It’s the most wonderful time of the year - football season! And football season means tailgating, and tailgating means wine! Wait, what?!? Did we say wine? You bet your sweet pigskin we did! While beer may still be the beverage of choice for most, we think wine is a perfect fit for all of the food and fun that you find at a tailgate - whether at the stadium or at home. And canned wines - which are growing in popularity and availability - are a perfect choice because they are easy to pack in and out, won’t break, and don’t need a corkscrew! In this episode we had a ton of fun trying 5 - that’s right 5 - canned wines, including two whites, two reds, and a rosé so that we could give you a wide variety to choose from to fit any palette, and to pair with tailgate foods. We also talk about the most popular tailgating foods and which of these wines will pair the best with each. We think we found some real winners among these cans - and a few we think you might want to stay away from! And, we give you some important information about how much wine is actually in a can - it’s more than you think, so don’t say we didn’t warn you! Wines reviewed in this episode: Creamery Chardonnay, House Wine Sauvignon Blanc, 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend, Underwood Pinot Noir, and Oak Flat Vineyards Rose'
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Episode 88: Wines for Tailgating! 00:00
Hello! And welcome to The Wine Pair Podcast. I’m Joe, your sommelier of reasonably priced wine, and this is my wife and my wine pairing partner in crime, Carmela. And we are The Wine Pair!
Ok, a quick orientation for those of you who may be new to the podcast - in each episode we learn about, taste and give our brutally honest review of three wines that are reasonably priced - meaning under $20 each - and should be easy for you to find. And our podcast is made for people who want to learn more about wine, find new wines to enjoy, and just want someone to talk about wine in a way that normal people can understand. So, if that sounds like you, you are in the right place! And we are proud to say that we have been featured recently in The Mercury News and we are recommended by the editors of Decanter Magazine who call us fun, irreverent, chatty, and entertaining
Carmela, we are just at the cusp of what is one of my most favorite times of the year - we are now back in football season here in the good old U S of A! And many, many diehard football fans love to throw a good tailgate party at the stadium, and, for away games or if you are someone who doesn’t have season tickets to games, at your own house.
Now many people may be under the mistaken impression that beer is the beverage of choice at a tailgate - and don’t get us wrong, beer is fantastic at a tailgate. But, since we are a wine podcast, we are of course going to tell you that wine is the perfect tailgate beverage. And why is that, you may ask?
Well, for a couple of reasons. Can you think of any, Carmela? One, some people don’t like beer, so there’s that. Two, when we are talking about the foods that people eat at a tailgate, wine can be a great option! And third, now there are so many wines coming out in formats that are more friendly for events like tailgating, and today in particular we are going to talk about wine in cans!
But before we get there, I want to talk a little bit about tailgating itself. Did you know, Carmela, that a third of people who tailgate never actually make it to the game? It’s true - according to a YouGov poll, 77% of people who tailgate drink alcohol, and 1 in 3 say that at least on one occasion, they didn’t make it to the game after a tailgate.
And, somehow, that doesn’t exactly surprise me. Because we had seen those people. I may have even been one of those people once.
The most popular tailgating drink is, yes, beer, with one survey indicating that 53% of respondents saying beer was their drink of choice, 15% said liquor, and 11% said wine. So we are going to see if we can up that percentage just a bit.
And in addition to eating and drinking at tailgates, people also evidently play a lot of games. This same survey, which you can find in our show notes, also said that cornhole is the most popular game at tailgates followed by beer pong, a good old game of catch, flip cup, and then ladder toss.
So, in addition to beverages and food, you better bring along some fun games to pass the time - since people can spend a lot, and I mean a LOT of time at tailgates. What do you think about that, Carmela?
In a minute, we are going to try some canned wines to see if we can help you find some good choices for your next tailgate party - and I will just say we are breaking the 3 wine rule today - we are going crazy - because this week we have 5 cans of wine to try because I wanted to make sure we had a good mix of red, white, and rosé to meet any palate at a tailgate. And we are going to talk about the top tailgating foods and which of the wines we have we think will go well with those foods . . .
But first . . . we have to do our shameless plug.
First, we want to thank you for listening to us and for supporting our show, and if you have not had the chance to do so yet, now would be the perfect time to subscribe to our podcast - it is a free way to support us, and then you never have to miss a show! - and a huge thank you to all of you who have subscribed already!
