With the Super Bowl looming on February 4, some wine geeks may be wondering what to drink during the event — while others may be wondering how they can win some wine.
Betting and sports have a long (March Madness) but limited (Nevada) tradition in the US. But it is only thanks to Las Vegas we have an indication of what the odds are of one team winning over another. The most common indicator is the “spread” or number of point margin of victory of one team over another. In this year’s Super Bowl XLI the Indianapolis Colts are the favorite by seven points over the Chicago Bears.
Thus a fan of the Bears could take seven points, see her team lose 21-17 but still win on the bet. You win while the team loses. This suboptimal outcome means that your bet is not aligned with your enthusiasm for the team.
I put this puzzle to my friend who writes about sports on Gothamist and he advised me of the “moneyline,” which awards different values to bets while not offering any point spread. Thus if your team wins, you win the wager. The moneyline for the Superbowl is Indianapolis -240 and Chicago +200. That means that to place a $240 wager on the Colts in Las Vegas would win back your original wager plus $100. A $100 bet on the Bears would yield the original wager plus $200.
Thus wine geeks who are fans of the Bears could bet a $10 wine with a friend and Indianapolis supporter who would put up a $22 bottle of wine. Say, a Texier Cotes du Rhone 2004 (find this wine) for a Heinrich Mayr-Nusser 02 Lagrein Riserva (find this wine)? Or raise the stakes to double those price points if you are so inclined. But at the end of the day–or football season–the best way to celebrate friendship might just be if you had to drink the bottle together.
Assuming, of course, that you both are over 21 and live in Nevada.
The original version of this post appeared on January 27, 2006.
Read it and weep–former coach of the Chicago Bears, Mike Ditka, has a new wine called “Mike Ditka Kick Ass Red.” [wire story]
Assuming that “kick ass” refers to the quality in the bottle and not an alcohol level higher than a Hail Mary, this is the first celebrity wine I’ve ever seen to include a direct testimony to quality on the label. In fact, it even trumps the need to talk about grape varieties! Hmm, $50 a bottle…I guess it’s not for tailgate parties.
UPDATE: the wine is a blend of zinfandel, syrah, petite sirah so it will have heft. A pinot grigio and chardonnay are also planned. No word on whether those are kick ass.
Well, it’s been a pleasure holding the fort these past days. Thanks again to Dr. Vino for the podium.
One parting observation: I’m writing this from Chicago, which has so much great wine (though not great vineyards…) So why aren’t there any wine bloggers in Chicago? (My current week’s stint excepted.) So much wine, and so many serious wine shops, but no blogging. (I’m excluding the cheesy self-promotional blogs that just try to sell stuff, like, say, this one…)
Notice the big gap on the western shore of Lake Michigan on the map. Are Chicagoans too busy drinking? No time to write?
Different strokes for different folks. The Japanese baseball champs douse their star with Sapporo beer (I love the beer goggles–literally). The Major League Baseball champs Chicago White Sox douse themselves with
champagne sparkling wine.
After taking the division title the ChiSox reportedly doused themsevles with Korbel. Let’s hope owner Jerry Reinsdorf splurged for something a little better to celebrate the end of the nearly 90 year championship drought.
Last night I stopped by Chalet Wine and Spirits just off Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile for a bottle of vino. While I was rummaging around looking for a bargain in the Argentine section I heard a couple discussing some fine California cabs, young daughter in tow.
“This one is supposed to be good. I think somebody gave it 100,” the man said.
I thought nothing of it and continued my browsing. By the time I made it to the register in this small shop, I found that the couple had beat me there. I watched as bottles of fine wine got scanned and put in the shopping bag. Surely, I thought, the magnum of Joseph Phelps Insignia ($250?) on the counter was there for display? Nope. Scan. In the bag.
With a total bill of $605 for a bag of bottles, I wondered who was this couple?
After they left, the staff member working the register proudly told me that it was a member of the Chicago Cubs who had just played at Wrigley Field that afternoon (and had the next day off I later learned). It’s good to see that this player, who is having the best season of his career, has fine taste in wine!
The last time I saw a Cub in a store was at a 7-Eleven after a game about 10 years ago. He was the starting pitcher who had a 1-10 record as I recall and had just suffered another pounding. He bought a six-pack of Schlitz…
I wonder what the shop staff said after I left? “That was Dr. Vino!”