Wine and chili (and football)

I have a friend who is a Minnesota Vikings fan, or, more precisely, a Bret Favre fan. My friend is from Wisconsin and rooted for the 40-year-old quarterback for many years when he played for Green Bay. That’s why this year, with Favre leading Minnesota to the doorstep of the Super Bowl, my friend is a Vikings fan. In any event, I, too, enjoy football in these exciting last weeks of the season. So when my friend invited me to watch the Vikings against the Giants, I didn’t hesitate. It didn’t hurt that the invitation came with the promise of homemade chicken chili, and that, of course, would give me the chance to bring along a terrific wine. But which wine?

It turned out my choice was just about unbeatable as we sipped Bradford Mountain’s superb 2005 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, which is made from organically grown grapes. Like many zins, this one is relatively high in alcohol, at 14.6 percent. But unlike some, it’s a model of balance with refreshing acids that keep it from being overpowered by robust foods. It was a great complement to the delicious chili with its sweet and spicy tomato base (thanks again to my friend’s wife).

As the Vikings handed the Giants a season-ending 44-7 defeat, the wine was the real winner with its concentrated blackberry and blueberry fruit, mocha, herbs and smooth but solid tannic structure. It would be nice to repeat it all with the Vikings and the Jets in the Super Bowl. I know who I’ll be rooting for. The wine has a suggested price of $28 and 1,950 cases were produced. More information at Bradford Mountain’s  Web site.  (Wine received as a press sample.)

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