Wines for Your Tailgate!

Wines for Your Tailgate!

All of this football talk makes us think of our favorite part of the game – the tailgate!

There is not much better than outdoor drinking and eating!

But we find it slightly funny when people ask which wines pair with tailgate food. Really? When was the last time you were at a tailgate where you had the opportunity to clean your glass and switch wines between the nachos and the burger?

Don’t overthink it!

And remember, you’re outside and it may be freezing out. Or you may be dodging flying Nerf footballs and possibly spilling whatever you’re drinking.  So definitely leave the good stuff at home.

Keep it simple!

White or Rosé

If you’re a white fan, grab a nice Sauvignon Blanc. Especially one that has those great citrus flavors because they will compliment the guacamole and salsa you have with your chips.

If it's still warm, don’t be afraid to grab a Rosé! It just screams outdoor drinking and will work with everything from the snacks to the burgers.

Easy Reds

If you’re a red drinker, grab a nice Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir.

Both are easy-drinking wines that go great with food -- especially your hotdogs hamburgers, and barbeque. And you can find both at reasonable prices.

A Côtes du Rhône is basically a blend of red grapes from the Rhone Valley of France.  The majority of the wine is usually Grenache or Syrah and is super-food friendly.

And while some of the Pinot Noirs coming out of Napa Valley are getting a little pricey, try venturing up the coast to Oregon.

A quick geography lesson: Oregon is on the same latitude as Burgundy, France.  That means if you put your finger on Burgundy, leave it there and spin the globe you’ll end up on Oregon.  Some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs are born in Burgundy and the land in Oregon seems to be just as blessed. And so are its prices.

Consider a Box

And finally don’t be afraid of the boxed wines.  They’re getting better and better and are really perfect for tailgates. And they’re way cheap!

Two suggestions:
The Vin Vault Cabernet Sauvignon is 3 liters of wine – that’s four bottles of wine. We poured the Vin Vault at our recent wine tasting event in Chicago and it was a hit!

Or try the Bota Box Cabernet.  It’s a solid choice if your local wine shop doesn’t care the Vin Vault. Both cost around $20.

Quick tip though:  The less you paid for the wine – the cooler you should drink it. So throw the box in the cooler for a bit.

Now while we’re not drinking high-end wines, maybe try to avoid the red solo cups. If you need a stem on your wine glass, we made some great plastic suggestions a few months ago. Otherwise grab the light, stemless plastic glasses from Govivo. All are great and odds are good you’ll use them again next summer at the beach.

So pick one wine and be done! Then you can focus on your team and the large bet you made in Vegas.


Wines for Your Tailgate:

Lohr Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Napa Valley, California, $24

Pale straw yellow with green hues. Tons of citrus, crisp and creamy.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2012, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France, $15

60% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 5% Mourverde (a full bodied red grape also grown in the region).

Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2014, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $23

Bright, aromatic. Plum and black cherry, Great value.



Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.

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