Watch Party Wines

Now is watch party season: NFL playoffs, award shows, season premieres, season finales, etc.

So whether you’re settling in for an evening of touchdowns and Taylor (Swift), Hollywood Fanfare, contemplating your Bachelor Fantasy League or reality show, or settling in for one of your favorite sitcoms, comedies, or dramas…I present to you Watch Party Wines.

NFL Playoffs



While you can't go wrong with a beer for all of your daytime sipping and snacking during sport watch parties, there are a few wines that I gravitate towards with the game and my snacking habits: 

Sparkling - chips, dips, fried foods. The acidity (and bubbles) clean the palate and add a little sparkle to that early snacking - Champagne Problems?

Light Whites - it's the beginning of the game, I'm still munching on the "appetizer" style snacks that are on the table - jalapeno poppers, artichoke dips, veggie platters, maybe some chicken wings. I'm going for a crisp French Sauvignon Blanc (Quincy, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume), or maybe even some Spanish styles - Verdejo, Tzakolina, Albarino - acid driven, light flavors. Rose is also appropriate at all times. 

Medium Bodied Reds - okay, your team's off to a rough start the burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and sliders are ready to go, it's time for some red. A nice catchall to all of those grilled goodies is a Zin, or Zin based blend. The beauty of Zinfandel, is it's versatility - all that berry goodness creates a beautiful contrast the the char from the grill. Some zins from warmer climates - Amador County, Napa, and Paso Robles can also pack some heat (alcohol) too. Some of the best Zinfandels are found in Sonoma county - it sees plenty of sun to ripen those fruit flavors, but gets plenty cool at night to keep the alcohol in check to not overwhelm the spice and nuance. Bonus - it's great with tacos! Bring on the Taco Man!

Sparkling: Perfect for Feeling Fancy.



Even popping open a bottle of bubbly is an occasion – cause for celebration; so even if you’re popping open a bottle in the morning for mimosas (hey you survived the week) or gearing up for a glamorous night of watching stars and starlets grace the red carpet in all their glitz and glam, pour yourself some bubbles and partake in the merriment. Also, if you happen to be hosting a Academy Awards/Oscar Watch Party…sparkling wines are the perfect pairing for an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, from mushroom puffs and elegant crostinis to chips and salsa, sparkling wine is your best friend. My go to: Spanish cava – dry with some citrus and apple notes, touch of bread.


Rosé: Keep the Flower, Fill My Glass



I think wine drinkers have finally come around to the fact that rosé isn’t just of the white zinfandel persuasion, but can also be the perfect wine for practically any occasion. It’s also one of those wines, or it can be depending on the style of rosé, quite the versatile wine in terms of food pairing. With a drier style rosé you can almost pair it as you would a sparkling wine, except I would avoid spicier foods…but not flavorful ones; rosés provide a wonderful counterpoint to heavily spiced dishes (think your Chinese takeout). However, sweeter versions of rosé can actually tame some of the heat from those spicy dishes. Pair this with your girls night and Bachelor watching, or your favorite reality show, it's an affair, and if there is any sort of drinking game in place you don’t want to be hitting something with higher amounts of alcohol…something light and easy. 

Zinfandels or Zin Based Blends: Pair Me with a Good Sitcom


Whether you’re pairing it with reruns of your favorite sitcom (Friends? Seinfeld? Schitt's Creek, Arrested Development? Golden Girls? Ted Lasso?) to wind down, or an easy night in with the newest episode of your favorite characters (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Abbott Elementary) Zinfandel is your best friend. To match the, generally, light hearted tone of your tv viewing pleasure, I would steer away from your alcohol driven Zinfandels (no headaches tomorrow, thank you), look for Zinfandels with both fruit, spice, and maybe some oak nuances if you prefer. Fun and spicy Zinfandel to go with your favorite characters and whatever bizarre situation they've found themselves in this week. Alternatives: Tempranillo, Spanish Grenache (Garnacha), Beaujolais Cru.


Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Malbec – A Big Wine for Big Dramas.


I’ll admit, I like dramas, well written ones, with suspense, superb writing, great characters and talented actors and actresses. My current guilty pleasures include Succession, White Lotus, True Detective, The Last of Us. Your dramas deserve a big wine worthy of all the drama. This wine needs to be easy enough for tv drinking, meaning food not required and your attention isn’t solely concentrated on what’s in your glass, a wine you can appreciate for its many nuances, but not one that requires decanting (save that for good company and/or a special occasion). This is a wine that you wrap up your night with, like cuddling up with a cozy blanket. It can be a bit heavier on the alcohol…you might need it after the big reveal anyways!


Pinot Noir paired with your next streaming service binge, there's practically a Pinot for every style (and almost any time of day - bubbly, rose, still red).

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