Much of the fare displayed during the Super Bowl is liable to be snack food. In New Mexico that includes salsas and corn-based chips, green chile burgers and various dips. That will include a lot of peppers, spice and salty treats. That’s why beer is popular as it moderates and compliments many of those flavors. That also means a more careful selection of wines is required.
Heavy tannic reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel will be at somewhat of a disadvantage unless one is preparing rack of lamb or beef filet. No true football fan would be considering these choices, however, because they could miss a key play during the game while rummaging in the kitchen for the Worcestershire sauce. White wines and lighter, spicier reds will work better for most foods fans snack on.
Italian grapes like Sangiovese, Dolcetto and Montepulciano are all well represented by New Mexico wineries as is Spanish Tempranillo. These were made to accompany spicy Italian and Spanish cuisines and work with local cuisine just as well. Black Mesa and Vivac wineries have been crafting good wines from these grapes for years. There are also chili-infused red wines for those that can’t get enough spice in their diet. Southwest Wines offers many specialty wines of this category along with more elegant, refined wines like the award-winning DH Lescombes Mourvèdre, Limited Release.
White wines with good acidity will also stand up to spicy dishes, such as Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand of Chile, Spanish Albarino, Argentinean Torrontés, and Portuguese Vinho Verde. New Mexico Riesling and Pinot Grigio are highly-rated wines that also handle spicy foods. Many domestic Chardonnay wines have backed off the oak monster and malolactic fermentation (MLF) to provide more fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity. The Milagro 2010 Chardonnay is a perfect example of a French-styled wine that will complement many foods.
However, if your team wins, you’ll want to have champagne or sparkling wine to celebrate; or to drown your sorrows when they lose. Gruet sparklers lead the way here, but other New Mexico sparkling wines are popular. The Spanish cava sparkling wines are a good value, as are the very popular Moscato wines. French sparkling wines from regions other than Champagne can also be a good value, often labeled as “Cremant”, such as Cremant D’Alsace.
Remember, just because one of the teams is based in San Francisco does not mean the only wine choice has to be Californian.