Bears NFL Football-Entertaining Tips For a Night In

gwgw2000-7a1There is not much else which the Windy City Wine Guy likes more than good football, my Bears, and tasty beverage.  I will normally open some beer (I love Peroni, Dogfish Head, and Sam Adams or Goose Island seasonals) and prep finger foods like nachos, pizza bread, buffalo chicken, or fish tacos.  Last night my wife and I were invited to a fellow sommelier's abode to drink, dine, and watch Bears Thursday night football.  The drink of choice was- wine!

We started with a refreshing Vinho Verde, a great choice tfor Pre-game.  It was fresh and crisp, with a floral bouquet and citrus flavor.  Appetizers of homemade hummus and peppered popcorn went well with Danieal Manning's game opening kickoff touchdown!  We then moved on to 2006 Woollaston Nelson Pinot Noir from New Zealand.  The progression of a white crisp wine to a light/medium bodied red sat well.  The light game quality and ripe red fruit was getting us ready for half-time dinner. 

I brought over the wine of the night, 2006 Vinedo de los Vientos Tannat from Uruguay.  Tannat is originally from southwest France and used to make Armagnac, full rosé, and blend for strength and tannin.  In Uruguay, it is their national grape, and the big tannins and body soften to make a smoother wine.  Our hosts made lamb shank, cous cous, and rapini which went great with the Tannat.  Some exotic spice, tea, and dark fresh fruit was the consensus profile of the wine and we overall deemed it a quality buy.

The important lesson to learn out of all of this: when serving multiple wines while entertaining, always start with lighter to heavier body, and normally white to red.  We progressed from a light crisp white, to a light + bodied red, to a fuller red.  We even finished up with some Pliska Brandy from Bulgaria with dessert.  There is a way to mix in the distilled spirits, but they should be at the end.

This was a different and more select pairing for a football game, but was thoroughly enjoyable and delicious.  It was a refreshing change which I periodically enjoy for sporting events- brought back memories of my Osso Bucco alla Milanese with Super Tuscans for Superbowl 37.  Make sure you challenge your palate and change up your routines, even while vegging out to your favorite teams.  Variety is the spice of life!

Special thanks to our gracious hosts, Israel and Bonnie.  Next time you will be guests of WCWG and wife!