7 Wines for Football Season


Football season has begun, and with it come the inevitable tailgate parties and groups gathering around the TV. What to drink, you might ask? Good question, and one that I’m gonna answer with a short list.

What could be better than kicking off the season with a bottle of wine from one of your favorite players? That’s right -- more than a few QBs, CBs, and even coaches have gotten into the wine game. Check out this who’s who of kick-off wines!

7.) Joe Montana - While leading the San Francisco 49ers through many successful seasons with the highest passer rating in the NFC, Joe Montana developed quite a reputation. One has to wonder if naming his wine Montagia is gonna help him change that rep. Probably not, but the fact that this wine -- created in partnership with Napa Valley’s Beringer Vineyards -- is sold almost exclusively at benefit auctions certainly will!
6.) Dick Vermeil - Hall of Fame coach Dick Vermeil may be most famous for leading the 1999 St. Louis Rams to their improbable Super Bowl victory, but he’s now hung his hat in Napa Valley where he is producing some astoundingly good Vermeil Wines from varieties like Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and even Charbono. Seems Dick still likes the underdogs! (By the way, we love that Charbono.)

5.) Rick Mirer - Rick Mirer moved around the NFL a lot. As a journeyman quarterback, he even played a season for my New York Jets. Rick has since decided to stay put in Napa Valley, where he runs the Mirror wine label. With the luxury of a home base, Rick can now focus, and with only two wines he seems to be focusing hard on Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

4.) Drew Bledsoe - Growing up in Walla Walla, Washington meant that Drew, the famed New England Patriots quarterback, had vines in his backyard (well, almost). So, it was no surprise that Drew chose Washington for his winery, Doubleback. We’re not sure what the name means, but it’s probably a lot better than 19 and 0 (no)!

3.) Mike Ditka
- Iron Mike Ditka has his own brand of wine, and with a name like Kick Ass Red, you’ll have to buy it. No, really, or else you you’re gonna get your ass… you know. Fortunately, Mike is also producing great varietal wines from vines in Mendocino like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Grigio.

2.) Terry Hoage - Terry Hoage won a Super Bowl with the 1992 Washington Redskins as a defensive back. Since his retirement from the NFL in 1996, it’s been all offense for Terry, crushing his competitors off the field and in the vineyard where he continues to win awards for his superb Terry Hoage Vineyards Paso Robles Grenache and Syrah.

1.) Gary Eberle - Gary may not have had a famous football career (though he was a Penn State star back in the day!), but he is famous for kick ass wines (I wonder if Ditka knows about this?) as well as almost single-handedly establishing the Paso Robles wine region. His Eberle Winery produces a great array of wines and is one of our favorite Paso producers.

Honorable Mention: Charles Woodson
- The Green Bay Packer’s corner back is behind the TwentyFour label, which produces a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stag’s Leap district. Being an active player, Charles can’t actively promote his wine (something about preserving the image of the league -- and, uh, I gotta tell you, fine wine is the least of your worries, folks!) I'm also guessing that's why TwentyFour seems to keep such a low profile. We can't even find the wine!

Mentioned in this article


  • I would suggest NOT giving the Mike Ditka wine to a Packers' fan. I'm just saying . . . Great article! - DiTraveling.com

    Sep 13, 2010 at 12:32 PM

  • Nice piece on NFL wines. GMTA!... Check out my Wine Country Insider post, which this week looks at sports celebrity wines. Here's a link: http://fthorsberg.wordpress.com/201...


    Frank "Wine Country Insider" Thorsberg

    Sep 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

  • Somebody should send a case of "Kick Ass Red" to both USC and UCLA's football teams. The need help!

    Sep 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM

  • Snooth User: Deefeet
    528483 1

    Gotta love the Redskin's placing high...going to get some & pour it for my Dallas & 49 fans (cough cough) friends!! Sounds like another Paso trip Chip or Bev Mo-or Total Wine...here we come!!!
    + Woodson was a Raider 1st-may have to get that one too. GO BLUE!

    Sep 13, 2010 at 5:30 PM

  • Snooth User: cscovy
    570913 1

    love the article, hope you do another one for the Hockey Season. My husband and I were just discussing with friends a few nights ago the different hockey players that have their own wines.

    Sep 13, 2010 at 6:37 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Nice concept, Greg.

    Saw just this past weekend that Montana's huge estate in Napa/Sonoma wine country is on sale for an asking price north of US$50mil. Wonder what he'd charge for the wine if it were offered commercially.

    So any other sports in the offing? NBA, MLB, or...? How about retirees in Europe?

    Sep 13, 2010 at 9:00 PM

  • Snooth User: nwinkelman
    530583 18

    I always knew there was some reason for football.

    Sep 13, 2010 at 9:09 PM

  • Snooth User: jamessulis
    Hand of Snooth
    426220 1,722

    Being born and raised in Chicago, (recently moved to the West Coast), Iron Mike is one of my favorites. He sure provided beautiful sideline antics at Soldiers Field Home of the Chicago Bears for many seasons. Mike also has a restaurant in Chicago called appropriately "Ditkas" which has some of the greatest steaks anywhere on the planet. One of my favorite stories about Mike Ditka is the phrase most attributed to him and depicts his aura completely. It's,
    "Wadda ya lookin at?" Although I understand his real personality is one of a refined gentleman and no doubt his wine could be a nostalgic treasure.
    Great article on the wines of the NFL!

    Lefty- The Great Pacific Northwest

    Sep 13, 2010 at 10:05 PM

  • Thanks for the recommendations; however I’m disappointed that O.J. Simpson’s “Prison Yard Dandelion Garbage Bag Blend” didn’t make the list.

    Sep 13, 2010 at 10:17 PM

  • Snooth User: drquinn
    Hand of Snooth
    43735 429

    Vince Ferragamo, former Los Angeles Rams QB has his own Super Tuscan wine named Libeccio from Santa Barbara. A decent wine comprised of 33% Sangiovese, 33% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vince is a very savvy businessman and does a lot of charity work donating his time and wine in Orange County, California.

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:56 AM

  • Snooth User: swinnea
    483269 16

    Oops thought I posted this yesterday. Add Alphonse Dotson (Miami Oakland) to the list. Now growing in Texas.

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:22 PM

  • Snooth User: Stephen Harvey
    Hand of Snooth
    220753 1,288

    Well as yours begins the Australian Oval Ball Football comes to its exciting climax.

    I am an AFL fan and we do have some former stars with wine interests but I won't bother to list them.

    I have always associated football and beer even in my long past playing days. I was only an average local league player.

    Anyway we have the penultimate playoffs theis weekend between
    St Kilda v Western Bulldogs
    Geelong v Collingwood

    Collingwood is our equivalent of the Dallas Cowboys, you either barrack for them or hate them either way with great passion.

    Geelong is in the middle of a pretty good wine region so maybe they could be the Snooth team for 2010

    My team Adelaide failed to make playoffs - bummer!!

    Sep 15, 2010 at 12:02 AM

  • more on Alphonse Dotson of Meritus fame.....not just a name on a bottle by any means!!


    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:37 PM

  • beautiful

    Sep 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM

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