Wine Savvy on October 18, 2014 0 Comments Football, tailgating and… wine? Yep. Imagine delicate aromas of leather and earth, spicy notes of peppers lingering on the palate, and smooth flavors of toasted oak making your mouth water. No, we’re not talking about the aromas and flavors bursting forth from your latest bottle of Spanish Tempranillo. It’s tailgating season, and these senses will be working tirelessly to entice you to pig out beside your pigskin for the next few months. Although historically, beers and Bloody Marys have owned the tailgating beverage throne, in recent years, Shiraz and Pinots have been scoring points as more and more Americans are adding wine to the lineup of tailgating treats. According to a recent report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), Americans surpassed the French in wine consumption for the first time ever last year, consuming more than 29.1 million hectoliters of wine in 2013 as opposed to the 28.1 million hectoliters ingested by wine drinkers in France. With a new taste for wine, most foodies are discovering how beautifully wines pair with traditional tailgating fare. Not only do most wines pair perfectly with salty foods, but most easy-drinking tailgating wines offer an incredible alternative for supplying your next party with a liberal amount of tailgating tipples than any football fan can enjoy – and in a huge range of price points. From acidic blends that enhance the creamy nature of nachos to crisp wines that delicately balance rich dips and finger foods, here are four wines that pair well with foods like hamburgers, kabobs, dips and more, while scoring you points at your next tailgating party. Sofia Riesling 2011 paired with Nachos: The cool vines and long growing season of Monterey County lay the groundwork for what makes this slowly ripened wine such a great pairing for tailgating season. The aromas of this wine are fruit-forward with strong pear and apricot perfumes, and the flavors from the white peaches, green apples, and bits of pineapple give it a vibrant acidity that highlights all the spices of salsa while remaining fully capable of handling the creaminess of the melted cheese and saltiness from the tortilla chips. On average, the 2011 vintage of Sofia Riesling costs around $19 per bottle. NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvée Rose Brut paired with Kabobs One sip of this delicious and dry rosé and all your uncertainties of serving pink at a football party will vanish right away. This 2013 salmon pink vintage is made only with Pinot noir grapes from Grand cru villages with a daring soak-on-the-skins method of winemaking. This delicate champagne may seem dainty at first, but the muscular structure of the blackcurrant, raspberry, and black cherry flavors give this bubbly rosé the chance to beef up the charred flavors of any sort of kabob (lamb, steak, salmon, chicken, etc), although it’s also great served on its own to toast a victory. Try it paired with egg dishes or breakfast burritos for early games. On average, NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvée Rose Brut costs around $109 per bottle. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 paired with Guacamole The stony, free-draining soils from Cloudy Bay’s New Zealand vineyard allow for the perfect environment to raise the crisp and juicy fruit required to make this light and airy wine. All at once, this Sauvignon blanc is grassy and herbal with a careful balance of citrus and minerals. The acidic lemongrass and nectarine tones of this wine are enough to stand up to the creamy richness of the avocado, while the floral and sweet grapefruit and passion fruit notes handle the saltiness of the chips. On average, the 2013 vintage of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc costs around $19 per bottle. Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2010 paired with Hamburgers They say opposites attract, but in this case the best pairing for a big, juicy burger happens to be a big, juicy Shiraz. This full-flavored Shiraz comes from Australia’s oldest and biggest wine chateau, with vines as old (and older) as 120 years. Aromas of leather, vanilla, black cherry, and chocolate open this wine up before ripe fruit flavors of plum and black cherry blend with spicy black pepper for a velvety mouthfeel. The complex flavors of this Aussie red make it the perfect wine to pair with a bold burger loaded with any assortment of condiments (grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, green chilies, etc). On average, the 2010 vintage of Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz costs around $15 per bottle. Aside from making some simply delicious pairings for tailgating cuisine, the acidity in wine also offers the added benefit of aiding in digestion — a necessary aspect of tailgating season. So, wine lovers no longer feel the need to forgo their bevy of choice while cheering on their team. Happy tailgating! Learn More: 6 Ways to Make Your Football Party Wine Friendly 7 Things to Do Before Taking a Winery Tour 5 Common Wine Flaws (and How to Detect Them) 10 Surprising Ingredients You Probably Didn’t Know Were in Your Wine About Author Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.