Football Wines

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footballwine.jpegBy Courtney Cochran
Twitter: @HipTastesMaven

With New Year's bowl games nearly upon us (and Super Bowl '10 just around the corner!), we decided to offer you some suggestions for wines to pair with football.  Because while these games have long been beer-centric, we're convinced there's room for a few good wines after kick-off.

Bowl Game Bruiser
There's something undeniably masculine about Petite Sirah, the hearty grape that produces massive reds like Parducci's standout Mendo bottling, True Grit.  Crafted from gnarled old vines that deliver loads of palate-pleasing black fruit, vanilla, pepper and caramel, True Grit might as well be tailor-made for the biggest grill fare - think steak, sausage, brisket and ribs.  In other words, it's just what your football fan ordered.  Game on!
2006 Parducci "True Grit" Mendocino Petite Sirah ($20)  
Cabernet Kick-Off
Were there a category of wine called "Man Wines," surely The Show California Cab would top the list.  Made from a fruit-forward, showy (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves) blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Cali's Central and North Coast AVAs, this eye-popping bottle pairs swimmingly with the likes of BBQ hot dogs and hamburgers, pizzas and other casual game fare - and co-stars hearty Petite Sirah in the blend for good measure. Yes, please.
2007 The Show California Cabernet Sauvignon ($12)

Sparkling Finale
Every good game needs a worthy underdog, and in this case, our vinous underdog takes the form of sparkling Shiraz. Made from Syrah grapes grown down under (and in other countries where the style is imitated), this dry red bubbly packs a surprising amount of food-ready tannin alongside its crowd-pleasing color.  Match it up with any of the foods you'd pair with dry reds, as well as salty chips and salsa, Mexican fare and PB&J. Pass the bubbs!
NV The Chook Sparkling Shiraz South Australia ($16)

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