Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Wine Pairings

When it comes to the Super Bowl – chips, dips, pizza, chili and other pub grub are in high demand. While beer has had a long and tenacious history with "The Game," more sideliners are opting to enjoy the occasion with wine. But which wines go with buffalo wings, nachos and hot dogs?

Wine for the Chips
Believe it or not, but fancy, formal Champagne is amazing with salty, greasy potato chips! Talk about versatility. It’s hard to beat a crisp Chardonnay or a sparkling Cava for chips and salsa or try a bold, Australian Shiraz with a plate full of nachos or buffalo wings. A light sparkling wine will also handle cheesy nachos well, especially if there is a bit of spice to them.

Wine for the Veggie Tray
For those opting for the healthy veggie plate and creamy ranch dips, a fruity Merlot or a citrus and herb-based Sauvignon Blanc should fit the bill.

Wine for the Pizza
If pizza is on your plate, a minerally Pinot Grigio or a bold California Zinfandel will make you wonder why in the world you’ve limited its intake partner to beer!

Wine with Chili (and chili dogs)
If you've got a cup full of chili, then grab a glass of Merlot or Chianti to handle the mix of cheese, beans, meat and tomatoes.

Wine with with Buffalo Wings
Buffalo wings, typically accompanied by creamy blue cheese dressing, are a Super Bowl staple, but what wine can handle the grease and spice of this particular tradition? Consider a Spanish Cava, an American Zinfandel or a Riesling to offset some of the spice.

Wine with with Burgers, Brats and Hot Dogs
Burgers, brats and hot dogs all match up well with a variety of fairly easy-going red wines. Look for a wine with good fruit, decent tannins and enough palate power to handle the fat components of the meat. Consider opting for an Argentinean Malbec, an Aussie Shiraz or a Californian Cab, with the most versatile vino pairing for this lineup going to the fresh flavors of Zinfandel.

Wine for the Appetizer Table
A tried and true Riesling will stand up to a majority of appetizer options. Likewise, a light Pinot Noir tends to complement a white chicken chili or other poultry dish particularly well.

Wine for Brownies
For your basic chocolate brownie, you might want to give a Port or a Pedro Ximénez Sherry a try otherwise, consider a Merlot or Pinot Noir.

If you are looking to up the festivity factor, then you might consider setting up a Super Bowl Sangria Station - a party-friendly wine punch that is perfect for Super Bowl gatherings, where less may be more.

Source: Stacy Slinkard,

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