What comes to mind when you think of a football party? I envision a casual, sometimes rowdy gathering with snack foods, grilling, and beer. However, not all party goers and hosts want to drink beer all afternoon and evening. Some football fans would rather pop a cork than a top, or at least have the option to switch. So, for Wine Wednesday, I’ve pulled a few pigskin party wines for football season. These wines fit the bill for Southwest Florida or wherever your watch party may be.

The Footbolt Shiraz wine bottleDid I pick some of these because of the name on the label? Of course. However, they don’t just give lip service. They are much more than a name that can be used as a play on words when talking about football. These are wines that have substance and a story.

Take for instance The Footbolt Shiraz pictured on the left. Footbolt is not football but it certainly describes the speed at which some running backs and other players move…like there are bolts of lightening or energy on their feet.

This wine comes from famous Australian producer d’Arenberg. It is named after the founder’s prized racehorse. He actually sold the horse in the early 1900’s to buy the land where the winery sits. This red wine has flavors of deep dark fruit and peppery spices. It is both meaty and velvety. Good with grilled meats. In the $25 range it’s a great wine for the money

You don’t pick sub-par beer to serve or drink while you are cooking out and watching your team. Why would you do that when picking out a wine. Keep a few bottles on standby for the season. If you don’t drink them, most of them (the reds for sure) will be fine with a little extra age on them

When you turn on the tube this weekend to watch your favorite team. Add some of these sophisticated selections to your beverage offerings. Pigskin party wines for football season.

  • Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

    Some plays are just this…textbook. When things line up and everyone is in the right place, doing what they’ve practiced hundreds of times, it’s a beautiful thing. This wine is for those plays and those times in life in general. It is a new release from the Napa Valley winery and it is full of fresh cherry and balanced tannins.  $46

    Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve bottle of wine

  • 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel

    Fans of football have thousands of stories to tell. Especially those who have played the game. They are fun to tell when gathered around the television. In addition, the use of a bourbon barrel for this aging can be appealing. One more thing. Zinfandels are great wines with BBQ ribs, burgers and such. This is unique in that it is released in batches so none are quite the same. I like that this is not over-extracted or sweet. It has nice acidity, herbal notes, orange peel, and cranberry. This is easy to find and a great value in the $20 range
    1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel with football

  • Ram’s Gate El Diablo Chardonnay, 2018

    I can’t resist suggesting a wine by this name for football. I think of massive men ram through offensive lines in an attempt to get the QB. Then there is the team by the same name. Finally, this chardonnay’s comes from the El Diablo Vineyard, “the devil” when translated. Perfect. Current vintage is 2019, but I just enjoyed some of the 2018. It’s an excellent chardonnay, rich but still refreshing with green apple. I prefer this type of chardonnay, not too oaky or buttery. Great with food.  $70

    Ram’s Gate El Diablo Chardonnay with football and pompoms

  • Modus Operandi Cellars Gaps Crown Vineyard 2021

    I think of coaches for this one and their “modus operandi,” specific or characteristic ways of doing things from running practice to calling plays. It smells rustic and is a bit that way on the palate too. The wine is balanced, with both dark fruit and cherry and has a bit of caramel on the finish. Only 151 cases were made so you’ll most likely have to buy direct from the winery. It’s worth the effort. $85

    Bottle of Modus Operandi Cellars Gaps Crown Vineyard 2021 with pom poms and football

  • Gamble Family Vineyards Paramount ‘18

    There are so many ways to spin the word “gamble” when it comes to football, and sports in general. Coaches gamble on plays. Players gamble on their bodies. Fans gamble on outcomes. This wine, however, is no gamble. It is a signature blend from this Napa Valley winery. 33% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. It’s big and bold but also kind of pretty. Decant and take your time with this one. Or buy and let rest for a few years. $90

    Gamble Family Wines Paramount wine bottle

  • BONUS: Gamble Sauvignon Blanc 2022

    I have to throw in one more white wine. It’s too dang hot not too. Sauvignon blanc wines are refreshing and go well with snacks like vegetable trays and dips, grilled seafood and goat cheese. This one is fresh with aromas of peach and  flavors of mango,  lemon and lime. See above explanation for the vineyard name. Find in the $30-$35 range.

     Gamble Sauvignon Blanc 2022 with pompoms and football

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