Last year, supermodel Gisele Bundchen caused a stir by sipping wine during the Super Bowl. Some even thought this act caused the Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady, her beau, to crumble, bring the team down with him.
Fans of the Steelers and the Cardinals who make it to Tampa for this year’s Super Bowl on February 1 are, given the scant attention paid to wine at stadiums, likely to have few such vinuous distractions. But Tampa does have one wine destination worth flagging: Bern’s Steakhouse.
The restaurant has a legendary wine list with about 600,000 bottles that have been accumulated constantly since the restaurant opened in the 1950s. Some are housed in the 3,000+ square foot wine cellar in the restaurant but the bulk of the collection is stored in two temperature controlled warehouses off premises. Stars of the collection include an 1851 bottle of Gruaud Larose, some Madeiras from the 18th century, and large verticals of Bordeaux.
I’ve never been to the restaurant but I was talking with an NYC wine collector last year and he told me about weekends that he and his wife like to take in Tampa to visit Bern’s. They go with four to eight friends and make reservations for Friday and Saturday night. They have a lengthy meal on Friday, sleep in on Saturday, get manicures or play golf (they said there’s not a lot to do), then go back for a huge, long dinner on Saturday that can last ten hours at the table as they plunder the cellar. Whoa! Who knows if they are keeping this up hedonism in recessionary 2009 but it shows what damage wine lovers could do at the restaurant. A lot more than in the stadium, that’s for sure!
Related: “Eric Renaud Senior Sommelier” [WSJ.com]
In the Final Four, the sleek and stylish Rieslings of JJ Prum got out to an early lead but Mollydooker came roaring back to take the crown in the first ever Wine Madness! The Maitre D’ set up shots, the Two Left Feet ran hard, and The Boxer played a tough inside game. The Violinist annoyed the crowd at first but then got drowned out by the cheers for the action from the court. During the chilling moments in the first half, they all had Goosebumps but by the end they were walking down the Enchanted Path, drinking Gigglepots, and wondering if they might be heading to a Carnival of Love.
And Mollydooker gets the grand prize: a link back to their website! Catch all those references in the preceding paragraph by checking out the whole line of wines over at Mollydooker.com.au.
I hope you enjoyed the tournament. Thanks again to wine blogger and journalist Mark Fisher for the idea. If you have suggestions on how to better run it for next year, hit the comments! Perhaps we will have to do a pool after all. If only this blog were hosted in Las Vegas…
Wine Madness continues to the Final Four! Thanks to your comments, we now have the finalists! Vote here and now to decide the winner! (We are dispensing with the semifinals and the final four will be ranked in their vote order here.)
UPDATE: poll closed: The wine with the most votes as of Monday April 7, 11:59 PM will be declared the winner!
For this round, you need to vote the wines you want to see in the next round by commenting on this post. After the jump, see the remaining eight teams and post a comment to decide the Final Four! Read more…
It all started last week on a lark, but now we move on to the second round. Over the weekend, play occurred in far-flung arenas and I report the results here. Now it is up to you and vote the teams/wines through that you want to see in the next round. It is all in your hands! Hit the comments of this post for the Parkerized wines and Natural wines brackets; the previous post for the Riesling and Supermarket wine brackets. Read more…
Over the weekend, play occurred in far-flung arenas and I report the results here. Now it is up to you to vote the teams/wines through that you want to see in the next round. It is all in your hands! Hit the comments of this post for the Supermarket wines and Riesling brackets; the previous post for the Parkerized wines and Natural wines brackets. Read more…
Wines are divided into four divisions: Supermarket wines, Parkerized wines, Natural wines, and Riesling. The early money is coming in strong on Mollydooker for taking the whole thing, but don’t count out the other number one seeds, Two Buck Chuck, Dr. Loosen, and Domaine Huet.
Some of the early match-ups will be bruising, particularly the Carol Rossi vs Franzia in a battle of heavyweights and one of these two may play the winner of the Mollydooker vs Run Rig game for the title. Games also of note: White Lie and Wine Sight might be a catfight in the “wine for women” pairing; Noel Pinguet (Huet) vs Nicolas Joly in a biodynamic chenin show-down; and Leeuwin Estate and Pierre Trimbach will battle it out with their different styles in the Riesling category and the winner could be the tournament’s Cindarella.
UPDATE: Thanks for the support! Check back next Monday when you can see who advanced to the quarterfinals–and then vote them through to the finals!
Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, a giantly patriotic dish showcasing American innovation: Buffalo wings!
Is it impossible to pair wings with wine? You make the call! (And don’t forget the blue cheese dip.)