What to Drink Now: Super Bowl Super Wine

Somehow the NFL managed to play a full season of football, despite the pandemic, empty stands, and many players getting sick. But, we made it to the Super Bowl, this year seeing Tampa Bay face off against Kansas City. With excitement in the air, you need something proper to pair, so consider a bold, powerful red sure to pack a punch and please a socially-distanced crowd.

Blending Zinfandel with Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley’s Paraduxx Rector Creek Vineyard Red Blend ($85) reveals spicy, peppery notes with fruit-forward flavors of blackberry, pomegranate, and black plum, layered with toasted sandalwood. Aged for 18 months in partially new French oak, enhancing the spiciness of the wine, and bringing in notes of dark chocolate, cedar, cigar box, and coffee.

For who will surely be the MVP of the weekend, whether it be the rising star or the G.O.A.T., the King of Italian wines, Barolo. Named after the steep hillsides of the Italian region, Enrico Serafino Barolo “Monclivio” DOCG ($48) is produced from a mix of fruit from various hillsides in the Barolo region from vineyards averaging 20-35 years old, blending clay and limestone soils. Aged two years in small and large barrels, giving the wine structure, concentrating the flavors, and softening the powerful tannins. The wine opens with aromas of black cherry, dried tobacco, and earthy dried sage, nutmeg, and thyme.

Looking for something a touch lighter, try the “Baby Barolo,” the wines of the Langhe in Italy’s Piemonte. Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo Langhe DOC ($28) is produced from fruit grown on 15 of the different Grand Cru estate vineyards of Vietti across the Barolo region. Each individual Cru is vinified and aged separately, then blended to create an approachable, layered wine with the classic character of Barolo, at a great price.

From Tuscany’s Badia a Coltibuono, Cultusboni RS Chianti Classico ($16) reveals an approachable, contemporary style of Sangiovese, from vineyards carefully sourced across the region. Juicy and fresh, while delivering an earthy rusticity, the wine layers red plum, black cherry, blackberry, and savory balsamic with a touch of dried herb, and a price point that won’t break the bank if you are entertaining friends.