Try a little pinot with your Super Bowl pizza

Try a little pinot with your Super Bowl pizza

Aside from the game, a lot of the talk surrounding Super Bowl Sunday is about which party you’re going to go to and who will bringing what kind of food. There’s tends to be Evites, lists and a lot of shopping to do. When it comes to drinks at a Super Bowl party, of course, beer will be a staple — but why can’t wine enthusiasts enjoy themselves too?

You might be thinking, “But what kind of wine is going to be good at a Super Bowl party?” Wine isn’t exactly known for pairing well with chips, hot dogs and hamburgers. And what about seven-layer bean dip? What do you pair with that?

Let’s start with chips. Of course, you’ll likely be dipping them in a variety of salsas, quesos and dips, but when it comes to the chip itself, you might be surprised to hear that sparkling wine or Champagne pair very nicely with chips. Sparkling wine, such as Zin Valle’s Rising Star Brut, pair well with the saltiness of most chips. It sort of makes sense, doesn’t it, since sparkling wine also pairs well with oysters and the like?

You’ll also find hot dogs at many Super Bowl parties as they’re easy to prepare and generally serve as a nice crowd-pleaser. If you know the event you’re attending will be serving them up with regular old ketchup and mustard, try bringing along a wine with a nice, high level of acidity like a Chardonnay or a pinot grigio. If you’ll be having Chicago-style hot dogs that are loaded with hot peppers and onions, go for a sauvignon blanc or riesling.

What about a classic American cheeseburger? If you like to load your burger up with ketchup, try pairing it with a fruity or even sweet wine, since ketchup—not the burger itself—will really be the dominant flavor of the meal. An off-dry rosé or white wine with a touch of sweetness can also possibly work well with a classic burger.

If you like your burgers with pickled relish and yellow mustard, then white zinfandel will likely offer you the best balance of flavors. If you like to load your burgers with all the fixin’s, try out an Australian shiraz. This bold red wine can probably best stand up to the varied flavors of lettuce, tomato, raw red onion, ketchup and mayonnaise.

Pizza in one form or another can also be found at just about every Super Bowl party. The great thing about pizza is that there’s a lot of room to experiment and not that many rules you need to follow.

Let’s take the standard thin-crust pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni first. Wines with lower acidity levels will work well with this type of pizza, since the tomato sauce will already be contributing plenty of acid on its own. Wines like a medium-bodied syrah, Chianti or zinfandel, which carry a lot of fruit are able to pair nicely.

If you’re a white pizza lover — a pizza totally devoid of tomato sauce — then you have even more options when picking out a good wine to go with the meal. A bubbly Champagne, a pinot grigio or an earthy sauvignon blanc would each hold up well to the lighter style of the white pizza flavor combinations.

Of course, every Super Bowl party is different and the range of food that’s offered varies greatly, but go in with an open mind — and a nice open bottle of wine! May the best team and wine win!

Salud!

Victor F. Poulos is the owner of Zin Valle Vineyards.

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