Last weekend saw the draft night for our NFL Fantasy League. Cue kegs of beer, red plastic cups and lots of pizza. I’ve never been a big beer drinker, so all I had to do was find a red wine to go with pizza. Simple.

However, as a long term Chicago Bears fan, I set out to find a wine with a specific bear reference that would also work with the food. So, essentially a soft, fruity red with good acidity…and a bear on the label. Now, this is not a particularly professional way to choose a bottle and I would never suggest that you should pick a wine based on the label alone. However, a large number of bottles that leave the supermarket shelves are bought on precisely that basis. So much so that the supermarket wine buyers have to seriously consider the packaging (as well as the style and the cost of the wine) before finalising the listing. Occasionally you’ll even find a disappointing bottle with an eye-catching label that has managed to appear on their shelves. And there will be many excellent wines with dull labels that don’t make the cut.

So my task became a wee bit harder again. As the only Bears fan in the room, I knew the wine would have to make the grade. The Bears might not win the Super Bowl, and I may not win the league, but I did find an excellent wine with a bear on the label.

La Osa Pardo Mencia 2015 (Inverarity One to One, £21.99). This soft, Spanish red is made entirely from the Mencia grape. The vines are between sixty and eighty years old, and the two hectare site produces about eighty cases a year. A rare bear indeed. Mencia is seeing a resurgence in popularity with boutique producers such as La Osa paving the way in Bierzo, northwestern Spain. The trick is finding the older vines as the wine will have a greater concentration without losing the soft approachability that traditionally defines the style. The all-important acidity is crucial in food-matching terms, making this an outstanding pizza wine. If it’s not draft night, it also works with chicken liver pate, roast partridge or beef wellington. Cheers!