Bring Wine To Your Next Tailgate

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It’s clearly fall here in the Northeast. And while I hate the cold, I love football tailgate parties and Thanksgiving—and all the fabulous red wines that have been tucked away all summer. Here’s a look at some affordable wines for your favorite fall festivities.

Outdoor Oenology

For football games and other outdoor events, don’t overthink the wine. Remember, you’re probably freezing, maybe dodging flying Nerf footballs and possibly spilling whatever you’re drinking. So leave the good stuff at home.

Instead, grab a modest Côte de Rhône or a Pinot Noir, says Alyssa Rapp CEO and founder of Bottlenotes, an website for wine and beer lovers. They’re easy-drinking wines that go great with food. And the best part is they’re often reasonably priced.

Consider the E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2011 which is 60% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 5% Mourverde, a full-bodied red grape also grown in France’s Rhone region. It retails for about $15 and can even stand up to your spicy nachos.

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On the Pinot Noir front, let’s head to the West Coast. I’m a big Meiomi fan. This California hit costs about $20, plus it has a screw top, which is ideal for tailgates and outdoor events. Another favorite is Oregon’s high-scoring Ponzi Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012. You can you can usually find it for under $30.

And don’t be afraid to try boxed wines. They’re getting better and better and you can’t beat their low price. Two suggestions: Big House Cardinal Zin (about $22) and Bota Box’s Old Vine Zinfandel ($19). Neither is your typical full-bodied Zinfandel, but each is the equivalent of four bottles to down at the game or barbeque.

And here’s a box tip: Throw it in the cooler. The less you paid for it, the cooler you should drink it, says Andrea Fulton-Higgins, head sommelier at Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Ore.

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For more on fall wines read on here

And a while back I got to spend time with my dear friend Jeff Jenssen, one of the World Wine Guys, and talk wines and party food.  Good stuff for your next tailgate.  So pour a glass of wine and listen here!

Cent’Anni

And you know I would love to hear your thoughts on this, the wines you are drinking or anything else…so send a quick note!  Thanks!