For those of you living under a rock for the past few weeks, you should know the 100th Grey Cup is coming to Toronto this Sunday.
It's looking to be a high-priority social event, as both football lovers and football fair-weathers get set to cheer on their team (or the team someone has told them to cheer for) in the usual sporting style of pub-grub and suds.
But wait a minute. What if some of us would rather take our bubbles in a wine, rather than beer?
We've talked about this before in our regular HuffPost spot. Not every sports fan is a beer fan. Including yours truly.
Sure, we'll enjoy a cold one on occasion, but not every occasion. And to us it seems a pretty obvious link to cheer on our hometown heros with a fantastic local wine, grown and made just a few hours down the road on either side of Toronto.
And stop right there if you're rolling your eyes right now and dismissing us as wine-swilling wimps who don't know the difference between the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup (duh: someone's taking home the Grey Cup this year, while it seems like no one will get their gloves on the Stanley Cup).
We go to dozens of live games, mostly hockey (sniff) and baseball, with a sprinkling of football and soccer. We probably watch even more games at sports bars and pubs. And we've never been able to figure out why we can't get a decent glass of vino to save our lives, and our parched souls.
Recently, American stadiums made headlines for improving their wine offerings, acknowledging there are many a fan who would opt for something with a cork rather than something with a cap.
Good on 'em, we say. They'd get our dollar -- or, more likely, as we are intimately acquainted with staggering stadium price tags -- lots of dollars.
If you're a wine lover and a sports' fan, don't hide behind a bucket of beer this Sunday. No, shout it loud and proud with a great local wine to support the home team.
We've lined up a few great bottles for our Grey Cup celebration that will not only work with the spicy, salty, meaty and greasy fare sure to served up by the pound for Game Day, but will also show our home-town pride with stellar picks from Ontario's wine regions.
Casa Dea "Dea's Cuvée" Sparkling VQA Ontario, 2011 $18.95
A great option for wings, not only because it's a totally unexpected a fun pairing, but because it can both compliment the sweetness of honey garlic wings or tame the fire of suicide wings. There's also a great seam of zippy acidity to help cut through the richness of fatty wings and other fried foods and refresh the palate.
Generation Seven Nouveau, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2012 $11.95
This 100 per cent Gamay from barely two-month old grapes is fun and easy drinking with ripe berry fruit and black pepper, spicy notes that will pair with many different foods from turkey burgers to pizza. A well-priced guzzler for an enthusiastic crowd.
Trius Merlot, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2010 $14.95
A medium-bodied merlot such as this can hold its own with spicy, meaty fare like loaded nachos, as the tannins are present but not too grippy, and there's a nice balance between flavours of earthy tobacco leaf and deep plum and berried fruit to compliment the range of flavours and textures in the dish.
Southbrook "Triomphe" Cabernet Franc, VQA Niagara on the Lake, 2010 $21.95
Organic and biodynamic, the herbacious element to this wine makes it a nice pairing for chile, both meaty and vegetarian, or blue cheese beef sliders.
Vineland Estates "Elevation Series" Riesling, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2011 $19.95
Spice, fat, salt. Check, check, check. This wine is the life of the party, as it can get along with just about every plate on the buffet table: from cutting through the fattiness of fried foods, to bringing out the best in spicy dishes and it can also hang on its own as a food-free sipper.
Creekside Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2011 $13.95
Tangy, zippy, aromatic Sauv Blanc is dynamite with guacamole and Mexican-inspired food. It's refreshing acidity and herbacious notes also does well with deep-fried, spicy goodness like jalpeno poppers, as well as veggies and dip (like the ones that come with your wings).