Beer tends to dominate the conversation when it comes to choosing beverage pairings for the Super Bowl. But beer is super filling, and frankly, not everyone loves it. For the snack-heavy, long-haul drinking day ahead, everyone should have the option to drink something they’ll enjoy. For many of us, that means wine.
To help choose a bottle (or two) to sip during the big game, we asked sommeliers for advice on what to pair with a long, high-pressure football game. Here’s what they said.
The best wines to drink during the Super Bowl, according to sommeliers.
- Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon
- Albert Boxler Reserve Pinot Gris
- Vinho Verde
- Blanc de Blancs, Gruet Winery
- Sandlands Chenin Blanc
- Canned wine
“Living in Kansas City and adopting the Chiefs was not easy — especially being a Cowboys fan, which is never easy. But hey, I moved here three months before their Super Bowl win in 2020, and Patrick Mahomes and I both went to Texas Tech. In 2020, prior to the big game, I was introduced to the Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley, California that Lamar and Norma Hunt purchased in 2000. I got to enjoy a bottle during the 2020 Super Bowl with a cheese and charcuterie platter, Texas-style brisket, and some perfectly tender KC Ribs. When you think big and bold, this expressive wine will provide a four-quarter-long finish if you have the willpower to not drain the bottle by halftime. Go Chiefs!” —Thomas Turner, director of food & beverage, The Stilwell, Kansas City, Mo.
“The factors I’m taking into account for a Super Bowl wine are: Does it go well with a variety of party foods (pizza, nachos, chips, buffalo wings, etc.)? If I get excited and swirl a little too intensely, will it badly stain my buddy’s couch? If I drink the whole bottle, will I pass out and miss overtime? Will it help my team win? For all these reasons, I’m going with Riesling. High acid with fruity, floral, and mineral aromas suits most foods including spicy ones. It should be relatively easy to hide spills, and it won’t be overpowering on the alcohol content.” —Isaac Clark, winemaker, City Winery, Philadelphia
“There are so many diverse dishes consumed, which can make nailing a pairing difficult! Instead, I’m going to opt for pairing the Super Bowl itself with wine. I want the wine to be monumental and embody the power and finesse that (most) of the players show on the field. To do this, I’m reaching for a bottle of Baga, perhaps with some age, from one of my favorite producers in the Bairrada region of Portugal: Luis Pato. These wines are vaguely reminiscent of great Bordeaux, and with age, they show elegance while still offering glimpses of the structure they have in youth. Not a wine you drink every day, but great for a once-in-a-year event like the Super Bowl.” —Ben Amaral, beverage director, River Twice, Philadelphia
“For such an emotional game like the Super Bowl, I recommend a Cava like Segura Viudas Brut. Cava is a bit more laid back than Champagne and is equally as celebratory for a big game. The Spanish bubbly can be sipped straight up for those who don’t want to miss out on the action or can be mixed for a fun sparkling cocktail to enjoy among friends and family.” —Domingo Abreu, sommelier, Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
“To soothe your palate from the spice in Buffalo sauce, I recommend an off-dry white wine. My top pick would be Albert Boxler Reserve Pinot Gris from Alsace for its complexity and richness. It tastes unreal, like smoked apricot and honey.” —Tia Polite, sommelier, Indienne, Chicago
“Vinho Verde would be perfect for the Super Bowl. This is a region in Portugal that makes light and refreshing white wines. The name refers to the wines being green, meaning they are young wines and meant to be consumed young. They will all have a very similar style — offering fresh, bright flavors with a slight effervescence — typically offering a lower ABV around 10 percent, making it an easy day drinker and very quaffable. Any Vinho Verde would pair great with chicken wings, nachos, snack plates, hot dogs, or that old crock pot cheese sauce thing that someone tries to make.” —Tom Patella, owner and wine director, Causwells, San Francisco
“The Super Bowl is always a special and festive day where people tend to deviate from the norm. Typically, they are indulging in fun food and won’t shy away from new pairings. I see a lot of nontraditional white varieties being ordered. Those that are fresh yet sophisticated; especially those with bubbles. One is a méthode champenoise sparkling wine from Gruet Winery in New Mexico. My go-to is their Blanc de Blancs that is dry, crisp, and excellently balanced, and will be a great accompaniment to most of our indulgences.” —Joseph Cavet, director of food & beverage, The Regency Bar & Grill, New York
“My personal favorite game-day dishes are fried chicken and a hearty bowl of chili. A great pairing with the fried chicken is a cold, crisp bubbly, specifically Champagne. A true Côtes du Rhône blend complements the chili, and I even use the Rhône blend in the cooking process.” —McColbert Evrard, food and beverage director, The Banneker, Washington, D.C.
“For the Super Bowl, you’re gonna want a wine that you can start describing loudly and in a pretentious way when your team starts losing and you want to distract your friends. If you can get it, some Sandlands Chenin Blanc made by the uber-talented Tegan Passalacqua will quietly pair perfectly with Buffalo wings and offer you the complexity you need when the game isn’t going your way.” —Jamie Harrison Rubin, consulting sommelier, Southwark and Ambra, Philadelphia
“I love wine for sports and feel like it has just as much of a place as beer for your viewing experience. It’s also just as easy to unpack a box of wine cans into a cooler of ice as it is a case of beer, so do just that! If you’re doing cans, I absolutely love Ramona, which are organic Italian wine spritzers with different natural fruit flavorings. The bubbles are great with creamy decadent foods like dips or cheeses, all of your favorite game-day snacks.” —Sande Friedman, beverage manager, Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia