The Super Bowl is one of the few events in American athletics that manages to attract the attention of the entire nation, including those who aren’t big sports buffs the other 364 days of the year. Even if football isn’t your forte, there’s plenty else to draw in viewers, depending on your taste for entertainment — the ads, the halftime show, the Buffalo wings, the beer. Or, the wine.
While beer is the obvious choice for Super Bowl celebrations, there’s no rule that says you can’t drink wine instead (or in addition). In fact, it might be an ideal choice: Wine is made to go with food, and is less likely to fill you up, thus saving precious stomach space for snacking.
If you’re looking for the perfect pairing for your seven-layer dip, keep reading. VinePair spoke to 14 sommeliers to find out what they’ll be pouring and pairing on game day.
The Best Super Bowl Wines Recommended by Sommeliers
- Weiser-Künstler Riesling
- Dettori Bianco 2018
- Crémant de Bourgogne
- Off-dry Riesling
- Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling
- Off-dry Vouvray Chenin Blanc
- Cru Beaujolais
- Mellville Pinot Noir, 2018
- Domäne Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Grüner Veltliner
- Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne
- Von Winning Riesling Extra Brut
- Augusta Winery Norton 2017
- Desert Night Pét-Nat
Keep reading for details about all the recommended wines!
“Can’t go wrong with Weiser-Künstler Riesling! That’s a pretty superb owl.” —Daniel Yeom, sommelier, Brooklyn
“On Super Bowl Sunday, my friends and I will be starting with a great Menabrea Bionda Lager or Dolomiti Rossa for those that like a more complex beer. For the barbecue, we’ll follow with a 2018 Dettori Bianco IGT. It is a versatile orange wine from Sardinia, my home region in Italy. This wine has great acidity and complexity. It has a strong persistency of dried stone fruit with a sapidity that makes you feel like you are taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Lovely!“ —Andrea Salaris, sommelier, Angelini Osteria + Alimentari, Los Angeles
“This year, I’m going all in with Crémant de Bourgogne. Normally I keep it crowd/budget-friendly during the Super Bowl, since it’s a beer holiday and most people would just pour orange juice in the bubbly I brought anyway. But this year, I don’t have to share. Crémant de Bourgogne is a great option for Champagne lovers that don’t have overflowing funds at the moment, and don’t want to downgrade into the Charmat world. It’s bold and well rounded enough to pair with a variety of salty snacks and cheese, and fancy enough to remove any guilt of finishing a bottle by yourself on your couch.” —Blaine Brown, sommelier, Rome
“The Super Bowl is an opportunity to really go to town on the snacks: wings, pizza, nachos, etc. Since salty and spicy are the order of the day when it comes to the food, I’ll be drinking off-dry Riesling. Low alcohol and a bit of sweetness are ideal with the heat from your Buffalo wings, and the saltiness of the pizza and nachos. [It] also means that a few bottles in, I’ll probably still be able to see the TV, too. They’re not particularly expensive, though if you want to really have a great night you can splurge for some superb examples from Germany.” —Matt Woodburn-Simmonds, sommelier, Ediburgh
“My Super Bowl spreads tend to offer a wide flavor spectrum from Buffalo wings and cheesy nachos to salty pork rinds and warm Brie, so I need a wine that can help my palate stand up to the beating. Riesling has great acidity to cut through salt and fat, aromatics to balance the veritable spice bouquet, and the body to stand up to melted cheese and rich sauces. Examples from the Mosel in Germany, such as J.J. Prüm, will offer a touch of sweetness which is ideal for taming spicy food, but the sugar-averse should look to Austria’s Weingut Knoll or Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, where dry versions reign supreme.” —Alex White, sommelier, Monello, Minneapolis, Minn.
“On game day, you don’t want complex drinks that will steal your focus away from the field. That’s why I like to have a bottle or two of off-dry Chenin Blanc for the snack spread. Off-dry wines have a refreshing combo of sugar and acid, providing lift and clarity for spicy, fatty foods, and refreshing your palate over and over again like a glass of Sprite. Off-dry Chenin Blanc from Vouvray is my preferred choice!” —Naseem Rafiei, sommelier, P.S. Steak, Minneapolis, Minn.
