Wine Pairing Plays for Game Day Snack Foods
Jan 26,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

As game day approaches, don't forget to include wine at your Super Bowl party. The Wine Market Council makes it easy by pairing game-day snack stand-bys with favorite wines. Super Bowl Sunday isn't just for beer drinkers anymore!

Buffalo Wings

Piquant and vinegary wings need white wines with a lot of acidity like Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino from Spain to stand up to the sharpness of the flavors. If the wings are exceptionally spicy, an off-dry Riesling from Germany or the United States also works well to tame the heat.


With so many variations in its preparation, pizza matches well with many different wines. Keeping with the Italian theme, Chianti is a natural fit. Its tart cherry flavor and bright acidity meld well with any pizza's tomato sauce. Red wines from the Barbera grape, which is produced in Northern Italy's Piedmont area and parts of California also has a nice tang to accompany pepperoni or sausage. For a pizza emphasizing garlic or vegetables, try a Pinot Grigio.

Chili/Sloppy Joes

These quintessential American foods call for quintessential American wines. Try a lush, fruit-forward Zinfandel with a sloppy joe, the bright berry flavors will have affinity for the sweet, tomato flavors. With chili, a Syrah from the US or Rioja from Spain (with flavors of the Tempranillo grape) works wonders, as these wines have the same earthy and meaty characteristics.

Veggies and Dip

Crispy and crunchy crudites call for a fresh, zippy white like Sauvignon Blanc or an unoaked Chardonnay from New Zealand, Australia or the United States. If you're in the mood for a red, try something light and fruity like a chilled Beaujolais from France or an inexpensive Pinot Noir from Oregon or California.

Nachos or Quesadillas

One of the best matches for anything with corn, such as chips or tortillas, is Chardonnay. This is the case here, as Chardonnay also will complement creamy cheeses and counterpoint the salsa. In the red category, Zinfandel likewise accompanies spicy salsa and Merlot can have a cooling effect. Consider drinking the reds slightly chilled.

Submarine Sandwiches

When you roll out that big sub at halftime, consider a big wine like Shiraz from Australia or even a Malbec from Argentina, which will happily go with any meat. If the sandwich has a spicy mustard flavor, go with a Pinot Noir from California or France (Burgundy). If the sandwich is a cheese steak, consider a Cabernet, which goes beautifully with beef.

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