Pairing Wine with the Jets-Patriots Game

The New York Jets has little to no chance this weekend to beat the New England Patriots, simply because no other team this year has. Gary Vaynerchuk of Winelibrarytv.com is a rabid Jets fan, and he talks to NPR's Scott Simon about how his beloved Jets will beat the unstoppable Pats. And, of course, what wine goes with the game.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

The New England Patriots seemed to be playing football on some other planet this season. The Pats have won 13 games, lost none and are on a course to have the first undefeated season since the Watergate era. On Sunday, they play the New York Jets who are, well, not quite as good as that. But the Jets are the team that began the season by blowing a whistle on the Pats for taping their opponent's sideline signals.

Will New England's vow to dominate and subdue be undone by their passion for payback? Will the Jets be able to sell the too disappointing season with a single semi-miraculous win? Who says Howard Cosell is gone? Not as long as we're around.

The biggest Jets fan that we know of is Gary Vaynerchuk, proprietor of the Wine Library in New Jersey and Winelibrarytv - all one word - dot com. He joins us from New York. Gary, welcome back.

Mr. GARY VAYNERCHUK (Proprietor, Wine Library, Winelibrarytv.com): It's good to be on.

SIMON: The opoint spread is 24-and-a-half points, and it ain't in the Jets' favor.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You know, we're going to cover that spread obviously very easily, and that's because the mother is on our side. And the mother I'm speaking of is Mother Nature. It seems like a Nor'easter is well it's on its way to Foxborough for this game.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: And hopefully, with those weather conditions, we'll be able to stay within those 24-and-a-half points.

SIMON: Well, but I didn't know the New England Patriots know how to play in that kind of whether. I mean, they're from Boston.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: But they've become very prima donna. I mean, this is one of the great franchises of all time, and they've been built traditionally on running attack. And now, they don't run the ball at all, which, you know, they may run the ball three, four, five times a game. It's pretty scary.

SIMON: Oh, right. I see where you're getting at.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: So when the weather gets a little bit hairy, it's a little bit tougher to throw the balls. I mean, you know, Randy Moss is not the kind of guy who's going to out there and love the snow. He's going to be, you know, keeping his hands in his pockets. He's a, you know, prima donna receiver. So I'm a little bit confident that, you know, the Jets - this is their Super Bowl, like it is for everybody else. The Patriots are on a mission to be the greatest team that anybody has ever seen, and so, hopefully, they'll be up for it. But obviously, the Patriots are not huge fans of the Jets, so they'll be up for it as well.

SIMON: Gary, you are absolutely the best fan anybody has ever seen.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: I know.

SIMON: I've never heard anybody with a greater, more eloquent gift for turning a 24 - 24-and-a-half or whatever it is point spread into a positive advantage in this case.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Well, this is what happens when you taste thousands of bad wines a year and you've got to kind of put some sort of spin on it to tell people that it's not hogwash.

SIMON: When was the last time you missed a play in a Jets game? Let me put it that way.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: When we were talking about this, you know, we were drinking wine a couple of months back and, well, I have not missed a physical play of a Jets game in 13 years. So I bleed green - there's nothing in the world that I hate more than the New England Patriots when it comes to that mindset of football. But this would be absolutely a great bragging rights win for the Jets. But I'll be honest with you, I think the Patriots would be very well off in losing a regular season game. I have a weird, sneaky feeling they're going to - go undefeated and then get stunned in the playoffs.

SIMON: That's what the Indianapolis Colts have to hope, isn't it?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Mm-hmm, it is.

SIMON: Now, you haven't missed a play in 13 years.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Mm-hmm.

SIMON: You never go to the bathroom during the game?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Before the game and then whatever it takes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: I mean, it's scary - when we're talking about scary things, the day after my wedding, you know, during the busiest day of the year at Wine Library. I mean, crazy things that have not kept me away. I mean, I have nightmares during the season that I've actually missed part of the football game. These are reoccurring nightmares that I've had for years. I actually wake up with sweat thinking I've missed like a quarter or something.

SIMON: Oh, Gary.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: It's kind of scary.

SIMON: I have to ask. So what do you recommend goes with watching the game?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: For me, you know what I may pop? I may pop a Sauvignon Blanc or a Reisling or a Muscat, something that you would never drink this time of year.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Because you - I'm going to try to bring out the wine karma and bring out maybe some Bach, white zymphonel(ph) or something like that and kind of throw off the football gods, you know, throw a spin there with my wine-drinking habits…

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: …and maybe they'll throw a spin into the actual game. But you know, it's a changing world and this Sunday, the Jets are going to change the football world.

SIMON: Have a great Sunday, one way or another, my friend. Okay?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Thank you. Same to you, my friend. Stay well.

SIMON: Gary Vaynerchuk. You can find him at winelibrarytv.com and also check out our podcast called At Your Leisure at npr.org/podcast.

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