Olympics and Wine: Gold Medal Pairings

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are well underway. Events started on July 23 and will continue until August 8. Whether you’re watching the games live or watching replays any chance you get, there’s something you need with each event: a refreshing beverage that pairs perfectly with your chosen sport. Don’t worry, we won’t include any spoilers in case you are trying hard to avoid all Olympics news until you can watch them yourself. Turn up the volume, cheer on your favorite team, and take a look at our suggested pairings to join you on your Olympic journey. GENERAL Nihonshu/Saké – If you’re going to drink one thing to celebrate this year’s Olympics, Nihonshu should be your beverage of choice! Coffee – Not an alcoholic beverage, but if you’re watching the games live from somewhere with a drastic time difference from Tokyo, you’ll need it. ARCHERY/SHOOTING Rheinhessen Riesling – Two sports that require intense focus and accuracy need a wine with, as Delectable user Lee describes the 2011 Weingut Keller, “laser-like precision”. Don’t lose focus while watching unless you are reaching for your glass of Rheinhessen Riesling. ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS/RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS Napa Valley Chardonnay – From floor to vault, gymnasts are looking for that perfect blend of power and energy. From bars to balance beam to pommel horse, gymnasts have to watch out for deductions with every detail. It goes without saying that they definitely need balance. A Napa Valley Chardonnay that is bold and full of energy will work wonders here. ARTISTIC SWIMMING Pét-Nat Rosé – A sport that requires immense amounts of creativity needs a dreamy wine that you’d also want while sitting by a pool. A multi-dimensional sport calls for a multi-dimensional wine such as Pét-Nat Rosé. ATHLETICS Brut Champagne Blend – Athletics is the broad category for track, field and road events. To cover all the events, you need a wine with lots of vibrancy. Nothing like the energy of bubbles to get you through multiple events. Make sure all the bottles of Brut Champagne Blend are chilling as you watch. BADMINTON/TABLE TENNIS/TENNIS Dolcetto d'Alba – If you’re watching all three of these events, then you’re going to need some snacks in-between. What about a table wine (come on, perfect for table tennis) that pairs well with food passed around the room. We think you should give Dolcetto d'Alba a try. BASEBALL/SOFTBALL Koshihikari Echigo Beer – There’s nothing quite like drinking an ice-cold beer while cheering on your favorite baseball/softball team. This Japanese beer is perfect for watching both baseball and softball. Depending on how many games you watch, you could be drinking this all day! 3X3 BASKETBALL/BASKETBALL Sonoma Red Blend – A sport that we are all familiar should be paired with a wine most are also familiar with. A game focused on running up and down the court, we think you should pop a bottle that matches the energy of constantly scanning across the court. Choose a wine that offers a bit of back and forth, such as a Sonoma Red Blend. BEACH VOLLEYBALL Finger Lakes Sauvignon Blanc – Is it too obvious to pair beach volleyball with a beach wine? What about a wine with hints of sand? Before you get nervous, the wine itself doesn’t taste like sand, but as user, Severn points out on a 2017 Field Sauvignon Blanc Blend, “Nose has wet lemon slice, cold lavender, lemon grass freshly chopped, white/yellow flowers, honeydew melon and dry beach sand.” The smell of the sand may make you feel like you’re watching the sport in person! BMX FREESTYLE/ BMX RACING Bandol Mourvedre Blend – From the creativity of freestyling to the exciting racing finish, you’ll need a wine to match. A Bandol Mourvedre should be the right combo for these BMX events. Get your bike ready because you’ll want to try out all these exciting tricks. BOXING Mosel Spätburgunder – What’s better to drink while watching boxing than a wine that packs a punch? A Mosel Spätburgunder offers the depth you’ll need to anxiously sit through your favorite match. CANOEING/KAYAKING Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend – These events are all about strategy and navigation. While watching the athletes on screen navigate the waters, you should grab a wine that you’ll have to find your way through the palate. A Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend should present the best challenge. Pick a wine that keeps you on your toes. DIVING Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon Blend – You won’t be diving into the pool alongside these athletes, but you can take a deep dive into the depths of this wine. Pick up a bottle of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon Blend and take notes as you dive in. EQUESTRIAN Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay – Just how the rider and the horse need to be a perfect pair to win gold, we’re recommending a wine that would join them on the podium. The rider and the horse must be in sync and complete harmony during their routines, so why not open a bottle of Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay that creates harmony within the glass? FENCING Vouvray Chenin Blanc – Does anyone else immediately think of Lindsay Lohan fencing against herself in The Parent Trap? Just us? While that movie gave us the iconic peanut butter and Oreo pairing, we’re here to bring you a fencing and wine pairing. We recommend a striking wine to match the sword strikes. How about a Vouvray Chenin Blanc? Pour a glass and watch out for those swords. FOOTBALL White Bordeaux Blend – For all of our US drinkers out there, we’re talking about soccer. Football is without a doubt a team sport, so you should probably pick a wine where all the elements work as a team to bring you an event in a glass. We’re pairing football with a White Bordeaux Blend. Cheer on your team and the team in the glass! GOLF