While I have done complex wine tastings during the Super Bowl with some geeky friends, most people would prefer easy-drinking wines that are crowd pleasers. And no you don’t have to have beer when you watch the game, particularly if it is one of those generic light brands.
Approachable wines generally have intense fruit profiles and aren’t too tannic. This is not the time to breakout those ten-year-old Cabernet Sauvignons to see if they have mellowed. This is a good excuse to drink fruit chewy wines like Zinfandel and food-friendly Pinot Noirs. What is more both go well with hamburgers, hot dogs and party food like piles of nachos and guacamole.
Intense Russian River Pinots, such as Marimar would be great and Picket Fence offers one of the best-priced and most consistent Pinot Noirs around. While I love Red Burgundy and Oregon Pinot, I would save them for another day. Idle Hour’s Pinots, made from Santa Lucia fruit, are also lovely.
Carménère, which hails from Bordeaux and is grown in Chile, also has a lively, juicy profile that can stand up to fun and indulgent game day foods. Your white wine fans may want to feast on a cheese spread (don’t forget the Marcona almonds and membrillo: quince paste). Slightly off-dry white are always great with almost anything but the most intense and super-stinky cheese. Anakena ‘s Pinot Noirs and Matetic Pinots and Syrahs are great.
One for the Home Team (s)
Since my home team (the 49ers) didn’t make the cut, I will spare you the California wine suggestions. If you are a Seahawks fan, there’s plenty of good stuff to drink to support your home state. Syrah is one of Walla Walla’s best grapes and Pepper Bridge makes some beautiful examples.
If you are a Broncos fan, your state does produce wine (although it is perhaps justified better known for its beer). Many of them are clustered around the Denver area. According to the Colorado Wine, the state is home to more than 100 wineries, most of them small and family owned. However few of them are available outside of the state. Large stores, such as Applejack Wine & Spirits, would be good places to look for them (or call the wineries directly and see if they can ship to your home state). Please see my latest blog for DrinkUpNY for more suggestions.
Last but not least, let’s give it up for New Jersey, where the game will take place. This state is not known as fine wine production center but there are a handful of good producers. It was rumored that former President Nixon only drank wines from New Jersey, although no one has been able to confirm it. I had some really lovely Rieslings from Alba vineyard. They were one of the many producers pouring wine at the Riesling Rendezvous hosted by Chateau Ste. Michelle in and around Seattle last year.
Liza the Wine Chick