Raise your glass if you plan to watch the Super Bowl this year! I know. I know. Some of you thinking “What’s the Super Bowl?” or “I don’t even know who’s playing?” or “I hate football”. Yet there are others who are rabid enthusiasts of this particular game (as I would be if my beloved Green Bay Packers had made the cut). True fans love everything it represents: the pre-game hype, the emotional rollercoaster for hours, and finally, the ecstasy of your team’s win or the agony of a crushing defeat.
Let’s face it, though. Viewing the Super Bowl, its creative commercials, and an entertaining halftime show begs for an adult beverage. And in my playbook, that means wine.
I’ve gathered a team of American wines ready for you to pour and serve with your favorite dishes on Super Bowl Sunday. Bring on the ubiquitous cheese and charcuterie platter, a plethora of dips and hot snacks, a variety of salads, crowd pleasing pasta casseroles or Italian sausage sandwiches, and tasty desserts to pair with the following wines. All of the selections below are from an American wine region with a winning record just as successful as the teams playing in the Super Bowl. Cheers to that!
White Wines for the Touchdown
Chardonnay lovers will crave each sip of the Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 ($22). On the nose, I discovered juicy citrus, apples, pears, gentle oak, and warm butter. The rich, flavorful palate showed hints of tropical fruit, ripe apples, and yellow flowers cloaked in refreshing acidity and a creamy mouthfeel, all elements leading to a clean, buttery finish. Chardonnay grapes were cultivated in the Su’skol vineyard that was painstakingly farmed to “emphasize fruit with wonderful acidity and balance”. Only a small portion of the juice was fermented in new French Oak with just 20% undergoing secondary fermentation.
Red Wines that Tie the Score
Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2015 ($44) – Alluring in every way, I found enchanting aromas of black raspberries, strawberries, dark cherries, purple flowers, and earth. On the palate, bright acidity and smooth-as-satin tannins were the foundation on which lush flavors of blueberries, raspberries, black cherries, baking spice, and cedar were framed. Balance, depth, structure, and complexity, elements often challenging to find in a Pinot Noir, are hallmarks of this outstanding wine from Sonoma County.
Rosé for the Two Point Conversion
Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé 2016 ($30) – Sourced from the Murrieta’s Well estate vineyard in California’s Livermore Valley, almost equal amounts of Grenache and Counoise grapes were hand-picked and whole cluster pressed. Thanks, in part, to the fact that each varietal was cold-fermented separately, I discovered beautiful aromas of tropical florals, watermelon, vibrant red fruit, and berries wafting from the glass. On the palate, the rosé burst with lip smacking acidity, more berries, and juicy melon. Balanced with significant texture and concentration, the Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé is unique and oh-so delicious.
Bubbles for the Extra Point
Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvée 2007 ($27) – Oh my! Fit for royalty, Gloria Ferrer has been working with the Royal Cuvée wines since they served the first vintage to the King and Queen of Spain in 1987. The first press of select Carneros grapes is aged in the winery’s underground caves for over eight years; the blend is 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay. I was impressed with the sparkler’s intense aromas of honey, green apple, pear, florals, and a touch of lightly toasted brioche. On the satin-like palate, lively acidity, minerality, juicy citrus, lemon, and apricot notes led to the crowning glory: a lingering finish that I never wanted to end.
Cheers! ~ Cindy