Many consider beer or soda the appropriate Super Bowl viewing libation, but wine can be just as enjoyable an accompaniment, particularly if you're eating pizza, the number one staple of Super Bowl Sunday. If you do choose pizza, a great Chianti or Brunello marries well with the sauce and toppings, but these days, there's a whole world of food beyond pizza to explore. With many international appetizer choices and Americans' more refined palates, it’s time to take a look at some other popular combinations.
Not everyone will gather on the sofa around the TV. Some get-togethers will include dinner before or during the game. So, while many of these suggestions are appetizer-specific, they could also do well with dinner. They also make great host gifts.
A more sophisticated beginning to a Super Bowl party, and one of the easiest to make, would be a charcuterie board.
The size of the board depends on the number of guests. If no appropriately sized board is available, use several or even a countertop. The idea is to have a wide selection so everyone can find something of interest. Ingredients include cheeses hard and soft (cheddar, Swiss, brie, triple cream), meats (prosciutto, salami, ham) and nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews). Also: briny items like dill pickles or cornichons, fresh fruit and berries, and dried fruit. Bruschetta also works well. Finally, add something sweet like chocolate or marmalade. This offering of cheeses and meats marries well with a sparkling wine like Graham Beck. No need to seek out special flute glasses. Nice white wine glasses will do.
For mozzarella sticks, hot crab dip, crab Rangoon or egg rolls, a nice chardonnay like Hahn SLH would make great accompaniment. This full-bodied wine has a wonderful aroma and mouth feel and makes short work of these appetizers. If you can find chicken wings, or maybe substitute thighs, a slightly sweet pinot grigio would be a great choice. I have recommended Biltmore Estate before and I believe it will do well again.
Slow cooker barbecue ribs, brisket, meatball sliders or sloppy Joes call for a rich pinot noir such as Baileyana. Aromas of ripe cherry and blackberry dominate. If your budget allows, consider a magnum of Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir. Its size is impressive and the taste is just the same, loaded with flavor with great mouth feel and lingering finish.
Also: A Special Upcoming Wine Event
Mattison’s Forty-One is hosting a wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, with St. Supéry. This highly regarded winery produces sustainable grapes from its estate in Napa. Click here for more info.
Bob McGinn has spent his entire career in the wine industry—forming wine clubs, working in wine sales marketing and engaging in all facets of the winemaking process, including vine management, fermentation and yeast analysis. He has developed wine programs for companies such as Marriott, Sheraton and Smith & Wollensky, and consults with local restaurants. You can read more of McGinn’s work at gulfcoastwinejournal.com.