Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winey Thoughts: A Little Wine With Your Super Bowl?

I live in Cleveland. And since we're talking Super Bowl here, let me tell you that Clevelanders automatically go into whine (and a need for wine) mode as the day for the big game approaches. The Cleveland Browns have never - no never - won a Super Bowl. Kind of hard to do when you haven't even been to one - ever. Never ever. We had our chances. There were the Cardiac Kids, winning every game (except the important one) at the last minute and earning their nickname by the vast number of near heart attacks they gave their fans. They were before my time as a Clevelander, but still fresh in the mind of Hubby, who grew up here. Then let's talk about the '80's. And why a certain team now lead by a praying QB still makes those of us who witnessed (sorry, here they come) "the fumble", "the drive" and the "we gave up" want to spout a few choice decidedly non-prayer words. (For the record, The Browns DID win an NFL Championship in 1964. That was before there was a Super Bowl.)

But every year the Super Bowl rolls around and we Browns' fans settle down for a day of commercial rating and Super Bowl food eating.  If Pittsburgh is in it, we will root for the other team. If not, it's all about the commercials and the food. And while most people will say they go for a good old Chateau de Budwiser or Vines de Michelob on Super Bowl Sunday, the winey ones of the species will sip on wine with their snacks. Here are some ideas on pairing wine with said snacks.

Chips and salsa: Let's just assume you're going for a milder salsa here. Not one that you have to sign a waiver in order to buy and/or eat. You've got some spicy going, so you want to get a kind of an acidic wine - I love Sauvignon Blancs for this. One of my favorites is Vintjs, which you can find at Trader Joe's (because it's actually one of their own labels) for under $5!! Touchdown!

Buffalo chicken wings: again, we are assuming you do not have a death wish (even if you are a Browns' fan) and will not be going atomic with these. But buffalo sauce has its own spicy kicky kind of heat. If you drank a red with it you would most likely never drink red again. So I'm going with a Gewrutzraminer with these. I am partial to Chateau St. Michelle's Gewrutzraminer (I got to tour the Washington State winery a few years back). If you do go for this pairing, a great party game is to make guests say the word "Gewrutzraminer" ten time fast. I'll pause while you all try this - you know you're going to.

Sub sandwiches: The possibilities are endless depending on what you put on your subs. But let's say you are munching on an Italian style sub (salami, capicola, provolone, tomatoes, lettuce). That's a lot of flavor, so you might go with a light red wine. Pinot Noir was my first thought. I love Hob Nob and Mirassou. You could also go for a red blend - Menage a Trois would be yummy (plus the name is bound to get at least one guy to make a naughty reference).

Pizza: Cheese only? Pick your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon (Root One is terrific!) or mix it up with a Australian Cabernet-Shiraz blend. Or one of the new crop of red blends like Apothic Red or promisQuous.

Chili: Gotta go with the big old Zinfandel here. (Gnarly Head is a good one.) It pairs nicely with tomatoes and the hot spices that are the heart of everyone's favorite chili. Plus, the fat in the chili (admit it - it's in there) will kind of negate the puckery tannins of the Zin. If it's veggie chili, you can go with a full bodied Chardonnay or do a 180 and go for a Rose.  Another good party game sure to distract from the football is to ask everyone the best way to make chili. They'll still be at when Spring Training starts. EVERYONE has a chili opinion, don't they?

Cheers and go ________ (oh no, you're not going to get me to say who I'm rooting for. Way too dangerous for a girl who grew up in Jersey and now lives in Cleveland. Read into that whatever you want and have fun at your Super Bowl!)

Who will win this year?
Giants or Patriots?
Share your prediction in the comments!

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