Football Touchdown, care of: New England Patriots got the nod this year to play opening week's Monday Night football - as it happened, not just on a gorgeous night in Mass., but with the re-introduction of Tom Brady to the line-up. (Yeah, we've lost a few of our key defenders; but we still have Belichik. And we still have one of the top QBs in the league, even if he is a little banged up and not my personal favorite beyond the playing field.) What's a girl to do on such a momentous night? Make pizza. From scratch. And enjoy exceptional wine(s) - during the preparation process and throughout the meal!  What better excuse do you need to open two of the most highly sought and difficult to find wines in our market: Spencer Roloson Grenache Blanc and Grenache Noir? (Note, the former was enjoyed throughout the preparation process and the latter for the meal and game time festivities!)

Last Spring my "buddies" Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher wrote about the Grenache phenomenon in the US. I was thrilled by their musings. Yet, the only two Grenaches I've really been completely thrilled with coming out of the California winemaking community are both executed by Spencer Roloson. And they are hard to get your hands on!

Their Grenache Blanc is, quite simply, a rare treat. It is robust, lush, fleshy/fruity (think quince, citrus and pears) - almost perfect for Chardonnay drinkers looking for something different or unique, but more for the nerd drinker in each of us because of its incredible layers and unsuspecting earthiness. It's one of those wines every person I've ever introduced it to has enjoyed, no matter their usual wine drinking habits. It is a true, special and quasi-celebratory wine because it is so difficult to find and oh-so-satisfying on so many levels.

Their Grenache Noir is also a wine of true grace and panache... that's also a "teeth sinker". It is freaking delicious (a technical term...), offering concentrated red berry fruit with some herbs and a sprinkling of burnt orange peel. It finishes bittersweet, like the chocolate. YUM. This wine was a really nice, luscious pairing with our pizza topped with rosemary roast chicken, fresh pineapple, buffalo mozzarella, black pepper and basil. I wish it was 24 hours ago now, as I write this post....

Suffice to say, we're now officially in Football Season. I like a good beer with my  ball. But a great wine - or two - is far more memorable. Cheers to Sundays!

What's your go-to Football wine?