For many sports fans, the lingering joy – or disappointment – of the Super Bowl is giving way to the excitement of March Madness 2022.
For those new to the sport or who haven’t been paying attention, March Madness is the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This annual event will involve 68 teams this year that will be playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the men’s NCAA Division I college basketball national champion.
This will be the 83rd annual edition of the tournament and is scheduled to begin on March 15, 2022, with the championship game scheduled to take place on April 4, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
According to the official NCAA website,
“The 2022 men’s NCAA tournament for March Madness starts with First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, and continues through to the 2022 Final Four in New Orleans. Selection Sunday for the men’s tournament is at 6 p.m. ET on March 13, 2022.”
And for the legions of college basketball fans across the country and right here in Napa Valley, it means three weeks of basketball madness and plenty of game-time parties.
This means plenty of opportunities to dazzle your teammates with “Division I” party snacks, pizza, and drinks!
March Madness Party Snacks Can Mean Much More Than Chips, Dips, and Beer
Having said that, there’s certainly nothing wrong with chips and dip with some quality beer, especially if you go with Napa Valley craft beer selections from your favorite Calistoga craft beer market, Cal Mart.
An easy food and snack addition to any March Madness viewing party is a simple meat and cheese tray. This can be a “slam dunk” food fare favorite when it features a broad selection of deli meats and deli cheeses from local purveyors found in the Delicatessen in Cal Mart.
Don’t forget to add in a seasonal collection of vegetables and fruits to round out your tray, along with some hard-to-find specialty food items like sauces, tapenades, and jams. Which means, of course, that you’ll want to have plenty of “chip alternatives” such as crackers, flatbreads, and maybe even Toast for Cheese made by the Fine Cheese Co.
Many times, basketball fans find that snacking isn’t quite enough, and something a bit more substantial like pizza can be a real winner.
But pizza needn’t be relegated to cheap, greasy “take out” types that get delivered in a soggy cardboard box. A far better pizza offering is one right out of your own oven and dressed up with a variety of homemade pizza toppings.
Looking for ideas? Here’s a Breadstick Pizza version to get you inspired.
And according to Southern Living, their Super Quick Chili is a great alternative to pizza; for example,
“Serve fellow fans a meal-on-the-go that’s perfect for the power party-goer. Served in a hollowed out dinner roll, this main dish is portable and perfectly portioned. As a bonus, it takes less than 30 minutes to make—that’s shorter than the pre-game shows.”
For something that is not only super quick but is also super simple, consider serving up a platter of Guacamole-Goat Cheese Toasts. Consisting of a scoop of zesty guacamole on top of a miniature pita round, you can simply garnish it with some tomatillo, tomato, and red onion. (The goat cheese is in the guac!)
A quick trip to Cal Mart can furnish you with all the items you’ll need for this dish, as well as any other March Madness game night viewing party food fare you’re planning.
Drink Responsibly, But Drink Well
Who says that watching sports means only drinking mass-produced beer brands?
At Cal Mart, you will also find a wide selection of some great local choices out of Napa and Sonoma Counties, including bombers, 12oz bottles, and craft cans from one of the best craft beer selections in the Napa Valley.
You can also find your favorite hard seltzers, including local craft seltzers like Monkey Wrench from Calistoga, for something a bit out of the ordinary. In addition, you can bring home a mix such as Dutton Cider from Dutton Estate Winery along with several brands of hard kombucha.
And some might even ask, “What wines pair well with basketball fare?”
For pizza and pizza-type food items, a good Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Rosé, or Cabernet Sauvignon can do quite well. When in doubt, a local champagne or a dry wine with higher acidity, like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, will never disappoint. And, of course, you will find an almost endless variety of fine wines here at Cal Mart.
Another option for a March Madness party that leans more towards basketball and less towards boozing is to introduce some mocktail offerings.
A “mocktail” is simply a nonalcoholic drink or an alcoholic drink made alcohol-free. The absence of liquor in no way diminishes the taste nor the enjoyment of well-made mocktails, and here is a particularly tropical version named the Mango Madness Mocktail.
With just mango nectar, sparkling water, purple or red grapes, and fresh mango, you can quickly whip up a batch of sugar-free, fruity, and delicious goodness.
According to Bowl Me Over,
“You’ll start by peeling the mango.
- Starting at the top and working downward, peel the skin off.
- Then slice down either side, avoiding the pit.
- Cut the slices and dice, set aside.
- Then wash the grapes, removing the stems.
- Fill a pitcher or punchbowl with ice.
- Add the mango nectar to a large punchbowl or pitcher.
- Add the sparkling water.
- Top with the fresh fruit – mango and grapes.
- Serve and enjoy!”
Food, drinks, and three weeks of top-notch NCAA Division I college basketball – can it get any better?
Make a Trip to Cal Mart for Your March Madness Party Food Supplies
For over 50 years, Cal Mart has been a shopping destination and a Napa Valley tradition for special meal and party supplies in Calistoga, California.
An independent and family-owned grocery store, Cal Mart has always provided a unique, enjoyable, and memorable shopping experience for our customers for over five decades. For more than 50 years now, Cal Mart has been the local “go-to” destination for fine Napa Valley wines, fresh meats, exotic cheeses, and a wide variety of specialty food items.
And, in that time, Cal Mart has become known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
So, if you’re stocking up on Super Bowl party foods and drinks, and you’re searching your phone for a “specialty grocery store near me,” search no longer.
At Cal Mart, we have a wide variety of great choices in our gourmet cheese selection, our wide variety of quality wines and craft beers, and unique and hard-to-find specialty foods items. The holidays are also the perfect time of year to consider one of our beautiful gift baskets.
So, for this Super Bowl party, enjoy the Rams vs Bengals game with Super Bowl Party Food from Cal Mart. We invite you to take some time to come and explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea from our Coffee Bar.
Remember: At Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!