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In Good Taste

Best Wines to Pair with Game Day Party Foods

Best Wines to Pair with Game Day Party Foods

Wild Wine Pairings for Game Day

The Super Bowl is the great equalizer. For those who are into #sports, it’s one of the most exciting and anticipated Sundays of the year. For those who love any excuse to snack and sip, it’s also one of the most exciting and anticipated Sundays of the year. Basically, the Super Bowl is a win-win no matter which team actually wins, and we’re especially pumped for this year’s game for nine very specific reasons: vaccines, rapid tests, wine, snacks, Eminem, Dr Dre, Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar.

Below, we’ve curated a list of perfect In Good Taste wine and game day food pairings you can sip and snack on to get your body fueled for a half-time show dance party while you halfway pay attention to the Bengals and Rams. In the wise words of Miss Blige, “Don't need no hateration, holleration in this dancery. Let's get it percolatin', while you're waiting, so just dance for me…”

Buffalo Wings & Vermentino

Vermentino paired beautifully with spicy buffalo chicken wings is the first in our lineup. Citrusy and bright, the juiciness from this Italian grape leans right into the spice of buffalo sauce and can even keep up with the ranch you’ll inevitably dunk it in. And if you don’t eat meat, celery, and carrots, or really any crunchy, fresh veggie tastes just as fun!

Buffalo Wings Pair Well with Bright, Citrusy Wines

Other Wild Pairings

Fish tacos or spinach-artichoke dip!

Smothered Nachos & Viognier

For anyone who just came to the party for the food, and doesn't even know which teams are playing, this grape is for you! Viognier is your La-Z-Boy, game-day best friend and pairs oh-so-perfectly with a plate of smothered nachos. That’s right: layer on the black olives, onion, cilantro, or whatever makes your mountain of cheese special, and this Rhone varietal will have your back. Viognier is structured and smooth, with soft baked tones that you wouldn’t mind going into overtime for. 

Mango Salsa with Limes

Other Wild Pairings

A handful of Cheez-Its every time there’s a foul or an aged cheddar cheese

Mango Salsa & Dry Rosé

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we have to act like it. Rosé is great all year, and a juicy-but-dry rosé of grenache goes down too easy with mango salsa and your favorite corn tortilla chips. Let the rich mango and rosé's soft tannins lead your tastebuds to the ultimate flavor touchdown. If tomato and spice aren’t quite your thing, another great dip would be hummus and pita bread; rosé loves gluten! 

Other Wild Pairings

Chicken shawarma or vegetable curry.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza & Grenache

When it comes to game-day drinks, our choices need to go down easy and still have us standing by the fourth quarter. That’s where a chillable red comes in; usually a bit lower in ABV, Grenache is just what you need  with chicken bacon ranch pizza. That’s right, I said it. The bright acid and balanced structure in this wine will make your palate wonder where this combo has been all your life. Think juicy, peppery, and mouth-wateringly delicious. 

Other Wild Pairings

Loaded potato skins or sipping during the Puppy Bowl (warning: IGT is not responsible for over-indulgence from puppy cuteness).

Grilled Pork Chops & Sangiovese

It’s a big day, and our furry friends are probably just as excited as we are about all the commotion, and definitely all the food. Cozy up with your pup and this warm, vanilla-noted Sonoma Sangiovese (“blood of Jupiter” in Italian), and pair with pork chops. We love pairing smokey and tender with the velvet tannins that this wine provides, helping ease the stress of halftime jitters.

Street Tacos and Tempranillo Wine

Other Wild Pairings

Pepperoni pizza or mini bratwurst sliders .

Beef Mini Tacos & Tempranillo

So, maybe you don’t have time to cook an entire Game Day Feast™, and that’s alright! Trader Joe’s has you covered, and their beef mini tacos have never let me down. Make sure there’s a full bottle of Cholula, or Frank’s, or Tabasco…You get my point. Tempranillo, originally from Spain, loves spice, and the rustic tones behind this wine are sure to win some compliments from the crowd. Serve the tacos and wine straight up, or throw in some guacamole for added depth.

Other Wild Pairings

Short ribs or a pulled pork sandwich.

Spicy Seven-Layer Dip & Mourvèdre

A grape by many different names can taste just as great. A full-bodied red like Mourvèdre, or Mataro, or even Monastrell in Spain, is more closely related to a linebacker than a quarterback, though. At least, if we’re talking about packing a punch. This Spanish native grown in Napa is begging for a chip-full of spicy seven-layer dip. Black beans, cream cheese, some crunch — throw in all the works for this peppered and expressive wine.

Game Day Chili with Chips and Wine

Other Wild Pairings

Trader Joe’s mini meatballs or a roast beef sandwich.

Slow-Cooked Chili & Dolcetto

Whether you drink your reds to warm up or wind down from the intensity of the Super Bowl, Dolcetto has your needs covered. The “little sweet one” in Italian is anything but; Dolcetto is a dry, full-bodied, and robust experience that demands the depth of slow-cooked chili. Rhubarb and cacao embody this luscious wine, and the earthy notes lean right into the spice and aroma of hearty chili. And what better in the midst of winter than something that warms your chest and your soul?

We don’t know who will win the big game, but we know for sure that you will win host of the year by serving up any of these touchdown-worthy pairings. Give the people what they want—exceptional wine, sweet and savory snacks, and every excuse to gather with friends and family on a Sunday night!

Rosé of Sangiovese


Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.




Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

Cabernet Sauvignon


If Pinot Noir is the light and juicy queen of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is her bolder, heavier, meatier sister. Often referred to as just “cab,” it’s the wine of France’s Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley. There’s nothing subtle about Cabernet Sauvignon—high in alcohol, full-bodied and robust, you can usually find this red served with a ribeye, New York Strip, or filet mignon (re: carnivores love cab). Classic cabs usually offer tasting notes of chocolate, coffee, and darker fruits like prunes and plums. The Unprecedented Cabernet Sauvignon is as classic as they come, and we highly recommend letting the bottle sit and mellow until your next red meat and potatoes dinner!

Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

Pinot Noir


We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

Coteaux Bourguignons


The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.




A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.


Côtes du Rhône White


This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.


Bordeaux Rouge


When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.


Ventoux Rosé


You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.



Wild Child

Say “¡Hola!” to Spain’s main grape: Tempranillo. This red grape put Rioja wine on the map and is un vino tinto classico. It’s best compared to a classic cab, but with a bit more unique magic that’s hard to put your finger on, which is why it’s a part of our Wild Child line. This medium- to full-bodied wine with its relatively higher tannins usually offers complex notes of cherry, fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill. This is the type of red wine you want to buy and pour for a Latin-infused meal; think carne asada, tacos al carbon, or just perfectly cooked steak fajita meat.


La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.




This grape goes by different names in most European countries, but what remains the same is its fruity floral nature. Delicate in every way and extremely quaffable, this wine is as dainty as they come.



We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.


Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.




For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.


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