So it's Pittsburgh versus Seattle. Should be a good game, but though the two cities are better known for steel and software than for food and wine, you don't have to treat this like any other Super Bowl Sunday and bust out the beer and buffalo wings. Wine can always play a part when you gather your friends around the TV to watch football, so we've put together a list of inexpensive, food-friendly bottlings that match well with pretty much anything you might serve up before kickoff.
If you want to spice things up a bit and take a break from the usual Super Bowl fare, we found some solid, tasty party favorites that are a little more unusual, but still mix well when it comes to piling up your plate and draining your glass.
Finally, if you're still not convinced that wine and football are a good match, take a look at some of our coverage of wine-loving football greats, from Fran Tarkenton to Joe Montana, Dick Vermeil and others.
May the best team win!
|BODEGAS TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Reserva 2003||90||$15|
|Big, with flashy coconut and vanilla toast leading the way for ripe blackberry, fig and mocha flavors. Nearly heady, but with lots of suave, creamy fruit on the finish. Drink now through 2006. 26,000 cases made. From Argentina.
|PETER LEHMANN Shiraz Barossa 2003||89||$15|
|Ripe, supple and generous with its blueberry, plum and sweet spice aomas and flavors, finishing with refined tannins and a whiff of licorice. Drink now through 2011. 50,000 cases made. From Australia.
|SHOOFLY Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2004||89||$14|
|Crisp in texture, with lovely black pepper notes around the blueberry and plum flavors, finishing lithe and graceful. Drink now through 2010. 10,000 cases imported. From Australia.
|THE WISHING TREE Shiraz Western Australia-South Australia 2004||89||$10|
|Bright and lively, with a crisp edge to the ripe blackberry, cherry and white pepper flavors, which lifts the finish beautifully. Drink now through 2007. 20,000 cases imported. From Australia.
|GÉRARD BERTRAND Fitou Terroir Les Falaises 2003||89||$15|
|Luscious and rich-tasting, with a beautiful expression of plum, dark cherry and licorice flavors that extends nicely with some hints of chocolate and Asian spice on the finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. From France.
|LOUIS BERNARD Lirac 2004||89||$15|
|Racy, with raspberry and red currant fruit mixed with grilled herb, violet and iron notes. Nice pure fruit resonates through the finish. Drink now through 2007. 20,000 cases made. From France.
|CAVES DO SALGUEIRAL Douro Andreza 2003||89||$12|
|A ripe, lush and seductive red, full-bodied, with a rich mix of red plum and blueberry flavors and plenty of chocolate notes. Fine balance as well, with a broad, spicy finish. Drink now through 2008. 7,000 cases made. From Portugal.
|VIÑAS DEL VERO Cabernet Sauvignon Somontano Colección Los Sasos 2001||89||$12|
|This powerful red marries ripe fruit, toasty oak and a muscular structure, offering cassis, kirsch, lead pencil and mineral flavors that are thick and deep. Drink now through 2010. 13,000 cases made. From Spain.
|ST.-URBANS-HOF Riesling QbA Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2004||91||$11|
|Very seductive from the smoky, mineral-tinged aromas to the peach and lime flavors. It's juicy and silky, with precision balance and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2010. 15,000 cases made. From Germany.
|ALLAN SCOTT Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005||91||$13|
|Lively, fragrant and surprisingly ripe in flavor, balancing its tart structure with generous guava, grapefruit and nectarine aromas and flavors, which persist beautifully on the long, open-textured finish. Drink now. 20,000 cases made. From New Zealand.
|LAKE CHALICE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005||90||$14|
|Bright and open-textured, like biting into a fresh pippin apple, the flavors sailing through the lively finish. Drink now. 16,500 cases made. From New Zealand.
|BABICH Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005||90||$13|
|Fresh and lively, appealing for its zingy grapefruit flavor, hinting at peach and lime as the finish keeps zipping along. Drink now. 85,000 cases made. From New Zealand.
