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Drinks: Football fans drink wine, too

In addition to Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets have imported another winner from California.

It's the 2008 Jets Uncorked, a rich, supple, very good cabernet sauvignon from winemaker Marco DiGiulio of the Girard winery in Napa Valley. The cabernet sauvignon scores with fine fruit, especially cherries, plus a field goal of currant.

The tailgating definitely gets an upgrade with this wine, which goes with a juicy steak. Or just open it for the postgame festivities. Toast the team and the new Meadowlands stadium after tackling the Packers and the Texans.

Fans will kick in about $28 for the wine; $57 for a 1.5-liter bottle. Girard is respected for its excellent cabernets from Diamond Mountain, Atlas Peak, Pritchard Hill and Mount Veeder; as well as first-class petite sirah, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, the lush red blend, Artistry.

You can buy the wine online from Girard at girardwinery.com, from the team at newyorkjets.com/uncorked; and at selected wine shops.

The 2007 Girard Napa Valley Cabernet Franc ($40) is very much a limited-edition wine, with only 400 six-bottle cases produced. Girard's cabernet franc usually goes into Artistry. If you locate a bottle, you'll enjoy a full-bodied, concentrated red, heady with cassis, with a hint of currant. And it's a match for red meat and red sauce.

Touchdown.

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