Ditka makes Wine! (Video)

If you are like me, you remain pretty much oblivious to the happenings of the sports world.  I have the most wonderful brother in the world, Wes, who also happens to be a virtual sports encyclopedia. He has always, always followed sports, since he was a tiny kid. I remember being dragged to various ballgames, in the pre-cell phone era, sitting in the stands as a disinterested teenager, reading some trashy novel, rolling my eyes at every burst of enthusiasm from the crowd. My recompense: we conversely went to the theatre. One year our parents even sent us, unchaperoned, to a performance of Into The Woods at Kentucky Center For The Performing Arts. Wes drove me crazy as he rolled his program into a makeshift telescope and kept staring at me, about an inch away from my face, while intermittently swigging tic-tacs from their container. I wanted him to evaporate. Payback's hell. We laugh about these things now.

As I have lived in a few places, Wes generally makes it a point to take in the local sports culture on his visits. We have seen the enigmatic athleticism of the following: The Oakland A's, The Colorado Rapids, The Colorado Rockies and The Denver Nuggets! My brother has also been a lifelong fan of the Chicago Bears. Da BEARS! (yeah, I just did that). I remember his absolute obsession with The Bears from early on: the Super Bowl Shuffle, The Refrigerator and apparently, Coach Mike Ditka. When I re-located to Chicago a few years back, he was thrilled. We have already taken in a Cubs game and he and our father enjoyed a blustery day at Soldier Field last fall. The Bears brought it. For Christmas this year, I was able to incorporate both of our passions!

Passing Soldier Field on the way home from our KY Christmas visit.

Passing Soldier Field on the way home from our KY Christmas visit.


The Wine: 2011 "The Coach" Cabernet Sauvignon California 

The Grapes: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc

The Price: $18.00 at Mariano's Grocery Stores in the Chicago area.

Thoughts: Pretty damn good! Do I sound like a sports fan? Seriously, I did not have high expectations for this wine, as most that have a gimmick (lest we all forget that terrible Marilyn Monroe wine?) are simply novelty and not drinkable. I clearly did not do my homework on this one, but like a champ, Ditka did. He partnered with Terlato Wines to create several wines, all using his iconic name, referencing that now infamous championship.

The wine is exactly what you look for in a Cab: big with bright fruit, smokiness from the oak and a bit of that chocolate and leather. Delish! Read about it here

Pairing: We just drank it as a digestif...if you could not tell from the video, we had indulged for several hours already, as it was Christmas. Also, as stated in the video by my connoisseur brother, you could have it with steak, dessert or steak for dessert. Or you may try something also rich and smoky like portobello mushroom caps smothered in blue cheese.