|LES CAVES DU SIEUR D'ARQUES Chardonnay Limoux Toques & Clochers 2001||89||$15|
|A bit closed now, with pure-tasting mineral, green apple and smoke flavors, with notes of fennel and tarragon. Impressively structured; this medium-bodied white should develop nicely. Best from 2006 through 2008. 50,000 cases made. From France.
|NOBILO Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Regional Collection 2005||89||$12|
|Tart style is like a mouthful of lime juice, with just enough apple and pear flavors to round it out. Finishes savory and refreshing. Drink now. 350,000 cases made. From New Zealand.
|DASHWOOD Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005||89||$15|
|Lively, juicy style has tangy lime and passion fruit aromas and flavors that persist on the clean finish. Drink now. 12,000 cases imported. From New Zealand.
|OYSTER BAY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005||89||$12|
|Bright and zingy, a lively mouthful of lime, lime peel, green apple and a whiff of herbs as the tart finish sails on and on. Drink now. 14,100 cases imported. From New Zealand.
|SNOQUALMIE Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2003||89||$15|
|Lithe, appealing stuff, offering pretty pear and lime flavors shaded gently with spicy oak, letting the fruit linger nicely. Drink now through 2007. 15,000 cases made. From Washington.
Here are some great dishes that are perfect for fans of football, food or both.
Serve smeared over thin pizza crusts cooked on a hot griddle until charred or use as dip for tortilla chips. Serves 6.
Excerpted from THE NAKED CHEF TAKES OFF by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © Jamie Oliver Ltd, 2000. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.
Always cook shrimp in the shell, then peel them; they will be much more flavorful if cooked with the shells still on. If you can get fresh shrimp with the heads on, cook and peel them, but leave the heads attached. Never rinse cooked shrimp to cool it, or you will lose the delicious flavorings from the court bouillon.
Court bouillon is a simple broth used to poach all sorts of fish and shellfish. Although it is quick to prepare, it is critical to simmer it for at least 15 to 20 minutes to develop its flavors before adding the seafood. The court bouillon can be used again to poach shrimp or other shellfish. Cover and refrigerate for a few days, or freeze for up to a month.
Fill a large pot with the water and add the onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, chili pepper, lemon, parsley, thyme, and a large handful of salt (the water should approximate sea water in saltiness). Bring to a hard boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp and raise the heat to high. Once the court bouillon has returned to a simmer, remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain the shrimp in a colander, reserving the court bouillon for another use. Transfer the shrimp to a small baking sheet and refrigerate. When the shrimp are cool, peel and devein. (The shrimp can be prepared up to this point a day ahead. Cover the shrimp and refrigerate until chilled.)
To prepare the cocktail sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more horseradish, hot sauce, and/or lemon or lime juice to taste. Transfer to a small serving bowl. To serve, put the bowl of cocktail sauce in the center of a serving plate and arrange the shrimp and lemon wedges around it.
Excerpted from: FRANK STITT'S SOUTHERN TABLE: Recipes and Gracious Traditions from Highlands Bar and Grill by Frank Stitt (Artisan Books). Copyright 2004 Christopher Hirsheimer.
Place ribs in marinade and refrigerate 16-30 hours. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove ribs from marinade and let the excess drip off. Save the marinade. Put the ribs fat-side up on a rack over a baking pan. Put in the oven and roast until the meat begins to pull away from the bones, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting every 20 minutes with the marinade (make sure to save 1 cup of the marinade for a dipping sauce).
If you want to brown and caramelize the surface of the ribs after they're baked, put them under a broiler about 3 to 4 inches from the heat until they begin to bubble and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Put the reserved 1 cup of marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the reduced marinade as a dipping sauce for the ribs. Serves 6.
Recipe from Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork: A Guide to Buying, Storing, and Cooking the World's Favorite Meat, HarperCollins Publishers, 2004, $24.95.
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