Best Wines to Serve on Super Bowl Sunday

Not a beer drinker? How to choose wines for your Super Bowl party
Best Wines to Serve on Super Bowl Sunday

If you’re throwing a Super Bowl XLVI party this year, or going to one, you’ve got to prepare like the pros do.

First, come up with your personal celebratory dance for if your team wins. Maybe even get a few friends to join in as you take Giant Steps or do a Patriot Pirouette. Secondly, you need some bottles of bubbly to keep the party going after the last second has ticked away. And we’re not taking about champagne here, because this is not French football we’re watching. (Can you imagine Gronkowski or Ballard heading a crossing pass?) So you’ll need some American sparkling wine, maybe even stuff from Massachusetts or New York. More about that later.

Choosing wines for your Super Bowl party should be done with the same philosophy as putting together a game plan. Cover all the bases, be prepared for anything, have a few surprises of your own up your jersey, and be ready to celebrate in style.

You don’t want to serve something too basic, like jug wines or the cheaper boxes. That’s a sure way to have all your guests switch to beer. By the same token, don’t bring out your best bottles, because they won’t be fully appreciated and perhaps (worse) may not even be noticed. This is not a wine tasting, and watching the big game keeps everyone super busy. True, there was a time when you had bathroom and refrigerator breaks while watching Super Bowls. Today, you need total concentration. The day after the game, everyone will be talking about the hottest commercials as much as the game itself.

So let’s get started. At minimum, you’ll need a basic red, a fruity white, a dry white, and a sparkling.

The most masculine of American reds are zinfandels and syrahs, and both are built to go with anything from chili and burgers to barbecue and hot wings. Generally, the best zins come from Sonoma County, and some that are widely available and reasonably priced are Ravenswood, Rancho Zabaco, and Mauritson. Syrahs and Rhône blends are often a little less fruity than the zins, but they have good, rich, earthy — even chocolate — flavors. Sonoma also makes some good ones of these, such as Cline, Seghesio, and Clos du Bois. Also try those from Paso Robles, including Liberty School Cuvée, Rabbit Ridge, and Eberle.