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A Twist on Tailgating

There's no denying that Texas stands out from the rest of the 50 states in size, shape and personality. We're an inherently proud and individualistic people. I often demonstrated this during a time when I worked with a group of people from more than 22 countries. In a simplistic way of categorizing, people were referred to according to their origins: We had the French, the Chileans, the Spanish, the British, etc.; so when I was classified with the Americans, I naturally reminded them, "Well, actually, I'm Texan." It's different.

So different that we not only call Coca Cola "Coke,"we also call Dr Pepper, Sprite and any other carbonated non-alcoholic drink "Coke." We're so different that we eat tacos for breakfast. So different that we drink wine at football-watching parties. Well, okay.... not yet, but with a bit of Texan imagination and innovation, that will all change. Whether you're partying in a stadium parking lot or relaxing on your neighbor's living room recliner, there's a perfect bottle of wine to go with your burger, buffalo wings, or blue cheese dip.

Here's a few rules in wine pairing:

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1. Match weight in wine to weight in dish: ex. Sauvignon Blanc and caesar salad

2. High acid wines go with high acid sauces: ex. Chianti and marinara

3. Earthy wines go with earthy meats: ex. Burgundy and roasted pork

4. Sweetness balances out spice: ex. Thai green curry and Gewurztraminer

5. Bubbles cut through salt: ex. Champagne and caviar

6. Bubbles cut through fried foods: ex. Champagne and french fries

7. Fats soften tannins: ex. Napa Cabernet with steak

8. Relax and have fun!

Game day pairing suggestions:

Burger with lettuce, tomato, ketchup: Australia Shiraz, California Zinfandel, Merlot

Nachos with Jalapeños: Rosé, Viognier, South African Chenin Blanc, Champagne

Beef Spare Ribs: Bordeaux Blend, Napa Cabernet, Rioja, Argentine Malbec

Potato Chips and Blue Cheese Dip: Vouvray , Prosecco, Riesling

Grilled Chicken Skewers: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Light-weight Syrah

Pepperoni Pizza: Chianti, Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Medium-weight Zinfandel

Hot Buffalo Wings: Demi-Sec Vouvray, Gewurztraminer

Grilled Chicken Skewers: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Light-weight Syrah

Spicy Texas Chili: Off-dry Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sparkling Rosé Sparkling White

Pepperoni Pizza: Chianti, Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Medium-weight Zinfandel

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