Arts & Entertainment

Local Beer and Wine Shops Give Game Day Prep Tips

erika amador (left) and John Kay of Red, White & Bleu duke it out over their favorite beers in the store’s indoor “beer garden.” Red, White & Bleu has “Clown Shoes” from Ipswich, Mass. for those looking to represent the New England Patriots with their adult beverage selection this Sunday. (Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)
erika amador (left) and John Kay of Red, White & Bleu duke it out over their favorite beers in the store’s indoor “beer garden.” Red, White & Bleu has “Clown Shoes” from Ipswich, Mass. for those looking to represent the New England Patriots with their adult beverage selection this Sunday. (Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)

For area New England and Seattle fans, the wine and beer connoisseurs at Red, White & Bleu and Dominion Wine and Beer have ideas for you and your guests’ palates for the big game.

Have you ever drank beer from New England? If not, now’s the time to try it.

Red, White & Bleu has “Clown Shoes” from Ipswich, Mass., which sells for less than $10 for a four-pack of 12 ounces or under $15 for 22 ounces. And if Maine tickles your tongue, the store also carries beer from Portland, Maine, called, strangely enough, “Maine Beer” which is under $10 for a 500 milliliter bottle.

Washington state beer?

None of it is found at either Dominion or Red, White & Bleu. However, both shops have lots of Washington wine.

Afsheen Tafakor, Dominion’s owner, recommends Washington’s “Charles & Charles’ Red Blend” for $13.99 and to go with it, Olli salami from Mechanicsville, Va., grilled steak or lamb.

A Washington state wine which John Kay from Red, White & Bleu favors is a chardonnay from Jones of Washington at $17.99.

“It’s dry and has no oaking which some people don’t like, but it’s got some wood and tropical fruit, which would go well with cheeses, veggies, dips, seafood and those lobster rolls from New England to bridge the gap,” he said with a laugh.

For those who would drink locally (or maybe hate both teams), Dominion and Red, White & Bleu have Hardywood beer out of Richmond.

Tafakor said Hardywood’s Pilsner with a 5.2 percent alcohol content is “a good, easy drinking beer to mix with different foods.”

Tony LaFalle, a Red, White & Bleu manager, said Hardywood is great to start with, but he does not endorse drinking it for the whole game unless you want to be carried out.

“It’s got a ‘West Coast’ style, very fresh, floral, with a grapefruit element coming out of it,” LaFalle said. (A beer? Confirmed.)

Kay said Hardywood is one of Red, White & Bleu’s top choices. “We love it, and so do a lot of other people,” he said.

Three customers at dominion Wine and Beer on West Broad Street sample one of the store’s wines. Afsheen Takafor recommends “Charles & Charles’ Red Blend” from Washington state. (Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)
Three customers at dominion Wine and Beer on West Broad Street sample one of the store’s wines. Afsheen Takafor recommends “Charles & Charles’ Red Blend” from Washington state. (Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)

Tafakor also likes “Stone Go To IPA” with a 4.5 percent alcohol content, which “you could drink throughout the whole game and not be completely trashed.” It’s a “vibrant hop-bursted session IPA” from Escondido, California.

To “downshift” and get ready for the game’s ending, especially if the wrong team is winning, another regional beer to consider is the “Victory IPA” from Downingtown, Pa., LaFalle said. “It’s a perfect beer for football.”

As for food, tartufo, a truffle salami, at $9.99 for six ounces, is a great meat to serve, Tafakor said, and Dominion’s got it along with a “fantastic, perfect cheese,” Collier’s “Powerful Welsh Cheddar” which is at $7.99 for 7 ounces.

Kay had some food and wine suggestions, too, available at Red, White & Bleu: A wine from Rome, Volpetti Cesanese at $12.99 which is “a great bottle of Italian red with pizza.”

For chili lovers, how about Spain? Lan Rioja Crianza sells for $13.99 at Red, White & Bleu and “is wonderful with chili,” Kay said.

“If you need to cool your tongue after some spicy wings,” Kay said White Knight Viognier at $12.99 is a good choice. “It’s a little bit sweet, nice, and fruity.”

Both shops will be hosting wine and beer tastings on Super Bowl weekend.

Red, White & Bleu will serve Super Bowl snacks with beer and wine pairings today and tomorrow from 5 – 8 p.m., on Saturday from 12 – 8 p.m., and on Sunday, from 1 – 5 p.m. Dominion will offer beer samples to customers tomorrow from 5 – 8 p.m. and wine on Saturday from 12 – 5 p.m. For last-minute revelers, both shops will be open on the Big Day, Sunday, Feb. 1.

Dominion Wine and Beer, is located at 107 Rowell Ct., Falls Church and is open Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Red, White & Bleu, located at 127 South Washington St., Falls Church, is open Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.