“I am planning on drinking Riesling during the 2021 Super Bowl. Riesling is an easy-to-drink, light-bodied white wine with crisp acidity that pairs well with a variety of foods. It will be delicious with Buffalo wings, nachos, fried food, and anything with bacon.” —Kayla Friedman-Barb, sommelier, Los Angeles
“My husband, who is also a somm, and I think the perfect Super Bowl wine is Cru Beaujolais. We will probably go with the Daniel Bouland Morgon Les Delys for this year because we have some around, but any cru-level Beaujolais will serve. They go great with spicy game-[day] food like nachos and chili, and are equally delicious served room temp or with a slight chill. Weather in New Orleans is super unpredictable, so this makes it a very versatile choice.” —Chelsea Gober, sommelier, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
“I will be celebrating the Super Bowl at home with my family this year. We have a 2018 Melville Pinot from Lompoc, Calif., set aside waiting for the big day. Melville exceeds expectations with this wine, perfectly polished with juicy acidity and ready for conversation and team spirit. Full of uplifting notes of cherry, orange, cranberry, apple blossom, and lychee fruit. Secondary notes of cardamom, impressions of dried black tea leaf, and bramble. Focused tannins provide a finish that adds gorgeous weight and complexity that complements the charcuterie board and burgers we will be snacking on. 2018 Melville Pinot is a great follow-up to the much-respected 2017 Melville Pinot but the 2018 Melville Pinot is much friendlier on the pocketbook.”—Anneliese Place, sommelier, Santa Barbara Wine Works, Santa Barbara, Calif.
“I will probably be enjoying a bottle of Domäne Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Grüner Veltliner. It is a light, high-acid wine from Austria that is widely loved. I consider it a crowd-pleasing wine, so it is easy to share it with guests who may have varying wine tastes. Also, I have always loved drinking this wine with potato chips, of all things! The clean, green apple on the palate of the Grüner syncs up splendidly with the salty crunch of the snack.” —Rosie Jean Adams, sommelier, Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans
“Salty snacks are a go-to for rooting on your favorite Super Bowl team, but pairing it with a bottle of bubbly creates the perfect combination. My Super Bowl Sunday bubbly of choice would be Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne. The dry bubbles and acidity really accent the saltiness of your game day snacks and appetizers. It’s the perfect refresher to elevate the taste without overwhelming the flavors.” —Brian Cooper, sommelier, The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.
“For the Super Bowl this year, I plan on drinking Von Winning Riesling Extra Brut. This dry sparkler is PERFECT with Buffalo chicken wings (which will be what I am eating). The minerality and high acid work to calms down the heat from the Buffalo sauce. The ripe peach note and floral character pairs beautifully with the crispy skin from the wings. Bubbles are always good to celebrate, and this sparkling Riesling absolutely will make me feel happy if my team wins or loses. —Michele Gargiulo, sommelier and manager, Hamptons, Sumter, S.C.
“I am not a football fan, but I am a Missourian and proud to support our KC Chiefs! Also, quarterback Patrick Mahomes II is an absolute darling and represents the best of our state (we don’t always have a lot to be proud of). I’ll most certainly be raising a glass of Missouri wine, more specifically, Augusta Winery Norton 2017. Norton is Missouri’s official state grape, and Augusta is America’s first AVA! The wine is powerful, earthy, and a little bit wild … with that hearty Midwestern spirit. The sweet smoke on the finish also goes great with KC BBQ.” —Annie Shapero, sommelier, NYC
“It’s [the] Super Bowl, so go big or stay home! Oh wait, we are all staying home! My favorite pairing with this giant of a sports day tends to have more to do with the halftime, which is usually glitzy, so why not go spritzy?! A half-bottle of Desert Night’s Pét-Nat bubbles is the perfect mid-game hang: dry and bright, with lots of hope for the second half! If you can’t get your hands on that, then a half bottle of Jacquart Champagne Brut Mosaic should have the same effect! Go team!” —Coly Den Haan, sommelier and owner, Vinovore, Los Angeles