I don’t do posts in exchange for items like clothing, pasta sauce or gadgets. Quite frankly, that style of blogging has never appealed to me. However, when I was approached to write about wine by John Elway, I was interested.
Not only are we die-hard football fans in this house, but Ryan grew up watching Elway lead the Broncos to two Superbowl wins. We both play in several Fantasy Football leagues and, for a number of years, Ryan never missed watching the Broncos play, although he ruined his record by being on a plane once during the game.
If I were to turn down the opportunity to receive and write about Elway’s new collection of wine, well, I just couldn’t turn it down. So I accepted and then, Coronavirus entered the picture. For several agonizing months, we worried about whether there would even be football this year (which would ruin Sundays in this house).
I had planned to write about the fact that the The Farm Collection will be available for purchase and drinking at Empower Field at Mile High, but if there are no games, that’s a moot point for now.
Thankfully, there will be football this year, and it starts Thursday night (9/10/20), but it will be different. For one thing, the stands, a raucous and important part of any sport, will be empty. We aren’t sure how long this will go on, but it’s going to be for a while.
The long and short of it is that football fans are going to be watching from home a lot this season. Sure, here in Colorado you can go to a sports bar and watch, but with restaurants and bars at only 50% capacity inside and with bar tops closed, it is just not the same.
So I am encouraging fans to throw a small house party for the game. While it won’t be a Superbowl caliber event, it gives us something to look forward to. The Broncos play Monday night, and you can be sure we’re going to celebrate.
The Farm Collection represents three wines by 7Cellars at an accessible price point for most of us. I’ve always been on the wine-drinking train, but just recently Ryan has found a few he likes.
Here’s how we paired these three wines with football food.
Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles with Wings
This is the food I most associate with watching football because it is the only time I ever have wings. We’re fans of Old Chicago (we call it Old C’s) because it is near our house and it’s easy to watch multiple games there simultaneously (fantasy footballers will understand). In addition, they have excellent wings.
Because things were closed due to Coronavirus, we ordered wings and salad from Old C’s with the intention of pairing it with The Farm Collection Cabernet Sauvignon. This pairing does not instantly if ever, pop into my mind but it had been written online so I decided we’d give it a try.
To me, this wine seems to have less of the tannins that, if big enough, slap you across the face while drinking this style. These types of cabernet sauvignon are often recommended to be paired with steak.
This cabernet sauvignon is fruit-forward and would go with a lot of things. It turns out that while Ryan almost never drinks this style, he liked this one a lot and we’ve bought it several times since. It is full-bodied but mellow.
Paired with the Buffalo Wings at Old C’s, neither the taste of the wine or wings took over. I would rate this a good pairing, not my favorite of the three, but it works.
Chardonnay Arroyo Seco
For this pairing, we were going to do pulled pork sandwiches but changed it to pulled chicken because it was easy to use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Ryan made an Alabama White BBQ sauce and we mixed it with the chicken and coleslaw. I served a southern-style potato salad on the side.
The Alabama White BBQ sauce is so good and easy to make that it will become a staple at our house. With a bit of a bite due to the vinegar and the addition of bacon and pickle to our sandwiches, the meal overpowered the more subtle tastes of the chardonnay. I did get a vanilla flavor from it and it is more fruity than oaky although it was in French oak barrels for nine months.
In the future, I would pair this wine with something lighter like a summery pasta salad or the traditional pairing of fish. I think at a football party it would be lovely with a plate of mild cheese and fresh fruit.
Pinot Noir Monterey with Smoked Gouda Hamburger
For many years, my parents lived in Oregon’s wine country. Pinot Noir is what many Oregon wineries are known for, however, I am not a fan. In fact, I went to a wine festival in Oregon with the intention of finding a pinot noir I liked only to discover that I like the ones made with California grapes.
Turns out, I love this wine from 7Cellars. Like other pinot noirs I have tasted from California, this one does not have the intense earthy flavor that comes from the Oregon grapes. I think, in general, pinot noirs from California are brighter and lighter and all-around delicious drinking wine.
While 7Cellars sources their grapes in California and they started making Reserve wines in 2013. In March, the company released The Farm Collection, a wine with more approachable price points.
It turns out that this is a scrumptious pairing and my favorite of the three. The dark red cherry elements of this wine pair delightfully with the red meat of a medium-rare burger covered in ooey-gooey smoked gouda.
Would you like to try The Farm Collection? Go to The Farm Collection online and enter ELWAYS7 as your coupon code when ordering. This is good for 20% off wine and free shipping to all HeidiTown citizens. The code expires on 9/30/20.
While 7Cellars did provide us with wine from their The Farm Collection in return for a review, all opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.