Chablis Chardonnay – Contrasting football above, we find ourselves on a more individual focused event: golf. If you were outside in the heat all day, what would you want to drink? Something refreshing that won’t distract from your focus. We think you should give a Chablis Chardonnay a try. HANDBALL Magnum Format – A team sport played on the largest indoor court at the Olympics, Handball should be paired with a larger-than-life wine. What better fits this than a wine served from magnum? Get together with friends, pull a magnum from the cellar, and get ready for handball. HOCKEY Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Remember, this is the summer Olympics so we’re talking field hockey not ice hockey. A team sport that requires high stamina deserves a wine with the stamina to match. How about a Napa Cab? JUDO Skin Contact Wine – A full-combat sport, the goal of Judo is to take your opponent to the ground. This sport first debuted at the Olympics in Tokyo 1964. Watch Judo return to Tokyo with a bottle of skin contact wine. KARATE 2020 Vintage – Karate is making its first Olympic debut in Tokyo! This martial art focuses on striking, punching, and kicking. Since it is one of the new sports added to the event lineup, we think you should drink a young wine (2020 vintage) to celebrate the occasion! MODERN PENTATHLON/TRIALTHLON Languedoc Red – Swimming, fencing, horse riding, pistol shooting and running make up the Modern Pentathlon, while the Triathlon consists of biking, swimming, and running. What drink do you pair with sports that are actually so many events in one? You’ll need a complex wine for these complex games. Pick up a bottle of Languedoc Red and enjoy the journey. MOUNTAIN BIKE/ROAD CYCLNG/TRACK CYCLING Natural Wine – Whether they’re cycling in the mountains, out on the roads, or on a track, these Olympic cyclists are going so fast it must feel like they are in a windstorm. Since two out of the three are cycling through nature, what’s better to pair with these events than a natural wine? You’ll want something a little earthy, a little fruity, and maybe a little funky. ROWING/SAILING Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese – Sports that rely heavily on weather and its constantly changing conditions need to be paired with a wine that isn’t stagnant and always evolving. Give an Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese a try and let us know how its conditions change over the course of a few hours or even days! RUGBY Saumur Cabernet Franc – An intense sport like rugby needs an equally thrilling wine. How about a Saumur Cabernet Franc? Delectable user Erik had a 2018 Château De Fosse-Seche Eolithe Saumur Cabernet Franc and shares, “Whew! What a thrilling ride!” You’ll probably say the same after drinking a glass and watching rugby. SKATEBOARDING Porto Port Blend – Another sport in its Olympic debut! We’re relying on Delectable user, David for this recommendation. David says about the 2011 Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Porto Port Blend, “Grapes and raisins, cassis berry, skateboard bushing and candied violets inform an incredibly soft nose.” Don’t think we need to explain further. Pick up some Port and buy yourself a skateboard. SPORT CLIMBING Marsannay Pinot Noir – And we continue with another debut sport. The amount of grip strength these athletes need is incredible. You might be wondering what pairs best with a sport such as this. How about a wine with a strong tannic grip? We recommend a Marsannay Pinot Noir. SURFING IPA – And we’re on to another water sport! Any sport related to the beach makes us wish we were at the beach ourselves. So why not pair surfing with a beverage that makes us feel as if we are there? Grab yourself an IPA and maybe put on some sunglasses for the full effect. SWIMMING Rosé Cava Blend – If there is one word to describe swimmers, it’s fast. Not only do the swimmers themselves need to be fast as lightening to win, the event itself is over almost as soon as it begins. You’ll need a wine that goes down easy and that you can finish in time for the medal ceremony. What about a Rosé Cava Blend? TAEKWONDO Loire Chenin Blanc – Taekwondo offers us another combat sport with kicks and punches abound. We think you should pop a bottle that offers a surprising kick as well. Try fighting a Loire Chenin Blanc and let us know who wins! TRAMPOLINE GYMNASTICS Beaujolais Gamay – Trampoline gymnasts amaze viewers with a variety of twists, flips, and bounces. You’ll need a wine whose flavors jump out at you just like the gymnasts jump on the trampoline. We think you should give a Beaujolais Gamay a try! VOLLEYBALL Spätlese Riesling – As you watch the players spike the ball across the net, why not drink a wine that offers a nice spike of acidity? Maybe a wine of this sort will help you stay awake after watching hours and hours of Olympic sports. Pour a glass of Spätlese Riesling and enjoy! WATER POLO Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – Water Polo involves treading water, swimming, and trying to throw a ball into a goal without touching the ground. Quite a spectacular event that is the only ball sport played in a pool. While the athletes are doing much more than floating in a pool, we think you should pair this water sport with a wine that floats in your mouth. Maybe a bottle of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir? WEIGHTLIFTING Trousseau – Besides watching with your mouth agape thoroughly impressed with how much these athletes can lift, we think you should drink some Trousseau. A wine that has a nice lift to it goes well with admiring the strength of these athletes. WRESTLING Napa Valley Merlot – We’ve done it. We’ve made it to the final event on the list! You should celebrate with a big meal and a large bottle of wine. For our steak lovers out there, why not try a wine that is big enough to wrestle a steak and potatoes dinner? Turn on the tv and pour a glass of Napa Valley Merlot.

