Wine drinkers at a Super Bowl party may feel as out of place as Amal Clooney at the Golden Globes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Even though you may be eating classic bar grub and tailgate fare, beer isn’t the only suitable beverage to drink with it. Be it red, white, or rose, we have the perfect wine pairing for your favorite big-game eats.
There must be a clause in the U.S. Constitution that in addition to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, eating pizza on Super Bowl Sunday is a God-given American right. It’s historically been the busiest day of the year for pizzerias, and this year promises to be the same. Pizza and wine make wonderful partners—a no-fail pairing is California or New Zealand pinot noir with a pie. Or, pay respect to dish’s heritage with by opening a nice Chianti or Barbera.
Wings & BBQ
Pizza over-consumption isn’t the only thing on the menu this Sunday. Americans are poised to eat 1.25 billion saucy, spicy wings while watching the year’s best commercials football. If wings are in your game plan, serve them with an off-dry Riesling or for reds, a nice all-American zinfandel. Zinfandel is also an ideal partner for ribs along with shiraz, whose spice and ripe fruit plays well off the spiciness of the barbecue sauce.
Nachos & Tacos
Tex-Mex has also become a staple of the big day, especially in the form of piled-high nachos. Chardonnay is ideal against the creaminess and fat found in most Tex-Mex favorites, along with a nice dry rose. For well-seasoned beef tacos, consider a California Syrah, Australian shiraz, or a versatile Argentinean Malbec. Keep in mind, alcohol heightens heat, so avoid high-alcohol wines if you’re serving dishes with jalapeño, habanero, or other spicy peppers.
Be it spinach-artichoke, hot crab or an old-fashioned veggie dip, the creaminess in these party standards call for a creamy oaked chardonnay. However, if you’re looking for a little flavor contrast, consider a white with good acidity, like a New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Austrian Gruner Veltliner.
Popcorn and salty snacks
A bowl of potato chips is about as low-rent as you can get for Super Bowl entertaining, and yet one of the best wine partners for it is a brut Champagne—the bubbles in Champagne are natural palate cleansers, much needed with fatty and salty foods.
In fact, bubbly is considered one of the food-friendliest wines, making it the ultimate partner for almost any food served at a Super Bowl party. And, it’s great to have some bubbly on hand if the team you’re routing for wins.