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Redskins toast 80th anniversary with signature wine

Friday - 9/28/2012, 3:02pm  ET

wine.jpg
Instead of beer at your next tailgate party, how about Redskins table wine? (Courtesy Goldschmidt Vineyards)

WASHINGTON - It's probably fair to say most people associate football with tailgate food -- beer, burgers and brats.

But it turns out, football fans are wine drinkers, too.

So to celebrate their 80th anniversary this year, the Redskins decided to class it up a notch by releasing their own burgundy table wine.

The limited-edition 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a "rare combination of fresh fruit and sweek oak, with rich tannins on the finish," says Goldschmidt Vineyards, which produced the wine.

It's a "wine to be enjoyed every time the Burgandy & Gold take the field."

The concept started with a company called Wine by Design, which looked at the numbers and found that a large percentage of football fans are wine drinkers.

"All of the people who are attending these games know good food and know good wine," says Diane Karle, CEO and owner of Wine by Design. "So why not offer better wine? The teams were like, 'Yeah, it's a no brainer.'"

Karle's company first approached the New York Jets, who released their first wine in 2010. Karle says in the New York area, there are an estimated 5.6 million Jets fans and 3.7 million of them consider themselves wine drinkers.

This year, the Jets expanded their signature offerings to sell three wines, two reds and a white.

Karle says after their Jets success, her company approached the Redskins, who worked closely with Wine by Design to select the vineyard and the wine they would release, as well as with the label design and marketing.

"The wine experience at stadiums has just not been great," she says.

This fall, however, Karle hopes that will change at FedEx Field.

Washingtonian magazine recently got a panel of experts together to taste the wine. They found it "very drinkable," the magazine reported.

One tester, executive chef Eric Ziebold, said "It's fruity and juicy. For a game wine, it's perfect."

Interested buyers can order the wine online for $29.79 per, or $59.99 for a magnum.

It's also available at these local Harris Teeter grocery store locations.

It will also be sold, of course, at FedEx field.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)