Whether you're a football fan or just look forward to watching the much anticipated commercials, Super Bowl Sunday is a great reason to get friends together and indulge. The culinary mainstays of game days are generally paired with a nice cold beer, but if you’re up for some rewarding flavor combos, consider adding wine to the mix.
Below are a few tips, but the only way to truly figure out if something works for you is to experience it. We hope you discover some amazing flavor combos on Super Bowl Sunday. That said, sometimes you just have to drink what you like, so don't sweat it. Have fun experimenting with what you have and do let us know if you come across any must try pairings!
1. Fried, cheesy, greasy food need wines with sufficient acidity (meaning wines that make your mouth water after taking a sip).
2. Spicy food fares better with wines that are relatively low in alcohol, have a modest level of sweetness, and strong acidity.
3. Champagne or sparkling wine is one of the most versatile partners for anything salty and greasy, like chips.
Guacamole can be made with varying levels of heat, but the key aspect to consider is matching the weight of the dish with that of the wine. Avocados are quite rich, creamy, and a bit nutty, so it’s best to pair wines that have good acidity, but are not too lean. Sauvignon Blanc might seem like an obvious choice given its herbal/green character, but make sure to go with one that has some body. A Sancerre that has been aged on its lees (brings a fuller body for Sauvignon Blanc) or a Chardonnay without new oak influences are better choices.
2011 Luli Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands $18 (not oaky or "buttery")
2011 Domaine des Vieux Pruniers Sancerre $22
If you like your guacamole with some noticeable heat, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Roussanne are good bets as they tend to offer more balance to spice.
2011 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Lot 150 $24
2011 Yves Cuilleron Roussanne $24
If you’re just a chips kind of guy or gal, stick with Champagne or a dry sparkling wine. There isn’t a better match to salty chips than Champagne as far as wine is concerned.
Whether your chicken wings are slathered in barbecue sauce, a Buffalo-style hot sauce or even a sweet-and-sour combo, an off-dry Riesling is a winning pairing. If you’re more of a red wine drinker, choose a lighter style like Beaujolais or Barbera.
2012 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling $24
2011 Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett $20
2012 Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Beaujolais $24
For the standard cheese pizza, it's best to stick with lighter Italian red wines that show sufficient fruit character such as Barbera or Sangiovese.
2010 Marcarini Barbera d'Alba Ciabot Camerano $18
2004 San Vincenti Chianti Classico Riserva $28
Have some pepperoni or sausage on top? Try a wine with a bit more tannin, earth and spice in the flavor profile such as Montefalco Rosso, Nebbiolo or Rosso Piceno.
ON THE GRILL
BURGER. A classic burger with all the fixings goes well with a range of red wines. If you really want to get geeky, consider the level of fat in the beef – is it grass fed or corn fed? Consider the toppings. Ketchup? Mustard? Are the pickles sour or sweet? Is there cheese? If so, what type? Bacon? What about the bread? As you can see there are many components to be analytical about, but for a Super Bowl party, who wants to be that geek? Go for a medium bodied red wine that has sufficient acidity, juicy fruit flavor, touch of smoke and spice, and isn’t overly tannic. Here are some versatile pairing ideas regardless of the direction you go on the fixings.
2010 Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Sommelongue
2009 Enkidu "E" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
2010 Nautilus Pinot Noir, Marlborough
BRATS & HOT DOGS. What really matters is what you dress them with. The dog itself provides the body and requires the wine to have equal weight, but the toppings determine the true flavor profile.
Classic – ketchup and mustard – Go with a fruit forward, medium bodied red. Pinot Noir is a great match.
New York – sauerkraut & deli mustard – Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris will stand up to the sourness of the kraut as well as the spice of the mustard.
2011 Brooks Wine Gewürztraminer, Oak Ridge Vineyard
2011 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Lot 150
Chicago - tomato, pickle, onion, mustard, sport peppers & celery salt – Salt and tang need a light to medium bodied wine with good acidity like a dry Riesling or Gruner Veltliner. If you want a red option, go with Trousseau.
2011 Schloss Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner
2011 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling "3" QbA trocken
2011 Arnot-Roberts Trousseau, Luchsinger, Clear Lake
Italian Sausage with Peppers & Onions – Matching regional food with regional wine is a safer bet. Go for a red with higher acid likeBarbera, Nebbiolo or Sangiovese.
2010 Marcarini Barbera d'Alba Ciabot Camerano
2005 Cascina Val del Prete Nebbiolo d'Alba
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco DOCG
Texas – Chili, cheese, and jalapenos - Go with a full-bodied red with sufficient tannins to cut through the fat, ripe fruit to balance the heat, but not one that’s high in alcohol or your mouth will be on fire.
2009 Vina Ventisquero Grey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley
2009 Enkidu Bedrock Zinfandel
Contact us for a curated selection of wines for your next themed event!