Monday, April 03, 2006

Baseball and Bordeaux?

Today marks the start of baseball season, something that still gives me a charge. All the old hoopla about rebirth and renewal still holds true, at least for a little while each spring as our thoughts turn to sitting outside again in a cozy baseball park while enjoying peanuts and hot dogs

I have to admit, when I think of watching a ballgame on a warm sunny day I picture myself with a cold beer in hand. But up here in the Northeast, really warm weather is probably a month away and warm nights at least two months away. What could be better then than a hearty red zinfandel or a cabernet to ward off the chill on an April or May night?

The folks in San Francisco already know this. While on a Napa Valley vacation last year, the wife and I took in a Giants game at AT&T Park. I shouldn't have been surprised, given that San Francisco is very near the epicenter of California winemaking, by the sight of wine carts in the promenade with very healthy selections of California wines. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, both the Giants and the Oakland Athletics have turned to wine in a big way to please their fans.

Of course, that's wine country. Can wine (we're not talking about wine coolers and white zin here) at ballparks really catch on anywhere else? Admittedly, they're a little different in the Bay area. For one thing, you won't smell hot dogs at the ballpark much. What you will smell is garlic, tons of it. Thanks to the proximity of Gilroy, CA., self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world, garlic fries are everywhere at the Park. I love garlic as much as the next fan, but we're talking eye-watering powerful aromas.

But even if California is indeed different, I think there's hope for wine in other ballparks. And, I have a few suggestions for marrying the sound of wineslurping with the crack of the bat. For virtually anyone, there's Greenwood Ridge's Home Run Red. Now how can you strike out with a wine like that at the ballpark?

For Cincinnati-area baseball fans, the ballpark should definitely be serving Laurel Glen's Reds, a terrific, inexpensive red blend.

Red Diamond wines from Washington State should work nicely for Seattle Mariner fans. And, of course Texas fans would do well to pick up just about any of the Rhone Rangers.

St. Louis fans may have to travel a bit to find it, but Cardinal Red from Virginia would be just the ticket to enjoying a Cardinals game on a cool Midwest night. If you're a fan in Arizona, then by all means break out the Diamondback Vineyards.

Of course, Tom "Terrific" Seaver is now producing his own wines, so if you can get your hands on one of those it's sure to bring back memories of the amazin' Mets.

As a devoted Red Sox fan, I'm not sure what to choose just yet for the opener (they're on the road, but I'll be there in spirit). But it will be red and it will be a winner!


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