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You can also follow us and see pictures of the wines we are tasting and trying today on Instagram at thewinepairpodcast, you can also follow us on Threads and you can contact us on our website thewinepairpodcast.com, and you can sign up for our email newsletter there and get news and food and wine pairing ideas and more, and we just sent out our newsletter so if you want it just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get it to you!
And, as we do every week, we’ll tell you someone we think you should tell about The Wine Pair Podcast. This week, we want you to tell anyone who loves American football and loves a good tailgate party - and you can tell them by sending them this episode!
ARTICLES and LINKS
Topic: Top Tailgating Foods and Why Canned Wines Are Great for Tailgates 08:18
Carmela, before we talk about tailgating foods, which we will cover in a minute, I feel like we need to make a public service announcement about canned wines. What do you think?
Alright. As a word of caution to all of our faithful listeners, be forewarned that a can of wine is much more than you think. A single 12 ounce can of wine is basically equivalent to half a bottle of wine. You heard that right. It may not seem possible, but it is true. A half a bottle of wine is 375ml, and a can of wine is typically 355ml. So, if you drink a full can of wine, you are drinking half a bottle of wine. And if you try to down two cans of wine, you are going to be on your lips. So don’t say we didn’t tell you!
Now, back to tailgating,Carmela, I will say that even though I do not attend a lot of games in person and so do not go to a lot of stadium tailgates, I do love tailgate foods which I just associate with sporting events in general. And, because we are nerds, we think the beverage you pair with the food matters.
We took a look at a few different sources for the top tailgating foods, and when I say we I mean me. And, by the way, if you want links to the articles we used as reference, head on over to our website, look for this episode, click on the episode, and scroll down to find the show notes!
Ok, here are the top tailgating foods based on our aggregation of different sources - and of course, there are going to be regional differences, so the order could be altered depending on where you live:
- Hot dogs/brats
- Chicken Wings
- Chips & Dip
- Pulled BBQ Pork
- Fruit and Veggie Trays
- Pasta Salads
What do you think of this list, Carmela? Anything you disagree with or anything that really stands out to you? And for any of you out there who have something different that is a favorite, let us know or share it in our Instagram or Threads posts for this episode.
For me, I am definitely a hot dog/brat guy when it comes to going to a game in person. There is just something about it that is very live sports to me, and they tend to be easier to eat than hamburgers when you are standing around. If I am at home, I am much more likely to want a burger or chips or pasta salads. Nachos and chicken wings are a bit more of what I would have at a bar setting.
Anyway, what we are going to do in this episode is when we taste these five different cans of wine, instead of our usual food and wine pairing thoughts which are more open-ended in our normal episodes, we are are going to indicate which of these popular tailgating foods we think canned wine will go best with. That sounds like fun - Amiright?!?
And, as far as why canned wines are great for tailgating, it may seem obvious, but there are clearly some advantages. What do you think are some of those advantages, Carmela? The first is - no glass to break. The second is - no need to carry a bottle opener. The third is - they are much easier to pack in and out. The smaller size and can shape is super convenient, much easier to lug around than bottles, and the fact that you can crush them down when you are done is awesome. And, because they are in a can, they are easy to cool down, and if you don’t have a separate glass or cup, you don’t look like a nutjob drinking right out of the can like you would if you were drinking out of a bottle. That would look crazy.
So, all in all, canned wines are an awesome choice when it comes to tailgating.
So, on that note, I think it’s time to learn a little more about the specific wines we are drinking today. Whaddya say?
ARTICLES and LINKS
Canned Wines We Chose for This Episode 14:46
As usual, all of the wines we have chosen for this episode are under $20, and because they are all cans, they are all very reasonably priced with no can over $6, which is a decent bargain, especially when you consider that a normal sized can is a half a bottle of wine. And all of them should be relatively easy to find because I bought them all at stores within a couple of miles of our house, including Target, Safeway, and Total Wine. But you should be able to find most of these cans, or other canned wines, anywhere. And canned wines are definitely becoming a more common format, especially at stadiums and bars.
And remember that we have 5 cans of wine we are going to be trying today, so we are just going to go through what these cans are quickly and then get to the tasting. And, because we wanted a good mix, we have two whites, two reds, and a rosé.
