Snack Bowl Sunday: Wine Pairings for Game Day

Although the Super Bowl traditionally brings to mind beer and Clydesdale horses, wine can be just as much a key player for the big game, alongside nachos, Usher’s halftime show, and the best TV ads of the year. Besides, not everyone likes beer, and depending on who’s on your fantasy football roster, whiskey may be in order. 

Just ahead of Sunday’s kick off, here is our lineup of wine and Super Bowl faves. From sparkling to red and everything in between, we’ve got every position on your Game Day menu covered. 

AlexanderJonesi, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Strong Safety: Pigs in a Blanket

Classic, savory appetizers, like pigs in a blanket, always score with bright, refreshing and mineral wines. Enter Annesanti Raspato Sparkling Rosato 2022, a fresh and fun sparkler with notes of ripe red fruit, fresh herbs, and toasted biscuit. And remember, bubbles make great aperitifs and great partners to just about anything, so you can rest assured that no matter what you serve, this wine will be a hit. 

Kicker: Cheesy Meatball Sliders

You're sure to score a few early points with cheesy meatball sliders.  Ooey goey cheese, hearty sauce, and hearty texture make these crowd pleasers perfect for any party, so you need a wine that's just as talented. We love RGNY Cabernet Franc 2021 from the North Fork of Long Island. Smooth and complex, this wine's got power and elegance.

Quarterback: Seven-Layer Dip

The mighty seven-layer dip is the quarterback of any Game Day gathering. Layers of refried beans, a medley of spices, fresh avocados, salsa, cheese, and slatherings of sour cream, this epic main character could only be paired with wine that is as charismatic and laser-focused as Patrick Mahomes. For white wine, our call is one of our favorite key players, Johannes Zillinger Velue 2.0 Riesling 2021. Dry, savory, and delicious, this biodynamic wine offers notes of apple and pear alongside white peach and lime blossom, perfect for the symphony of flavor that is seven-layer dip! If you prefer red, the plush and full-bodied Land of Saints Happy Canyon Merlot 2021 is a supple and juicy anchor to this team, with notes of blackberry, cherry, and raspberry framed by refreshing acidity and hints of fresh earth.

Center: Antipasti Tray

It no secret that a good center holds the entire offensive line together. Similarly, your antipasti tray can be essential to kicking off Game Day in style. Filled with bold and spicy cheeses, smoky charcuterie and marinated vegetables, you'll need a wine that's just as versatile. Sparkling to the rescue! We love the fruity, bubbly  Emilio 'Nessun Dorma' Lambrusco 2018, with its notes of black cherry, plum, and light herbs. If you'd rather a still sipper, try the savory 'Terrelunghe' Soave from Vicentini Agostino, a fresh and full bodied blend of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave with notes of white flowers, acacia and dried peaches. .

Linebacker: Buffalo Wings

You can't have football without Buffalo wings and ranch (or blue cheese if you're particular). While these saucy snacks and wine may seem to be at odds with each other, they can make a big difference in the field. You need a strong, flexible player here, so we recommend Chenin Blanc. Aubuisieres Vouvray Cuvee de Silex 2022 offers notes of golden apple, honeysuckle, and lemon blossom with a strong mineral backbone and enough acidity to stand up to every bite. 

All-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Flickr

Tight End: Pickle-Brine Fried Chicken

This is an all-star player, the perfect teammate for dips, chips and more. An all-star dish on Game Day, this crispy, mouthwatering dish is a knockout alongside a crispy white, like "Poule de Pic" from Domaine La Grangette. Zesty and bright, with hints of green apple, citrus, and white flowers, it's sure to score with your Game Day crowd!



Photo Credits: San Francisco 49ers Photo Credit: Alexander JonesKansas City Chiefs Photo Credit: All-Pro Reels