The Best Wine to Pair with Each MLB Opening Day Game

Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

Opening Day of the baseball season is one of the most exciting sports days of the year. It signifies the beginning of one of the longest regular seasons in professional sports. As COVID restrictions start to open up, there are more opportunities to get together with friends and watch your favorite team compete. I want to make sure that you are drinking the best wine possible while watching your favorite team on opening day.

Here is my wine pairing for each match up on April 1st, MLB's Opening Day, according to the home team's city!

Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees 1:05 pm

A full bodied Chianti is your best bet when it comes to a Yankee game. NYC is synonymous with great pizza, and Chianti is the best Pizza wine! Give this one a shot! Chianti is extremely approachable and great for casual meals. There are a bunch of games in the season, so it will work for more than just opening day.

Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers: 1:05pm

If you have ever visited Detroit and went out to eat, there is a good chance that you were offered Zip Sauce. This extremely rich sauce is best on steaks, which is why you want to drink a Napa Cabernet with your steak during the game. It's truly a classic pairing when it comes to steak dinners.

Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox: 2:10pm

When I think of New England, I think of the best lobster rolls in the country. The best wine to go with a fresh lobster roll is a dry riesling—something along the the lines of this. The high acidity and crisp texture makes it perfect for a light sandwich like a lobster roll. 

Minnesota Twins @ Milwaukee Brewers: 2:10pm

It is only fitting for a city like Milwaukee to be most known for their artisanal cheeses. There are world class cheeses being produced there, so you need a world class wine to go with it. A perfect pairing for cheese is Chenin Blanc. A good Vouvray with a smack of sweetness always goes well with cheese! 

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs: 2:20pm

Do we do another Pizza pairing? Why not? Let's change it up a bit though since deep dish has that crunchy crust. Try a dry Lambrusco from Italy. The flush red fruits go well with pizza, but it is the bubbles that make the experience with the crust a match made in heaven. 

Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies: 3:05pm

Do I dare pair a wine with the already perfected Cheese Steak? I think I do. Go snag yourself a Washington State Red. These full bodied reds have a ton of complexities going on, just like a traditional Cheese Steak from Philadelphia. From the bread all the way down to the vegetables, you need to have a wine like this to stand up to the Philly staple. 

Tampa Bay Rays @ Miami Marlins: 4:10pm

You would think with two teams named after fish, maybe sushi would be a good option. Florida isn’t known for that though, so we are going to take a completely different angle. In Miami they eat Cuban Sandwiches. A combination of pork, pickles, Swiss cheese, and mustard. A sandwich like this needs something zippy and crisp, like a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds: 4:10pm

You don’t go to Cincinnati without trying some local chili.  Unlike other styles known around the country, Cincinnati style has origins based in Greek cuisine. This Chili is also sometimes served over pasta! A meaty Greek style dish needs a comparable red wine, which is why a Greek red wine would be my first choice.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies: 4:10pm

Colorado is known for fresh trout; many are sourced from the cold water rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains. This delicate fish needs a delicate wine. A good Albarino from Spain will be light enough to allow you to experience both the fish and the wine at the same time.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres: 4:10pm

Like many places in Southern California, you can’t go there without having fish tacos. It almost doesn’t matter the fish, as you can most of the time guarantee that it is as fresh as you can get. A good fish taco can be a bit spicy, so a great light red wine like Pinot Noir from the local regions is your best bet.

Texas Rangers @ Kansas City Royals: 4:10pm

You don’t go to Kansas City without trying one of the US’ best finger foods: burnt ends. These little morsels of steak, which are crunchy on the outside, but juicy on the inside, get a unique twist from every BBQ spot you stop at. Snag a Shiraz from Australia to pair with these little bites. The full bodied red will hold up to the steak and pair perfectly with the sweet taste of BBQ sauce. 

New York Mets @ Washington Nationals: 7:09pm

Is there really a traditional food from Washington DC? Probably not, so let's pair something with one of America’s traditional foods, a juicy cheeseburger. Fresh off the grill with a nice char on the outside and a juicy red inside, you need a full bodied red. Try a Merlot from California. It won’t overwhelm all the toppings on your burger while still holding up to the rich flavors of the meat! 

Chicago White Sox @ Los Angeles Angels: 10:05pm

LA has one of the best sources for fresh fish in the US. So there is no doubt that they have some of the best sushi out there. These Japanese style dishes need something as delicate as the fish on the plate, which is why Champagne will always be the best choice. Fatty fish and real Champagne is literally one of my favorite pairings in the world. 

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics: 10:07pm

Oakland has a very unique specialty spread out through its city, and thats dumplings. You can find your favorite spot and find yourself eating dumplings on a regular basis. The traditional pork dumpling pair well with pretty much anything, but if there is one thing that I think pairs perfectly, it has to be Chardonnay, especially from Burgundy. The elegant style of wine is perfect for the delicate but filling dumplings of Oakland.

San Francisco Giants @ Seattle Mariners: 10:10pm

You don’t head out to Seattle, talk about baseball, and not have a Seattle Dog. This is a hot dog topped with grilled onions and cream cheese. Yes, cream cheese!  Seems like an impossible pairing, but there is a wine that will work. Try out a Viognier from the Northern Rhone in France. These whites have plenty of acidity for the cream cheese, but the full body feel to go with the hot dog and onions.

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