Can I get some wine love on Super Bowl Sunday? Do you have a pick for the game? My boyfriend will be chugging Pabst, but I hate beer, and he respects your palate.
I’m old enough to remember when wine would have been as unwelcome at a football gathering as Colin Kaepernick at the Trump White House. Back in the ancient 1990s, the only kind of football that seemed culturally connected with “effete” chardonnay or merlot wine was the kind that we in North America call “soccer.” Things change. Even NASCAR fans have begun embracing wine in the speedway grandstands.
Faithful readers will know that I’m a New England Patriots fan, or at least that I become one when the Buffalo Bills get eliminated. I lived in Boston for a couple of years in the 1990s, when the Patriots were in their pre-Tom Brady Dark Ages (and my Bills were on fire). The Pats will play the L.A. Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.
I don’t know what your menu might be. Popcorn? Pringles? Something more elaborate, like spicy chili or oven-baked wings with hot sauce (a.k.a. the “keto” option)? Nachos? A fresh crudité platter? There’s no one-size-fits-all Super Bowl wine, just as there’s no one-size beer or jock strap. If you prefer white, can I suggest chardonnay? It’s perfect for popcorn and, with substantial body, a good wine on its own in frigid February. For crudités and dip, go light and bright, as in sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. Chili or wings? Think big fat red, such as California zinfandel, Australian shiraz or Ontario baco noir.
Personally, I like to invoke the wine gods – Bacchus and Dionysus, not Robert Parker Jr. and Jancis Robinson – to bolster my team’s fortunes. Are you rooting for the Rams? Any California cuvée would be appropriate, as in a Mondavi fumé blanc or a Ravenswood zinfandel (the Lodi bottling or something pricier). New England presents more of a challenge. New York State is nearby, but good examples of Finger Lakes riesling or Long Island merlot are hard to find in Canada. So, let’s go with a Niagara riesling or pinot noir as an Upper Canada proxy for New England.
But if you want to flatter your boyfriend and cement your relationship and – more importantly – properly toast the Pats’ sixth Super Bowl title, pick up a six-pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. You’re welcome for the relationship advice.
Beppi Crosariol will once again be participating as The Globe’s wine expert on both the July 1-11, 2019, Globe and Mail Seine River (Normandy) Cruise and the July 28-Aug. 7, 2019, Globe and Mail Portugal River Cruise. For details on how to reserve your cabin visit GlobeandMailCruises.com.