
In conclusion, regardless of the sport or whether you’re watching in-person or at home, try foregoing beer for a change and trying your favorite wine instead. You might be surprised to see how well they pair together.
Chief Hat Wearer (literally), Resident Hunky Ginger and Wine Club Coordinator at Miner Family Winery, I like to surround myself with good friends and great times. I feel that wine plays a big part in that. My goal is to provide unpretentious insight on wine culture from a guy’s perspective, as well as the Napa Valley in general. I also love baseball and dogs.