Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Monday, January 31, 2022

Not Government Wine

My friendly neighborhood publicist informs me that the San Francisco 49ers are the oldest professional sports team in the Bay Area.  They were founded in 1946 by San Francisco native Tony Morabito and have provided countless unforgettable plays along with five Lombardi Trophies for their fans.  This year, the scrapbook is missing one game, but there is something in which they can drown their sorrows.

The Federalist brand - a Terlato wine - is the "preferred wine sponsor of the San Francisco 49ers," according to my publicist friend.  The PR department promises that The Federalist, a Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon, pairs well with "any tailgate specialty."  We can only assume that the promise is good even if the tailgates aren't on norcal trucks.

The 2017 Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon was reportedly created to honor the man who many consider to be the first American, Ben Franklin.  Franklin was a passionate man who helped draft the Declaration of Independence, campaigned for colonial unity during the American Revolution and they say he liked his wine.  His likeness appears on the label.  Their other wines feature George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty and the bald eagle.  The winery bills itself as "America's craft wine."

The Federalist is a bold blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, with splashes of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese.  Aging took place over 15 months, in 35% new French oak.  Alcohol hits a moderate 13.5% abv and the retail price is a reasonable $18.

This wine is medium dark in color and has dark notes on the nose - plums, blueberries, cassis.  The oak aspect of the aromas is not overpowering, but it is definitely there.  The palate tastes somewhat sweet, with fruit and oak spice showing right up front.  A savory angle comes in later - forest floor and minerals, mostly.  The tannins are workable, but not overbearing.  This wine won't make Napa vintners run scared, but it is a pleasant bottling and a pretty good everyday wine. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lunetta Prosecco

Bringing bubbly to a Super Bowl party shows a particular kind of readiness for celebration.  It was not my intent to be boastful, merely to be supportive of the team allegiance of our hostess.  It turned out to be unfortunate that Sheryl was backing the Steelers for Super Bowl XLV, but being from Pennsylvania - Beaver Falls - she had no choice and wanted none.  The place was festooned in black and gold for better or worse.  Despite the success of the Green Bay Packers in that game, we all enjoyed the feast and festivities.

A couple of growlers of really great beer from Eagle Rock Brewery were the beverage star of the party, but I did manage to pop the cork on the Prosecco.

Lunetta is produced by Cavit, in the northern city Trento.  An Italian sparkling wine brut, Lunetta is pale in color and shows a white, foamy layer of fine bubbles which rise playfully and persistently in the glass.  A fruity nose gives way to green apples and peaches on the palate, with a dry finish that lingers with a cleansing effect.  It went great with the guacamole, by the way.  The wine has an 11.5% alcohol content and was purchased for $9, marked down from the original $16 ticket.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Football Wine

Football fans are looking forward to the Super Bowl - and wine lovers who like football - may want some help in finding a suitable wine that pairs well with pigskin.

Here are some wines with football pedigrees.

Former NFL coach Dick Vermeil makes wine in Napa Valley. Calistoga, to be exact.  That's where his great-grandfather lived and made wine, and where Vermeil grew up.  Vermeil has coached teams to a college national championship and a Super Bowl victory in the NFL, so maybe cracking a bottle of his vino will mean good luck for your team.

As the president of the San Francisco 49ers, Carmen Policy helped build Super Bowl champions.  Now he presides over his wine label, Casa Piena in Napa Valley.  With a heavy-hitting Cabernet Sauvignon, Policy's team color is now purple.

The former quarterback for those 49er championship teams, Joe Montana, also has a wine still available - Montagia - although he sold the Calistoga winery in 2009.

Former Redskins defensive standout Terry Hoage runs Terry Hoage Vineyards in California's Paso Robles area.  He concentrates his efforts on Rhone varieties.

Michigan Wolverine fans will want to stock up on Bo's Wine, named for the late Bo Schembechler, who coached the Wolverines for 20 years.  Schembechler is memorialized by a Merlot and a Savignon Blanc, both selling for less than $20.  A contribution from the sale of each bottle is made to the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.

Former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe has a Washington state wine called Doubleback.  His Cabernet Sauvignon has just released its first vintage.

Former Bears linebacker Dick Butkus offers his Legends 51 Cabernet Sauvignon - a wine which contributes 100% of its sales to the Butkus Foundation.

"Iron" Mike Ditka has a manly brand on the market - Kick Ass Red - which utilizes grapes from Mendocino, California.

The New York Jets commemorated the opening of their new stadium with the release of a - California - wine.

Gary Eberle was a Penn State Nittany Lion in his collegiate career.  His Eberle Winery is one of the finest in Paso Robles, a wine area he helped establish.

The image above is a hand painted wine glass called "Football Widow" - it sells for $20 at