Three more sleeps before the much anticipated “Harbowl,” a brother versus brother, mano a mano American football war set to play out in New Orleans at Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII. Forget about the risqué ads, the hype and the hoopla. Break it down to Raven black against 49er red. A wine analogy emerges.
Wine grapes are considered as either white or red. Though many dark-skinned varietals pitch purple, black and blue hues, by definition they are all reds. But we’re talking about football here and the foods that accompany America’s most amplified sports spectacle. Nachos, chicken wings, chili, pizza, hamburgers, and ribs. The purples and the blues don’t cut it. It’s got to be red and black.
My Super Bowl recommendations do not discriminate against any wines of colour but in this case the earth, spice and verve of the reds are a better match to traditional big game fare. They will ultimately triumph over their black opponents. Sorry John and your Baltimore Ravenation, younger brother Jim and his talented San Francisco Red and Gold have got your number. Here are five black and red wines to drink on Super Bowl Sunday.
The grapes: Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon
The history: Organic and Biodynamic Chilean outfit in the Colchagua Valley
The lowdown: Central Valley grapes, aged for 6 months, 50% in french oak
The food match: Nachos, jack and cheddar cheese, jalapeno, guajillo salsa
Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (66746, $14.95, NLC, 12168, $16.98) serves up Bordeaux-like tobacco, tar and smoke with roasted espresso-bean modernity. Carmenère as a taut, tight and tough duppy conquerer but softened by Cabernet Sauvignon’s rub-a-dub style. Hits you like a bombastic, Cossellian linebacker then offers a helping hand to get you back on your feet. “Yes, me friend.” 88 @VinosEmiliana
The grapes: Sangiovese, Colorino and Canaiolo
The history: From Castellina in Chianti, between Colle Val d’Elsa and Monteriggioni
The lowdown: Exemplary CC, friendly and inviting in every way
The food match: Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings
Tenuta Di Capraia Chianti Classico 2010 (135277, $19.95) puts its best cocoa and red berry fruit foot forward, stepping tenaciously yet gracefully out of its dusty, tufaceous sands. Hints at game, like roasted goat or local, medieval buzzard and is also a touch funky without going off. It’s the red, clay earth soil talking. Classic example. 90 @ProfileWineGrp
The grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinto Cão
The history: From Portugal’s Sobredos out of the Douro, based in Alijo. Francisco Montenegro of Quinta Nova is the winemaker
The lowdown: Terroir-driven red from the sub-sect Tua Valley, spends 12 months in new and used oak barrels
The food match: Individual Smoked Beef Sheppard’s Pies
Aneto Red 2009 (314930, $19.95) reminds me of the deepest, earthbound southern French reds, like Minervois or La Clape. Stygian and shadowy, the Aneto’s rusticity is borne of xistous terra, baking spice and dried fruit. Puts on her make up for prevailing balance in a show of hydrated, in vogue, darling pretty maturity. She can “heal my aching heart and soul.” 91 @
The grape: Pinot Noir
The history: From Marimar Torres, named after her father, Don Miguel
The lowdown: Rare alcohol/fruit/acidity balance for California Pinot Noir. European temperament, California style
The food match: Mini Hamburger Appetizers
Marimar Estate La Masía Pinot Noir 2007 (303974, $34.95, B.C. 711333, $37.99) is downright verdant what with its dry cherry and wilting rose nose and spicy, splintering palate. A smoldering whiff penetrates the maroon fruit, bricking with gold. This is 49’er country, led by a balanced attack and a leader capable of peeling off a Kaepernickian 50-yard run. Victorious Pinot. 90 @MarimarTorres
The grape: Pinot Noir
The history: Beamsville Bench winery and meadery specializes in Pinot, Chardonnay, Riesling and excellent Semillon. Mead wines are out of this world
The lowdown: Rosewood is old-school; the Niagara equivalent to the Italian Azienda Agricola or the German Erzeugerabfüllung.
The food match: Goat Cheese Arancini
Rosewood Estates Natural Fermentation Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 (318345, $39.95) is ageing gracefully with nary a bitter edge. Cranberry, pomegranate, cherry, plum and vanilla all combine to gather and linger in freshness. My earlier review. “clocks in at 13.2% abv from 20 Mile Bench, Wismer-Ball’s Falls fruit that is whole cluster pressed under gentle, low pressure. So what? It means low phenolic (bitterness) extraction where seeds and skins are shunned and it’s all about “extracting the good stuff.” Fermented from the grape’s own yeasts, this Pinot has perfectly evolved to this point in time. Mushroom, earth and sweet red fruit will see the ’09 through another five years of joy.” 91 @Rosewoodwine
Good to go!