That must mean it’s almost time for the Super Bowl (aka, the chance to eat some of your absolute favorite finger foods in abundance). Pigs in a blanket, pizza, nachos, wings—they all seem to find a place on your game day plate. In fact, you may even end up enjoying the food more than the game (and that’s OK with us!).
We asked Jon McDaniel, founder of Chicago, Illinois-based Second City Soil and Liz Martinez, sommelier and beverage director at Prime + Proper in Detroit, Michigan about which wines will pair the best with everything on your Super Bowl spread.
Pair with: Syrah
“Buffalo wings paired with a fruitier, not necessarily fuller bodied Syrah can be pretty fun for a couple of reasons,” says Martinez. “The fruit in the wine sort of acts like a cooling agent with the spice, leaving you with a really nice mid palate. You can taste more of the nuances in the sauce and the wine. Also, the tannins don’t really fight the tannin in the chili spice. They kind of just play along nicely with each other.”
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Pair with: Beaujolais Nouveau
“There are so many flavors with nachos that a good sparkling wine would be great with it,” McDaniel says. “Also, Beaujolais Nouveau would be great with nachos as the adult Juicy Juice taste would pair well—and Nouveau expires after Super Bowl, so drink it up.”
Pair with: California Chardonnay
“A classic California Chardonnay would be great with the potato, the cheese, the sour cream—Chalk Hill from Sonoma is a good example. It has a little buttery note and a little oak and texture to go great with potato skins,” says McDaniel.
“Pizza is great with Dolcetto or Barbera from Italy. These are grapes that have a soft fruitiness to them and can work well with the sweetness in the tomato sauce. Equally, they have the ability to pair well with a number of savory toppings, like meaty pepperoni or sausage, and cheese. This wine can also work with a charcuterie board,” explains Martinez.
Pair with: Gewurztraminer
“The spicy, cheesiness would also do well with a wine with a little fruitiness to it. A Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer from Alsace has the richness and floral aromas to really cool down the heat and bring out the creaminess of the cheese,” notes McDaniel.
Pair with: Zinfandel
According to Martinez, “Chile con carne is a classic and can be difficult to maneuver, as it can vary a lot in spice and have an array of other flavors, that can include smoke and sweetness. I love Zinfandel with chili. Not only does it have a stewed fruit quality and just enough structure to stand up to the weight of the chili, Zinfandel and smoke are a match made in heaven.”
Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc (or Muscat)
“I love guacamole so much!” says Martinez. “And the spicier the better! When it comes to the serrano or jalapeño spice, I really like to focus on the green flavors in the dip, and keep it going with a wine that mimics those flavors. A zesty sauvignon blanc from New Zealand that has those freshly cut grass notes, is a great pairing, and acid in the form of citrus and grapefruit helps cut through the rich avocado. Or if you really want to get creative, a dry muscat can be just as enticing, with its incredible aromatics that lift all of the flavors in the guacamole and lightens things up.”
Pair with: Champagne
Related Video: Step Up Your Wing Game
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