Now, as my friends can attest, I'm a college hoops kinda girl. As I've said on many occasion, if you cut me, I bleed Duke blue. And while K-ville became a phenomenon after I graduated from the Gothic Wonderland, I've spent a fair amount of time tossing back the vino with Coach K., and can tell you straight up that my heart belongs to him.
Or rather, it did, until I was seduced by the Birdman.
I don't know. Perhaps it was the joy of seeing the Men's USA team steamroller those poor Canadians in Vegas. Perhaps it was because my particular Cinderella missed the big dance. Maybe it's because they've got a kick-ass Twitter feed. But for some reason, I've been really sucked into the NBA playoff series this year. Obsessed, you might say.
Saturday evening found me awaiting friends at the bar at Cecconi's. I did what I usually do in bars: Order nice wine and chat up guys. The two next to me were "watching" the Lakers/Nuggets game on their smartphones. I whipped out mine and joined in. It was thrilling. So, thrilling, in fact, that I forgot to write down the name of the delicious Prosecco I was drinking, as well as the name of the gorgeous Italian bartender who served it to me. Luckily, I found the Prosecco on their website: San Giuseppe Vignadoro Prosecco 2007. Light, delicious, slightly slurpable, perfect for the heady feeling of watching a hard-fought contest in the paint. (As for the name of the bartender, well, that is lost to time.)
Since one indulgence calls for another, even though it's late in the series, I thought I'd recommend a few bottles of the good stuff to drink while you're cheering on your favorite team:
The Lakers: Oh, Lakers, Lakers. You're the laziest-ass good team I've ever seen. Kobe's got's beautiful game for sure, but what's with waiting until the last quarter to turn on the heat? Every night? I'm glad I'm not your lover: I'd be down the street mackin' on Marco long before you ever got revved up for the good stuff. So, you get a wine that is, appropriately, late to the finish (and maybe worth the wait): 1998 Flora Springs Trilogy. It's been in the cellar for a while (like Bynum), you'll probably need to decant it (like Odom), but once you have a sip or two, it's likely to pay off for you -- just like Pau Gasol.
The Nuggets: I hate to tell the perennial favorites (I'm looking at you, Lakers and Magic), but these guys are rock stars. Their ripped, inky biceps, their matching headbands, that Birdman 'do. And the passion they bring to the court ... the Nuggets are definitely poised to deliver some whupass in the coming seasons. For them, I recommend Betts & Scholl 2005 "The Chronique" Grenache. The winemakers bless it with juicy opulence and endless cheer. They also named it after a bona fide rock star--Dr. Dré--so make sure you get in a bit of crumpin' while you're drinkin'. And don't smoke.
The Cavaliers: For those of you who missed it, LeBron worked a little magic on the Magic the other night, with a last-second basket that put the Cav's over the top for a win. Alas, I think the Magic have ultimately gotten the upper hand, but lest you lose hope, I offer this to keep up your spirits: Hope Estate 2006 "The Ripper" Shiraz. It won't set you back many ducats, and apparently, "Ripper" is a term of endearment to Aussies, so you're free to shout it at your favorite Cav as they he tries make mincemeat of the Magic. My personal favorite: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (what do you think he gets called in the heat of passion? Hmmm ....).
The Magic: The FFOS (Former Friends of Shaq) are poised to take the East, which is actually one of the reasons I'm thankful I no longer live there. Nonetheless, they're players with great style and a bit of bubbly grace. Given that they hail from the land-that-Disney-owns, I'm rather tempted to give them a non-alcoholic beverage, but common sense steps in and I will instead recommend a frothy American sparkling wine: Scharffenberger Brut N.V. It's not in the Diddy-land stratosphere of pricy Bolly, but it's tasty and will make you feel, well ... magic.
Well, there you are, my ducks. A bottle for each of you, no matter whom you favor. As for me, I just might take one of each, and start organizing my festivities for the Finals.