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!

Super Bowl 2018

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.

Super Bowl: The Hess Collection Chardonnay
Vina Robles White4 2016 ($16) is a stunning blend of estate grown varieties that are unique to the Paso Robles wine region: 45% Viognier, 27% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Verdelho, and 11% Vermentino. Aromas of lemon, sweet flowers, apricots, and honey burst from the glass. On the broad and balanced palate, racy acidity and a cord of minerality were woven amongst notes of sea salt, beeswax, pear, peach, and orange peel. The juicy finish was lingering…

Super Bowl: Vina Robles-Paso Robles
Smith-Madrone Riesling 2014 ($30) – Absolutely delicious, this bright and lively 100% Riesling prompted several “Wows!” and more than a few “Riesling from Napa?” remarks when I poured tastes for friends. Fresh aromas of lemon, yellow flowers, orange peel, stone fruit, and minerality burst from the glass. Clean and gracious, notes of juicy citrus and minerality, zesty acidity and a round mouthfeel were dominant with each sip. The finish on this crisp, dry Riesling? Long and luscious.

Super Bowl - Smith-Madrone Riesling

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.

Super Bowl: Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir
Pedroncelli Sangiovese Alto Vineyards 2015 ($17) – I swirled, sipped, and savored this scrumptious wine from Sonoma County and treasured every moment. Wafting from the glass were notes of tart cherries, raspberries, and spice. On the palate, this medium bodied wine boasted gentle tannins and food friendly acidity over which rich flavors of vanilla, cranberry, pomegranate, those lovely cherries, and just a hint of oak shone brightly. The finish, lingering and satisfying, begged for another pour.

Super Bowl: Pedroncelli Sangiovese
Troon Vineyard Black Label G*S*M Reserve 2014 ($40) – Elegance and grace are just two words to describe this notable Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend from Grant’s Pass, Oregon. The wine was co-fermented, a technique that, in General Manager Craig Camp’s words, “shows the texture and flavors that only blends can achieve”. It was then aged for 16 months in mature French oak. I discovered refreshing aromas of red fruit, a veritable flower garden, and earth. On the structured palate, brilliant acidity and velvet like tannins supported notes of wildflowers, cherries, and plenty of spice on the finish.

Super Bowl: Troon Vineyard GSM Reserve

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.

Super Bowl: Murrieta's Well Rose
Justin Rosé 2016 ($22) – Justin Baldwin, the namesake of his Justin label, combines Old World techniques (hand harvesting, small-barrel aging in French oak, for example) with New World technology as he makes world class Bordeaux-style blends in Paso Robles. This crisp, refreshing rosé is of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose and palate, I discovered bright acidity with peach, tart cherry and apple, subtle flavors of grapefruit, dried flowers, apricot, red currant, and thyme. With a savory, layered finish, this rosé is absolutely delightful.

Super Bowl: Justin Rose

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.

Super Bowl - Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee

Cheers! ~ Cindy

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