Do baseball and wine go together? You wouldn’t think so. At baseball games, nobody sings, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack and serve them to me with a nice Shiraz.” Although frankly a nice Shiraz would be helpful when you’re choking down Cracker Jack. Eating those things is a good way to lose a filling.
This year, though, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will be played in Miami even though July is pretty much the worst time to be here. Except for August and September and during Art Basel and that hell week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But since the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton replaced the dancer on the side of the Intercontinental for a few days, let’s celebrate even if we find baseball to be the sports equivalent of standing in line at the DMV.
As part of the All-Star festivities, the MLB Club Series Wine Collection is introducing two wines made by Napa Valley’s Ca’ Momi. Even if you can’t get tickets to the game, you can try the wine at quite a few spots around town and pretend you’re sharing box seats with David Samson.
Now we know what you’re thinking. How could wines designed for a baseball game that counts for nothing possibly be worth drinking? Isn’t this just a marketing ploy to get us to buy something that tastes like a catcher’s mitt left out in the rain? Most sporting venues can’t even manage to serve decent wine (looking at you, AmericanAirlines Arena and BB&T Center). Could this even rise to the level of decent?
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Yes and no. Here’s what we tried:
Miami Marlins Club Series Reserve/2014 California Red Wine ($19.99): This blend is a modest leadoff single, a drinkable red with plenty of berry and a whiff of pepper. At a venue with limited wine options, you’d be thrilled to stumble across it (if AmericanAirlines sold anything this good, they’d get a lot more of my money). At a wine bar with many other options, you might rethink the choice. It’s not bad but unremarkable, and finding a better, less expensive red with more flavor is not impossible. Want to give it a try? Check out these stores and venues.
2017 All-Star Game Limited Edition Sparkling White Wine ($19.99): This limited edition sparkling wine — only 525 cases were produced — can only be called a swing and a miss. The commemorative label outshines the nose and the palate. There’s also a peculiar aftertaste, as if you’d just brushed your teeth or licked a bat used by Mario Mendoza (look him up, for God’s sake). We experimented with a few mixers and found making a mimosa turned out to be the safest course of action. But that’s definitely not going to complement the Cracker Jack.