World Series Wines

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What to Quaff With What to Eat While Tuning In
By Courtney Cochran

AT&T Park - home to SF's National-League-topping Giants - is renowned for its fancy game fare (Gilroy garlic fries, anyone?), though beer usually trumps wine as game-viewing-beverage-of-choice at the LEED-certified park.  Still, we know that vinous-inclined ball fans watching from home will no doubt reach for the corkscrew come this evening's World Series kickoff game.  Accordingly, we've put together a few suggested food and wine pairings for those of you who prefer the likes of Zin while taking in our team's next win.

Peanuts
Where would a true ball fan be without this classic game viewing staple?  When tucking into 'nuts, there's nothing more fitting with which to pair them than a crisp sparkling wine.  Why? Its acidity will deftly offset all the salt in this treat, while its bubbly profile and creamy mousse recall beer (though we know bubbly is better!).

*Make 'em gourmet: Upgrade your traditional basic nut to fancy Virginia versions.

Hot Dogs
We can't imagine a ball game without 'dogs.  Accordingly, uncork a fruity, medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Cru Beaujolais (for the latter, we like versions from Morgon and Brouilly) when tucking into this meaty treat.  These wines' mellow tannins will stand up to dogs' chewy texture, while their fruity flavor profiles make great foils to the savory taste of this choice game fare.

*Make 'em gourmet: Opt for Polish sausage franks for a richer, beefier taste.
Hamburgers
Merlot is a shoe-in for pairing with beef burgers, thanks to the variety's sappy tannins, bold flavors and toasty oak influence.  Oak aging creates a hint of smokiness in the wine - which echoes grill notes found in burgers - and the wine's sweet fruit flavors work well with ketchup and all the trimmings.   

*Make 'em gourmet
: Swap in grass-fed beef and embellish with blue cheese and Bourbon bacon.  Game on!

Pizzas
Less traditional game fare but one we can hardly skip, pizza has a special place in the hearts of Cal-Ital-inclined Giants fans (AT&T Park sells handmade pizzas, natch).  When tucking into a pie tonight, opt for a "classic" pizza pairing in Zinfandel (its jammy fruit flavors are tailor-made for pairing with sweet pizza sauce), or try something different with a Sangiovese- or Barbera-based red.

*Make 'em gourmet: The sky's the limit when it comes to pie embellishments - knock yourself out!

Caramel Corn
There's nothing like wrapping up a ball game with a gooey-sweet bag of freshly popped caramel corn.  For a cool weather-ready pairing that's sure to delight your fellow wine-and-ballgame fans, reach for a chilled bottle of ice wine.  An unctuously sweet wine made from fruit that's literally frozen on the vine, ice wine's bright acidity will deftly cut through caramel corn's goo and leave you feeling refreshed.  Ready, dare we say, for Game Number Two?

*Make it gourmet: Specialty merchants are popping high-end small-batch corn aplenty - Google it for more. 

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