The canned first wine we are going to be tasting today is called Creamery Chardonnay, and I can tell you right off the bat that I am not expecting to like this wine BUT I know there are lots of people out there who love their Chardonnay, so we wanted to make sure we covered a good mix of wines. This wine says it is barrel fermented and the website says it is 100% fermented in oak for 7 months, of which 60% is American so we are indeed expecting a lot of that buttery mouthfeel, vanilla, and oak flavors on top of some tropical fruit. And maybe a headache.
The second canned wine we are tasting is called House Wine Sauvignon Blanc, and we have definitely had House Wine before, but usually we drink their bubbly canned wines which we like, and I don’t think we have had their Sauvignon Blanc before. I will just note that although House Wine is from California, they do comment on the can that the grapes are from Chile, so we will see how this wine stacks up to cooler climate Sauvignon Blancs, and if this has those tropical fruit and citrus flavors.
The third canned wine we are going to try is called 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend. Now, like a lot of American red wine blends, this one does not really tell us what the exact blend is, but they do say it is predominantly Merlot blended with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. So, this is interesting because the predominance of Merlot and the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon would make me think this is a Bordeaux-style blend, but Syrah is very rarely used in Bordeaux blends, and so I think this is just a melange of grapes, and given the addition of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, they are probably just trying to meet the expectations of the American wine palette which expects some punch-you-in-the-face from red wines. This is not typically the kind of red wine I would generally drink, but it should go well with grilled foods, and feels like a “cocktail” wine which some people will really like at a tailgate.
The fourth wine we are going to try is the Underwood Pinot Noir, and I am pretty sure we have had this before, but we have not had it on the podcast yet. We love a good Oregon Pinot Noir, so I am very curious to see what we think about this one. In 2019, Wine Spectator gave this wine a 90, but since then I have not seen any other reviews for it. I have also seen a bunch of different tasting notes for this wine, so my expectation is that this will be a relatively easy-drinking wine that probably varies from year to year as the mix of grapes they use changes.
Finally, our fifth wine is in an even smaller can, a 250ml can, so I kind of had to get it because it was so cute and I wanted to have a rosé in the mix, and as an extra special bonus, the label has Portland Oregon on it and since we just moved our oldest son and his girlfriend there, the can called to me. This wine is called Oak Flat Vineyards Rose', and beyond the fact that it is made from Grenache - I think - and fermented in stainless steel, I really couldn’t find out much of anything about this wine. I think it is pretty new on the market, and I couldn’t even find a presence on Instagram for them. So, I was just suckered in by the label and the cute can size, and I can admit that because I am an adult.
But, I think that is enough information - let’s get to drinking! We’ll take a quick break and be right back. And, if you have these wines or similar wines, drink along with us! And, we are going to try and make our tastings a little speedier than usual so we can get through all 5!
ARTICLES and LINKS
Canned Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, and Grenache Rosé Wine Pairing Tasting and Reviews 20:45
Wine: Creamery Chardonnay
What we tasted and smelled in this canned Creamery Chardonnay:
- On the nose: Wood box, vanilla, honey, caramel, wine left too long in a wood box
- In the mouth: Wood, matchstick, very rich, apple, pear, big aftertaste, very oaky
Tailgating food to pair with this canned Creamery Chardonnay: Cheesy nachos, cheesy pizza, BBQ pulled pork, chips & dip
As a reminder on our rating scale, we rate on a scale of 1-10, where 7 and above means that we would buy it, and 4 and below means that we are likely to pour it down the sink, and a 5 or 6 means we are likely to drink it and finish it, but we are probably not going to buy it.
