June 10, 2023 by Arden Montgomery
Wines for Wimbledon: Celebrate Tennis Season with Flavor.
When it comes to American sports culture, beer has a grand monopoly as the beverage of choice. At a soccer game? You’re drinking beer. Baseball? Beer. And ‘football’ is practically a synonym for a frosty mug of hops (although we have argued this point in the past.)
But amazingly, or un-amazingly, depending on your point of view, the world of tennis seems to emphatically prefer wine over its barley-based cousin as the refreshment of the day.
Many times over the past decade, viticultural giants including Kim Crawford have acted as the primary sponsors of various tennis championships. Individual partnerships between wine companies and professional players abound, for example Jacob’s Creek’s support of multiple tennis champs including one-time World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is also one of a few pro players to venture into viticulture following an iconic career on the clay.
And beyond the professional or contractual, tennis’ intersection with wine takes on a passionate look: in 2020, Delaware’s own Madison Brengle downed a commercial red blend courtside after an epic win during that year’s women’s US Open.
The conclusion we’re arriving at is: tennis and wine make an excellent pairing. So, as we’re kicking back to enjoy what promises to be an interesting season on the world’s courts, allow us to share with you what we’ll be swirling in our glasses.
Best corks to pop for tennis season
- 2021 Cantine di Marzo Fiano di Avellino DOCG – $26
This wine is the favorite of Argaux’s Margaux, and also very conveniently a refreshing and delicious choice for pairing with an afternoon courtside, or couched watching your favorite players go head-to-head on the clay.
Fiano grapes grown just inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea give a distinct mineral salinity to the terroir, which is otherwise a symphony of citrus fruits and botanicals. The balance of sweet and savory within this bottle makes it a versatile pairing for all your favorite sports-viewing snacks – we’re thinking a spicy sesame cabbage salad and Korean Bao.
- 2019 Edaphos Steel Plow Vineyard Grenache – $40
With this inclusion we’re raising our glasses to Brengle’s aforementioned iconic chug moment by the net – rarely seen alone, Grenache serves as the anchor grape for many of the world’s favorite red blends. We feel this grape deserves a little time in the spotlight herself, and this bottle is a prime example of Grenache excellence.
Another from Margaux’s list of seasonal favs, this single-vineyard Grenache offers a deep and velvety contrast to the more athletic white wine above. The organic and partial-carbonic red fronts summer fruits that spill into the early Autumn – much like tennis season itself – offering notes of cherry, blackberry, pomegranate and rose to your awaiting palate.
- 2022 Château de Montfrin ‘Paumiste’ Rosé – $18
No bones about it, this is the official wine for all your court-sport favorites, tennis and pickleball included. Light, dry, undeniably sporty, Paumiste is nonetheless a versatile rose which is ready and willing to accompany you anywhere, whether you’re pulling out your racket for a bout or sinking deeper into your favorite lawn chair while hot sausages sizzle away on the grill behind you.
Fruity notes, some botanics and a little bit of minerality lend a little electrolytic twist to the experience of this wine. We do urge you to remember to stay hydrated – the Paumiste will be waiting for you once you’ve drained your water glass.
- 2018 Château des Antonins Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge – $28
Tennis has long since broken up with the persistent image of it being a sport which is reserved only for the upper-echelons of society. Nevertheless there remains an air of elegance, grace and power in the play – think about Serena Williams clawing her way to the absolute top of the tennis food chain and playing with angelic poise and fury once she got there.
That was more or less our thought process in including this wine on our list – it’s the salt-of-the-earth, an accessible red blend from an historic Bordeaux vineyard packed with rich, dark flavors that are so very smooth and delicious. We know it’s a little conceptual – give it a try anyway.
- NV Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blanc Champagne Premier Cru (half-bottle) – $37
This Champagne teases some of the deeper and heavier Chard flavors with a little bread and a little dairy here and there on the palate, but it is ultimately a lean experience with shimmering fruit flavors we come to expect from minimally-oaked wines.
A cute and wonderfully effervescent half-bottle of bubbles to pop for a celebratory spray on your fav tennis champ, or – ideally – to pour into their flute for a well-deserved toast following the big moment. (You can drink it for them if they’re not actually present in your living room.)
Other offerings from Argaux
Play in style with our ‘Gaux Play Après Sweatshirt
Have you anything else to celebrate this season?
We’re so very excited to share with you our growing collection of Year-of-First gift boxes, now including curated cases of wine designed to help you or your best beloveds honor the little things in life that come flush with events like engagements, weddings, and welcoming new life into the world. But that’s not all! Watch our banners for emerging sets in the coming year.