Gallery: Ask a Sommelier: What Should I Drink During the Super Bowl?

Try a Little Txakoli
Try a Little Txakoli
"For nachos and guacamole, I would drink Txakoli (pronounced chak-oh-lee) from Spanish Basque country. I say this because I always feel like I’m drinking a wine margarita when I drink these wines. They are full of lime zest, salt and pretty aromatics, the same kind of components you get from a margarita. It’s also fairly low in alcohol so you can eat those jalapeños with abandon! As for the spicy buffalo wings, I recommend a good old fashioned beer."—Savanna Ray, Wildwood (Portland, OR)

[Photo: Jannie Huang]

Lambrusco!
Lambrusco!
"Lambrusco! It’s a sparkling wine from Italy’s Emilia Romagna region. It’s most commonly found as a light to medium red that is fruity, bright, fresh, and more than anything lots of fun. The fruitiness and low alcohol are ideal for the spice of Super Bowl food while the acid and effervescence cut through fat. Plus, it’s great with charcuterie."—Jess Hereth, Olympic Provisions (Portland, OR)
Pop Some Bubbles
Pop Some Bubbles
"Is there a good wine option for the Super Bowl? Sure! Champagne goes with everything. Or try a Riesling from Germany with a little residual sugar, Kabinett level, high acid and refreshing with a little sugar to battle the spice."—Mark Bright, Saison (San Francisco)
Look for Acidity and Residual Sugar
Look for Acidity and Residual Sugar
"If you don't happen to have any good beer around (what's wrong with you!?), I'd recommend a bottle of Bugey-Cerdon (rose sparkling wine from Savoie in Eastern France- Balivet is tasty), or Lambrusco Amabile (mildly sweet) from a fun producer, like Cleto Chiarli. You know what would really hit the spot? A nice Spatlese Riesling from a cooler vintage to go with that kind of food. Basically, a lower alcohol wine with loads of acidity will be easy to enjoy with various savory comfort-food flavors. A bit of residual sugar will help to balance the sweet and savory flavors of the different dishes. And if you've never had Buffalo wings, guacamole, nachos, and Riesling, you need to call me immediately."—Chris Gaither, Spruce (San Francisco)
Margaritas
Margaritas
"I don't know if I can reasonably say that someone should drink wine with nachos. Riesling maybe? I'd be drinking a sequence of eyeballed margaritas, preferably from a Solo Cup, and yelling at the TV."—Steven Grubbs, Empire State South (Atlanta) and Five & Ten (Athens, GA)
Chill Out
Chill Out
"My first choice for the Super Bowl is probably an ice cold pilsner style beer. They are light and refreshing and allow you to consume many more than just one."—Jason Smith MS, Bellagio Resort (Las Vegas)

[Photo: MGM Resorts International]

Another Vote for Beer
Another Vote for Beer
"Rolling Rock…because it goes down faster than the New York Jets season."—Paul Grieco, Terroir/Hearth (NYC)
Beer, Wine, Whatever!
Beer, Wine, Whatever!
"I don’t see the need to go highbrow for Super Bowl—beer, wine, whatever! The day should be about having fun. If you’re drinking wine on Super Bowl Sunday, a Spanish Godello would be great with nachos and a Finger Lakes Riesling with spicy wings. A quirky Petillant Naturel would be nice with fried snacks."—Kerrie O'Brien, DBGB (New York)
Soave or Pinot Grigio
Soave or Pinot Grigio
"Super Bowl food is tricky, but I would stick to low-alcohol whites maybe with a little residual sugar to counterbalance spice in the food. Riesling Kabinett from Germany will work, and if you want to go drier, Soave or Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy are versatile options as well."—Gillian Ballance MS, Cavallo Point (Sausalito, CA)
Go Bubbly
Go Bubbly
"For the Super Bowl, I say drink Champagne or other bubbly wines. For serving with spicy buffalo wings, I love Renardat Fàche Cerdon de Bugey. Low alcohol, slightly off-dry and the perfect dark ruby hue cut right through the spice in the wings and refresh the palate when screaming for your favorite team to score a touchdown."—Laura Maniec, Corkbuzz (NYC)
Lots of Options, White, Pink, or Red
Lots of Options, White, Pink, or Red
"With the sweetness and spice and fat that comes with Super Bowl fare, think about: a light-bodied, slightly sweet Riesling (sweetness will match up with food and complement spice while acid cuts through richness), or a Cerdon de Bugey, a gently sweet and sparkling rosé from France’s Savoie region (same idea as Riesling but with the cleanse of bubbles instead of acid and the fun and fruit of pink wine). And if red is a must, a fruitier grape like Gamay or Grenache, where hard tannins won’t compete with diverse bites and sweetness of fruit will balance out spiciness."—Juliette Pope, Gramercy Tavern (NYC)

[Photo: Ellen Silverman]

Tecate or Riesling
Tecate or Riesling
"Tecate is probably my go to pairing. If I had to have wine I would be drinking riesling. The high acid and kiss of residual sugar go great with the spicy favors served on game day."—Eric Railsback, Caveau Santa Barbara
Beer's Best for Spicy Food
Beer's Best for Spicy Food
"Consider me a classicist when it comes to Super Bowl beverages—I tend to go with beer for its ability to pair with spicy bar foods and allowing you to focus your attention on the important stuff—the game!

If I were forced to serve or drink a wine then I would go with a simple, off-dry sparkling wine—it would help tame the heat of the buffalo wings and nachos...plus it would be in keeping with the day's festive mood."—Chad Zeigler, RN74 (San Francisco)

Keep it Low Alcohol and Don't Worry About It
Keep it Low Alcohol and Don't Worry About It
"Drinking wine at Super Bowl parties is not really about the food-and-wine-matching dynamic. Bring something simple and low alcohol (chances are you'll be drinking a bunch of it). People aren't going to throw a bowl of crab dip at you if the Carignan you brought didn't pair well with the chicken wings. At least I hope not. If so, you should find new friends."—Michael Garofola, Genoa (Portland, OR)
Pair Your Snacks with Beer
Pair Your Snacks with Beer
"Don’t drink wine while watching the Super Bowl. Your friends will just make fun of you. Super Bowl Sunday offers the perfect opportunity to geek out on beer. A great pairing with spicy buffalo wines is a hoppy IPA, like Great Divide Titan IPA. With nachos and guacamole, drink a pilsner or a crisp lager, such as Blue Point Toasted Lager."—Chris Baggetta, Quince (San Francisco)
White Wine, But Not Too Dry
White Wine, But Not Too Dry
"Pick something with good acid, some salinity, and an herbal note, and depending on your personal tastes an aromatic white or a wine with a little residual sugar. I know that Riesling is the go-to for spicy food, and in this case I think the sweetness would pop that salty flavors perfectly. But people drink in between eating, and if Riesling is not really your style you are not going to end up being happy with the pairing for very long. So there are many other wines that would work, but I think the key is to try to match the saline note and not go too dry."—Liz Nicholson, Maialino (NYC)

[Photo: Nicole Franzen]

Go Red
Go Red
"Shiraz, GSM, or Cru Beaujolais. They are all very versatile and most people are less focused on the wine and more on the game. With such a wide variety of food, just select a wine you think people will enjoy and try not to worry about the pairings."—Virginia Philip MS, The Breakers (Palm Beach)

[Photo: Lila Photo]