Azienda Agricola Il Tufiello

Montemattina Campania Fiano 2016

Skin contact fiano from Campania— 60 day maceration. Pretty nose; honey florals, blossoms, medium finish, beautiful work. — 2 months ago

Alsu Shakirova
with Alsu
Lyle, Adam and 13 others liked this

Hiyu Wine Farm

Aura Columbia Gorge Pinot Gris Pinot Noir 2017

Not a natural wine expert by any means but this is the stuff. Crunchtastic. — 2 months ago

Tom, Vanessa and 25 others liked this

Domaine de la Tour du Bon

Bandol Mourvedre Blend 2018

2018 vintage. Absolutely banging for the buck. Promising nose. Big body/mouthfeel. Finish full of chutzpah. — 2 months ago

Peter, Ted and 8 others liked this

Agricolae

Field Sauvignon Blanc Blend 2017

Nose has wet lemon slice, cold lavender, lemon grass freshly chopped, white/yellow flowers, honeydew melon and dry beach sand.

Palate has green melon / white flower mash-up, fresh lemon zest, lavender leaves, slight spice (Gewürztraminer-like) notes, medium finish...very refreshing! Great Effort, 💕❤️Ravines!

Unsure of the exact blend percentages but Morten notes it is a dry blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris & 6% Muscat Ottonel. Fully killing a value wine play at $14.40 per bottle for Wine Club members! Sign up and enjoy. (I get no benefit endorsements, trust me...Probably detrimental to us; as popularity gains so will pricing...but a rising tide lifts all boats, right?)
— 2 months ago

Hugh, Daniel P. and 23 others liked this
Dawn E.

Dawn E.

@Severn Goodwin Sounds delicious!
Angelo Casagrande

Angelo Casagrande

Thanks. I definitely will!

Henriot

Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut Champagne Blend 1995

Pop and pour. Still amazing. Richly styled, and loads of caramel and roasted nuts, but just fantastic acidity to keep things in check. In a wonderful place, and showed fantastically tonight. Fully mature, but with plenty of energy. — 2 months ago

Severn, Douglas and 11 others liked this
Peter C

Peter C

Wowzer! Still celebrating in laws 50th?

Domaine Vecoret & Fils

Chablis Chardonnay 2018

A refreshing palette cleanser. Great summer wine. — 2 months ago

Michael Cammarata
with Michael
David and Severn liked this

Tamber Bey

Dijon Chardonnay 2018

French Oak. 100% Malo. Big and bold. Juicy and mouthwatering. — 2 months ago

Ron and Paul liked this

Château de Coulaine

Chinon Cabernet Franc 2018

Nice, juicy Loire wine, on the fruit. Magnum format ideal for parties between friends.

Joli vin de Loire juteux, sur le fruit. Format Magnum idéal pour les soirées entre potes.
— 2 months ago

Romain, Severn and 23 others liked this

Domaine Tempier

Bandol Rosé Blend 2020

A rosé that will rock your socks off from the legendary producer Domaine Tempier,
Brilliant wine from start to finish. Vivid nose with fresh red berries and a zesty, grape-like bitterness, orange blossom and a whole bunch of fresh herbs over a canvas of wet stones.
Fresh and bright palate with a stoney , mineral nerve that cuts through the pronounced fruit concetration and the slight creamy viscosotiy, a layered complexity through a long stimulating finish.
As good as the legend goes, unfortunaltely a challenge to get your hands on.
— 2 months ago

Jamie, David and 9 others liked this

Régis Bouvier

Clos du Roy Marsannay Pinot Noir 2015

2018 Vintage - obviously not the perfect time to drink this but really be nice to lay down for a bit - but deep fruit cherry , savory . Slight floral (expected grip of tannins for a wine of this age) nice acidity — 2 months ago

Daniel, Mark and 9 others liked this