Football season is upon us. Cheering on your team, gathering with friends, and making memories; what could be better? Tailgating is a tried and true tradition for most football fans, and it is a great time… if you’re prepared. We’ve got some tips to help you stay at the top of your tailgating game this season.
- Make a game plan early. Planning and preparing ahead of time means when it comes time for the actual tailgate you can relax and enjoy. Make a checklistof all your tailgating needs and pre-pack as much as you can. Some ideas: A tool box full of all your tailgate utensils (don’t forget the wine opener!); plastic totes or drawers packed with glasses or cups, plates, napkins, foil, bags, etc.; a mini first aid kit in a recycled pill bottle or mints tin.
- Chill everything first. If you’re serving wine you prefer chilled, chill it in the refrigerator before you pack it in the cooler. It will keep your ice from having to work too hard and melting quicker. Also consider freezing bottles of water to use as ice. When they melt, you’ll have cold water to drink!
- Keep your wine cool with frozen grapes. Drop a couple frozen grapes in your glass of wine to keep it cool on a hot game day without watering it down and changing the flavor.
- Mix up personal sized sangria in mason jars. They are easy, cute and delicious! And you don’t have to worry about that big, awkward pitcher falling over on the way to the stadium.
- Go for plastic or acrylic wine glasses to avoid breakage. Glass is beautiful and elegant, but the tailgate might not be the best place for your fancy wine glasses. Invest in an inexpensive set of wine ‘glasses’ made of a less shatter-prone material.
- Keep bugs out of your vino with repurposed cupcake liners. An overturned cupcake liner fits nicely over most wine glasses or jars and keeps those pesky insects out of your delicious beverage.
- Choose food friendly wines. If you’re not sure what foods will be served at the tailgate or other guests’ preferences, opt for wines that will go with a wine range of foods. A medium-bodied Chambourcin will pair well with most meats off the grill (burgers, brats, etc.). A semi-dry Vignoles will be great with other traditional tailgate foods such as nachos and hot wings. A nice rosé wine is also a good choice to match up with a variety of dishes. For more help pairing food and wine, check out this guide.
We hope these tailgate tips help you get the most out of football season!