Sips & Savory Bites for Superbowl

When everyone huddles around the big screen for kickoff they’ll want to see a coffee table glittered with appetizers and finger foods.  Delicious and savory bites easily munched on or otherwise devoured with one hand so as to leave the second free to swirl, swash and sip a refreshing beverage!

At the core of every Super Bowl party or tailgate is the much heralded, time-tested Chicken Wing. Buffalo, glazed, or otherwise, wings traditionally been partnered with a frosty beer, yet those looking to shy away from the suds have more than lager to look forward to.  In fact, there’s a bevy of vinous offerings suited to tackle spicy and sweet iterations, but some favorites include sparkling wine, specifically Italian Prosecco of the Extra Dry variety.  The bubbles help cleanse the palate, as it’s a touch less dry than Brut, it delivers a nice core of stone fruits (apricots, peaches, you get the idea) to help tempter the Buffalo heat.  If you’re going the maple barbecue road there’s plenty of forward fruit, acidity and opulence from off-dry Riesling from Germany.

Other game day staples vary from loaded Nachos, Chili, and a range of dips, spreads and sauces for dunking your favorite crispy snack into.  Because no one of these ends up being the sole flavor on the palate, the prior recommendations carry over nicely to this range of flavors.  In addition to the bubbly and Riesling, look for bright whites such as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc intense with citrus fruit, edged by tropical notes and a mouthwatering finish.

For the red wine lovers out there, from wings to Texas Chili, there are a slew of choices that will work but for the best set of matching flavors look towards reds with low to no oak.  The oak aging of wine builds on a red wine’s natural tannin (that mouth-coating dryness) and while it matches well with steak, it certainly detracts and contrasts with some of the racier fare on Super Bowl Sunday.  Zinfandel delivers zesty raspberry and cherry fruit flavors and have enough intensity to score big flavors with your appetizer round!

Once we get past the halftime performance, anticipation builds for a winner of the game and a closer on the plate!  Grilled steak tips and chicken always earn applause, moreover there’s plenty of pre-marinated versions available out there, making it easy to round out your night with ease.  Steak tips call for the otherwise unopened bottles of oak aged Cabernet and Bordeaux blends, but be adventurous on game day with a Cabernet-Syrah blend from Washington State or Napa Valley.  This unlikely combo offers bold fruit, layers of spice, vanilla and supple tannins that work with food, not against it!