• Deb

Wine and Baseball: A Winning Strategy

Updated: Apr 11


The picture is a baseball glove holding a bottle of red wine. How could this not catch my attention?

I like baseball. And wine. So it signaled to me like a third base coach. I read on and realized that at Palate Partners and Dreadnought Wines, we are essential to solving the wine world’s PR problems.

Zach Gevalle’s article for Vinepair cites some issues (oversaturation, access, expense and knowledge mastery) that baseball and wine have in common. I’m afraid I can’t fix baseball or our perpetually languishing Pirates, but when it comes to wine, we have a winning strategy here.

Oversaturation: It’s true. There’s a ton of wine on the market, especially if you are on the East Coast of the U.S. We have access to wines from all over the world, including both coasts. Isabelle Morreau of Monmousseau wines in the Loire Valley once said to a class here in Pittsburgh that she had never seen such a need for classes until she saw the overwhelming selection in the U.S.


At Palate Partners, our solution is to help you discover what you like. This will eliminate a bunch of choices right out of the gate. The other gauge is to understand how you are going to use the wine - is it a summer porch sipper, winter warmer by the fire, or is it going with a specific dinner entrée? It’s knowing when to throw the fastball or breaking ball, right?


Access: It’s true that some wines are made in very small quantities. It’s also true that you will travel and taste wines that aren’t available at home. And, some are simply beyond what you’re comfortable paying. (We’re looking at you, Bryce Harper!) But when you have a wine you love, enjoy it for that moment and know that out there in the world, there are many other wines that you will like just as much. Don’t frustrate yourself looking for the exact wine. Look for the same varietal or a wine from the same region. If there are only 10 or 20 cases of something made, and it is super-expensive, move on. Those wines are for the most part sold before they are bottled. We’re certain we can help you find bottles that will make you as happy as Bill Mazeroski in 1960.

$$$$: Yes, some wine is uber-expensive. So are some cars and homes. But there are many fine versions of both to be found in a variety of price ranges. (Recall Pirates leftfielder Jason Bay or Second baseman Freddy Sanchez?) It’s the same with wine. You don’t have to go to the bottom of the barrel (so to speak) to find something in your range. Remember, price is personal and subjective. There are plenty of very good wines under $20. See my list below.

Expectation of Mastery: Geez, that phrase alone is intimidating. You DON’T have to know everything there is to know about wine to enjoy it. It’s helpful to know what happens to a grape as it grows and where it grows, a few wine making terms, and the effect they have on the taste of the wine. But most of all, just get to know what you like by tasting different wines when you have a chance. No need to be a master sommelier. Everyone sees some somm blind tasting wine and they feel inadequate. I’ve got news for you, they fail at that task more than they succeed. Blind tasting is hard, very hard, and to be honest it doesn’t get you any closer to finding a great sipper. So relax, you can learn just a bit and be WAY ahead of the game. (Kinda like how Kevin Costner manages to look cool in baseball movies, even though he never played the game.)

As for Baseball… There are A LOT of games, and it can be expensive to go to the ballpark or watch on cable or streaming services, not to mention understanding all the nuanced rules of the game. My advice is just go to a game on a Sunday afternoon, buy a hotdog and bring a book to read if you want. Just enjoy the afternoon. This summer I’m going to a Pirates game. I don’t care if they win. I just want to watch a game and eat a hotdog. And, I’ll have my WSET Unit 5 book on wine on hand for between innings. I’m doing the heavy reading and studying so you don’t have to. Just think of me as your pro scout for wine and spirits!


Now, here are a few selections from Dreadnought that are delicious but won’t butt up against your salary cap: (Prices include all sales tax)

· Chateau Galochet Bordeaux Rouge $13.79 (Hint, this comes in a wooden box so buy a case and give as a gift. Very impressive!)

· Bellula Chardonnay $14.03

· Le Vignerons de Mont Ventoux Côtes du Ventoux "Cuvée des 3 Messes Basses" Rouge $13.79

· Le Vignerons de Mont Ventoux Cuvée des 3 Messes Basses Blanc $13.79

· Agriverde Piane di Maggio Trebbiano D'Abruzzo DOC $12.19

· Cortenova Sangiovese $11.55

· Sassi Pinot Grigio 750ml $11.76


Join us for some sipping practice and learn more!

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