Super Bowl, super snacks, super wine
The Super Bowl is almost here! On Sunday, friends and families across America will be getting together to watch the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs. For some, refreshments will be a bowl of popcorn and a couple of Miller Lites, but if you’re planning on something a little more substantial, we’ve teamed up with Bert Blaize and Claire Strickett – authors of 'Which Wine When: What to Drink with the Food you Love' – to share their suggestions for some great wine choices to complement your Super Bowl spread.
Which Wine When
When we wrote Which Wine When, we wanted to include lots of everyday foods to make it easier for people who are new to the world of wine to relate to our suggestions. We figured that if you could see the foods you love to eat in our book, you’ll be intrigued to experiment with the wines we suggest too. So if you’re thinking burgers, nachos, wings or pizza for your Super Bowl meal, read on to find out what wine pairings we recommend. And wine bought at the liquor store is a great opportunity to treat yourself to a finer bottle for the game too.
Bert Blaize and Claire Strickett
Apparently 17% of Americans will be tucking into burgers on Sunday. As one of the world’s most down-to-earth and accessible foods, we think that a Bordeaux – an equally popular red wine – makes the perfect pairing. Bordeaux reds are made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, and you’ll get a different experience depending on which is dominant in your bottle. Cabernet-led wines have green peppercorn and green pepper notes that are a dream with beef, while Merlot-dominated blends are softer and fruitier with tart, plummy notes that will balance out the richness of grilled meat.
A massive 29% of Super Bowl fans will be assembling a stack of nachos, complete with gooey cheese and tangy salsa ahead of the game. A fresh and clean white wine will perfectly balance these spicy nachos and we suggest trying a silky, herbaceous, citrus-filled albariño. If you’re extending the Mexican theme with fully loaded burritos or tacos, our table below will help you choose more perfect pairings.
BBQ Chicken Wings
Is the Super Bowl even worth watching without a plate of sticky chicken wings to hand? The thick barbeque glaze is a delicious mix of ketchup, molasses and a collection of spices, and needs a wine full of flavour to rival its sweetness. We suggest Ribera del Duero – a red wine made by the Duero River in Spain from a blend of grapes including Tempranillo and aged in oak. It has plenty of acidity, but also bold levels of tannins which help break down the food in your mouth and heighten its flavours. Due to the oak ageing, a good Ribera will have incredible chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla notes, plus sticky, dark, dried-fruit flavours – all of which work brilliantly with the rich molasses-based sauce.
Pizza was one of the most popular choices for wine pairings when we started writing the book, and it’s not surprising that it’s a go-to favourite for many Super Bowl fans too. But the wine pairing really does depend on the toppings, so we’ve created a guide to help you work out what’s best.
About Bert and Claire
Having previously worked at La Belle Epoque in Manchester, Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Clove Club and the Mandrake Hotel, Bert has been named in the top 50 most influential people in the wine industry by Drinks Business and nominated by GQ for ‘Sommelier of the year.’
Claire Strickett has worked in kitchens, then restaurant marketing, publicity and recipe writing for leading chefs and restauranteurs, including Skye Gyngell, Rowley Leigh, Russell Norman, Gail’s Bakery and Byron.
If you are not planning on staying in to watch the Super Bowl and are heading out for dinner, discover our guide on how to talk to your sommelier.