Snacking and 'sportsing'

It’s a glorious time of year for sports fans:

  • The NFL is in full swing, but it’s early enough to be anyone’s season.
  • Hockey has finally started and we can start to ponder the fates of our favourite teams.
  • And the MLB post-season has begun.

It is also the season of snacking to sports, and, at this time of year, I ponder what to pair with each game as a quiet invasion of chips, dips, and related items populate my fridge and pantry.

It can be a challenge to find the right combo, especially if you’re the only one watching the game who cares about what wine pairs with Hawkins Cheezies (hint: bourbon or rye whiskey both seem to work well).

The snack of choice for watching baseball seems to be Spitz. I have tradition of having a bag of dill pickle Spitz with a gin and tonic.

The botanicals in your favourite gin should pair with the mild pickle flavour, but a vodka tonic with lemon can do the trick if you prefer the chili-lime seeds.

Barbecue Spitz? After extensive taste tests, I find it pairs well with a slightly fruit forward red wine such as a Gamay Noir, as these Spitz have some sweetness.

As for football, it’s not been my sport of choice. I am one of those people who waits for the Super Bowl half-time show, and so, as Maroon 5 has been announced as the 2019 performer, I am taking the opportunity on “football Sundays” to taste Malbecs.

Why Malbec? It’s usually full-bodied, deep in colour, and good with a hearty Sunday dinner of roast pork, so the term “pigskin” can be worked into conversations during commercial breaks.

It should also work well with a plate of nachos loaded with strong cheeses, though maybe skip the jalapenos.

With hockey, the default is often a good Canadian beer. Buy local from any of the area breweries, especially if your favourite pizza is en route.

Why does pizza pair well with beer? The cheese and richness of pizza, combined with the bready crust, needs a carbonated palate cleanser to refresh your taste buds for the next slice.

But if you’re playing on the ice theme, how about an icewine cocktail? A simple option is a shot if icewine in your vodka, skip the vermouth.

Of course, the most convenient snack for any sports watching is probably potato chips. No two brands of chips have the same flavour, and there are so many choices on store shelves.

Here's a safe and somewhat surprising option, especially with multiple bowls and a variety of flavours: bubbly A palate cleanser between bites.

And if you’re trying to be healthy and include a veggie tray in your sports “snackage,” aim for a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Viognier.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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