Wine and Food Pairing

Super Bowl Party Wine

Some people are getting tired of all the “Super Bowl” wine stories … personally, I think they’re like a Super Bowl party: the more, the merrier! It’s not every day we have a predetermined excuse theme to follow for a wine story, so why not take full advantage of holidays, events, and other savory celebrations to teach people about wine?

That said, let’s kick off this subject by examining the typical Super Bowl party fare: chili, nachos, chips, dips, raw veggies, pigs in blankets, sliders, buffalo wings — sound familiar?

Fred Tasker tackles the subject with aplomb, matching specific dishes with specific wines (including a few imported by Banfi). That’s one way to attack it, but you might prefer a more general game plan.

When you’re hosting a number of people with different tastes, and serving a wide variety of foods, the “best” wine would be several wines, particularly those that tend to be “food friendly”. Choose lighter-bodied wines in general, that have good structure — i.e., ample acidity and balanced alcohol. For whites, that means Pinot Grigio, Frascati, Soave, unoaked Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. For reds, look to Chianti, Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Pinot Noir. If you’re serving spicy dishes, you will also want to include slightly sweet and fizzy wines – Moscato, Lambrusco, Brachetto d’Acqui — to cool down the heat. (Alternatively, you could go with a spicy wine, such as Malbec or Syrah / Shiraz, but fighting fire with fire is a more challenging pairing.)

What it boils down to is this: for many tastes and dishes, the best call you can make is zone coverage — and the good thing is, you don’t have to worry about being penalized for too many bottles on the field.

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