Northeast Ohio is bursting with enthusiasm as Baker Mayfield and the boys get ready to take the field on Sunday. Now we need to find a wine to pair with the occasion. To say that zinfandel pairs quite well with anything off the grill might be a "dangerous" statement to some. So I rounded up a team of tailgate treats to test with this lovable and versatile grape.
Every football tailgate needs a great wine, just as every team needs a great quarterback. The bottles I chose will satisfy any fan, no matter their salary cap restrictions.
I love the versatility of the $12.99 Cline Ancient Vines zinfandel. The baking (not Baker) spice aromas and the macerated strawberry flavors really stood out. This wine has great experience as the grapes come from vines over 100 years old. It paired amazingly well with my Swensons Galley Boy, and Jimmy's Backyard BBQ sliders. It had just enough fruit to team up with the spicy Italian sausage from Marshallville Meats.
Whether you're in the Muni lot or your man cave at home, you need to have an all-star wine. Adding a $41.99 bottle of Frank Family zinfandel makes your tailgate a two-touchdown favorite. A match made in heaven with Jimmy's sliders, and a hunk of Paridiso aged gouda on a cracker. Bring on the Galley Boy and the grilled Italian sausage, too. You'll be a fan after the first sip. Rich Frank never disappoints. His entire team of wines are Hall of Fame caliber.
Buy the Frank Family zin at North End Hudson, Market District Cuyahoga Falls and Green, Papa Joe's, Acme Montrose, Heinen's Hudson and Brecksville, Miles Market Solon and Ken Stewart's Grill.
Buy the Cline Ancient Vines at Meijers Stow, Giant Eagle Kent Road, Norton Road and Howe Ave., Market District Cuyahoga Falls, HomeGoods Canton, all Fisher's Foods, Silver Spirits Akron, Acme #1, Green and Whipple Ave.
— Phil Masturzo