sporty grape

quarterback pinot styles

In honor of Gallo striking a partnership with the NFL which furthers my ongoing crusade to get wine and football watching happening, let’s compare some QB styles to different styles of Pinot Noir.

Tom Brady: Burgundy. The king of Pinot regions—ultra refined, silky and often mind blowing. Sounds like the GOAT to me. Start with 2019 Domaine Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Fontenys” ($169). 

Patrick Mahomes: Alsace. The minerality and lightness make this my next favorite region after Burgundy.  An unorthodox choice for an excellent QB with an unorthodox approach and throws. Love Léon Beyer ($28).

Josh Allen: Sonoma. Some are calling him the MVP of the season. Sonoma, which some call the best California Pinot Noir, can be very fruit-forward. But when done well, like the elegant 2020 DuMol Wester Reach ($75), the cherry and raspberry fruit is elegant. 

Aaron Rodgers: Napa. A veteran, though not as good as Brady. Known for Hail Mary passes, which Napa may start needing with climate change and fires. Let’s hope not. Try the cinnamon-cherry Mira 2017, Hyde Vineyard Napa Valley ($95). 

Justin Herbert: Willamette Valley. Very talented, can be erratic but definitely on the ascent—similar to Oregon’s Willamette Valley which tends to strike a great balance of fruit and earth in their Pinots like the biodynamic flinty-violet Evening Land Seven Springs ($45).

Russell Wilson: Western Cape, South Africa.  Same great grape, different region. As Wilson heads to Denver this season, watch while sipping some 2020 Kara Tara ($22) which has a rugged, interesting mix of cranberry and tarragon with a hint of black pepper at the end.

Daniel Jones: Finger Lakes. This region can often be funky and poor performing, but every once in a while you taste a good one that shows the potential for some great stuff.  Will have to wait and see, just as everyone’s doing this season with DJ. Watch him with some Element ($54), which has lovely restrained cranberry and a hint of mushroom. 

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