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Who Said Wine Doesn’t Pair With Sports?

Written by Madeline Puckette

Find out why wine is sometimes a better match than beer when it comes to some sports.

What Wine Matches With Your Favorite Sport?

pairing wines with football, baseball, soccer and basketball


NFL Football

Football has long been sold as a beer-drinkers game, but we beg to differ. Football is actually a red wine drinkers game. Let me explain.

Football commences in the fall and interest peaks during the holidays. By the way, this is also peak red wine season. Still, football attendees swath themselves in blankets and sip on icy beers. What better beverage to drink than a heart-warming red wine?

Perfect Wine:
Bold red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Mourvèdre and Touriga Nacional.
Ditch the chips for slow roasted meats and perfectly match red wines.
Drew Bledsoe, former quarterback of the New England Patriots started Doubleback Winery in Washington and focuses on nothing but big red wines.


NBA Basketball

Basketball is a city sport. Basketball stars emerge from the inner city and the game is scrappy and high energy. On the surface, basketball looks like a game of gesture and bravado, but the best teams methodically wear down their competition. A high intensity sport like basketball needs a wine that can sizzle in the same way. There are two wines that do this perfectly: a dry Champagne-style sparkler and a red Rhône blend.

Perfect Wine:
dry Sparkling wine or a Red Rhône Blend.
High intensity wines that have metropolitan appeal.
Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire of the New York Knicks instagramed a picture of himself in a red wine infused hot tub before his 90-minute therapy massage. His reason to bath in wine: “The red wine bath is very important to me because it creates more circulation in my red blood cells.”


MLB Baseball

MLB Baseball simmers throughout the summer and finally goes into a rolling boil at the end of October with the World Series. Baseball is one of those games that is always better in person because the surrounding smells, sounds, tastes, and the heat of the day add to the entire experience. Traditionally, beer is an excellent choice for baseball, but if you’re a wine drinker like us you will go crazy for a low-alcohol, crisp white wine. It will also ensure that your hot dog is one hundred percent classy.

Perfect Wine:
On the dry side try a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Grüner Veltliner. On the sweet side try Riesling or Moscato.
Wine on ice in one hand and a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut in the other.
We did notice the MLB started licensing team names to a wine-branding company called Wine By Design. The first teams with official wines are the Giants, Yankees, Mariners, Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, and Cubs.

wine-and-fifa-football or soccer

FIFA World Cup Football/Soccer

The FIFA Men’s World Cup happened in 2014 and it won’t be back until 2018 when it comes to Russia. FIFA is kind of like the Olympics in this way, in that most of us forget it exists until it’s about to happen. The games take place throughout the month of June and, during this month, emotions get very heated. For this reason, we think the best way to keep the chill out is to drink lots of sangria. Sangria is one of a few boozy beverages that doesn’t have to be taken seriously, plus it pairs perfectly with churros (or any other national fried sweet bread for that matter).

Perfect Wine:
Sangria or Port on the rocks with lime
Wines that match excellently with churros that you can drink a lot of without passing out.
At 26, FIFA champion, Andres Iniesta, spent over $10 million of his earnings to buy vineyards for his family outside his hometown, Fuentealbilla in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. His dad operates the Bodega and the winery features regional and affordable Tempranillo, Syrah and Rosé wines with a welcoming pink-red heart on the label.


Add your favorite sport and wine pairing below!

Written byMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

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