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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!

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