Canned Creamery Chardonnay Wine Rating:
- Joe: 2/10
- Carmela: 5/10
Wine: House Wine Sauvignon Blanc
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
What we tasted and smelled in this canned House Wine Sauvignon Blanc:
- On the nose: Peach, POG, orange, citrus, fruity
- In the mouth: Sweet, bitter end, citrus pith, very citrusy, thin, dangerous - very, very easy drinking
Tailgating food to pair with this canned House Wine Sauvignon Blanc: Cheese, veggie tray, pasta salad, spicy chicken wings, chips and dip, potato chips
Canned House Wine Sauvignon Blanc Wine Rating:
- Joe: 7/10
- Carmela: 7/10
Wine: 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend
Region: Washington, Columbia Valley
Grapes: Predominantly Merlot blended with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon
What we tasted and smelled in this canned 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend:
- On the nose: Black fruit, blueberry, licorice, spice, plum, black licorice, blackberry licorice, wood, smoke
- In the mouth: Blueberry, mild, not a lot of tannin, tart berry, juicy, a hint of menthol or mint, black fruit, blackberry jam, stewed blackberry, easy drinking, versatile with food, crowd pleaser at a tailgate, could be chilled
Tailgating food to pair with this 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend: Burgers, pizza, hot dog, nachos, BBQ pulled pork, all of the foods would go
Canned 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend Wine Rating:
- Joe: 6/10
- Carmela: 7/10
Wine: Underwood Pinot Noir
Retailer: Total Wine
Grapes: Pinot Noir
What we tasted and smelled in this canned Underwood Pinot Noir:
- On the nose: Wood, doesn’t smell like a Pinot, matchstick, not much fruit, leather, blackberry leaves, smoke taint?
- In the mouth: Very little fruit, wood
Tailgating food to pair with this Underwood Pinot Noir: Need to have it with food, can go with a lot of tailgating foods, burger, nachos
Canned Underwood Pinot Noir Wine Rating:
- Joe: 5/10
- Carmela: 6/10
Wine: Oak Flat Vineyards Rose'
Retailer: Total Wine
What we tasted and smelled in this canned Oak Flat Vineyards Rose':
- On the nose: Fruity, watermelon, grapefruit, strawberry leaves
- In the mouth: Effervescent, very grapefruit, citrus, refreshing, does not taste like alcohol, dangerous - very easy drinking, watermelon candy on the first sip, Paloma
Tailgating food to pair with this canned Oak Flat Vineyards Rose': Hot dog, spicy chicken, pasta salad, BBQ pork, chips and salty foods
Canned Oak Flat Vineyards Rose' Wine Rating:
- Joe: 8/10
- Carmela: 8/10
Which one of these are you finishing tonight?
- Carmela: Oak Flat Vineyards Rose'
- Joe: Oak Flat Vineyards Rose'
Taste profiles expected from the Canned Wines 41:58
- Creamery Chardonnay
- Winery: A rich wine exhibiting a classic profile of tropical fruit and Bosc pear alongside warm oak aromatics. The luscious palate suggests crème brulée and buttered toast, and finishes with fresh acidity.
- House Wine Sauvignon Blanc
- Winery: Floral aromas are followed by a mouthful of bright, tropical fruit with a dry and brisk finish
- 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend
- Winery: This polished red wine offers aromas of cherry, red currant and tea. Flavors of cherry pie, ripe berries and plums, supported by a frame of refined tannins, give way to subtle notes of baking spice on a persistent finish
- Underwood Pinot Noir
- Winery: Strawberry, Rhubarb, Fennel Seed
- Wine Library: Taste: ripe cherry, plum, strawberry, raspberry and mushroom. Nose: barnyard, cherry, plum, game and tomato
- Oak Flat Vineyards Rose'
- Typical Grenache Rosé from Wine Folly: Strawberry, raspberry, watermelon candy, lemonade, cucumber.
Outro and how to find The Wine Pair Podcast 44:46
Ok, so, Carmela, it is just about time for us to go, but before we do, we want to thank you very much for listening to us - and if you haven’t done so yet, now would be the perfect time to subscribe to our podcast and also a fantastic time to leave us a nice rating and review on our website or Apple podcasts or other podcast service - and it is an awesome and free way to support us and help us grow listeners.
We would also love to hear from you about a wine you would like us to taste and review. You can, leave a message for us on our website thewinepairpodcast.com and you can join our email newsletter there, too, or you can just email us at email@example.com and tell us about a wine you are curious about, or curious what we think of it. And, follow us on Instagram and Threads so you can see pictures of all of these wines we are tasting and reviewing.
And, next time you listen to an episode, drink along with us and see if you are tasting and experiencing the same things we are - it’s like a date night! And if you do that, we’d love to hear what you think!
Alright, with that, we are going to sign off, so thanks again, and we will see you next time. And, as we say, life is short, so stop drinking shitty wine.