Super Bowl food-and-wine pairings

By on February 1, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up fast, so we asked five winemakers and one chef from the Pacific Northwest what they would pair with six classic Super Bowl food snacks.

Of course, these food-and-wine pairings will work for any sporting event, tailgate party or get-together, so there’s no reason to limit this advice to Sunday’s game.

Our six participants are:

Hoppes also makes the wine for several wineries in Washington, so we asked him to select from any of the wines he makes. And Magaña is a longtime restaurateur and caterer, so we asked him to pick from wines throughout the entire Pacific Northwest.

Here is what they came up with.

Seven-layer dip

Super bowl food

Seven layer dip is a party favorite (via flickr)

This party favorite includes a lot of ingredients – well, seven of them – including refried beans, shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, black olives, sour cream and green onions.

Our experts’ picks:

  • Adam Campbell went with his Pinot Blanc, a white wine related to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
  • Charlie Hoppes chose the rosé of Malbec from Hamilton Cellars in Richland, Wash.
  • Chef Magaña decided a Spanish wine was in order, so he selected Abacela’s Tempranillo from Oregon’s Umpqua Valley.
  • Dana Roberts chose his Pineapple Express, a blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and pineapple juice.

Cheesy nachos

Super Bowl food

Nachos are a big hit at Super Bowl parties (via Flickr).

A couple of our experts wanted to choose beer, perhaps because they didn’t really want to subject their wines to nachos. This was the most difficult for anyone to pick, but they went with:

  • Charlie Hoppes chose the Fidelitas Optu White, a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chef Magaña wanted something bold, so he suggested the Durif (Petite Sirah) from Daven Lore Winery in Prosser, Wash.
  • Dana Roberts went with a wine he makes called Shiver Me Timbers, a blend of Riesling with passionfruit and guava.
  • Adam Campbell chose his Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley, a beautiful, high-acid white.

Spicy wings

Super Bowl food

Hot wings are big for tailgaters and Super Bowl parties (via flickr)

Fiery chicken wings are a fan favorite at the game or in front of the TV. Our wine experts chose:

  • Trey Busch went with his Magician Riesling for this spicy dish.
  • Chef Magaña wanted something high acid and off-dry, so he chose the Albariño from Coyote Canyon Winery in Prosser, Wash. This is a delicious Spanish white variety.
  • Adam Campbell went with his Riesling, saying this is a classic pairing.
  • Charlie Hoppes went out on a limb, choosing the Syrah he makes from Gamache Vintners in Prosser, Wash.
  • Dana Roberts makes a sparkling cranberry wine called Rapture of the Deep, and he thinks this would be a beautiful pairing.

Chips and dip

Super Bowl food

Chips and dips are fun, but remember: No double dipping (via flickr)

This can be a difficult one, as you’re not only pairing creamy dips with chips that can be flavored, such as French Onion Ruffles or even Fritos. Here’s what our experts went with:

  • Charlie Hoppes is a Malbec fanatic, and he thought the rich red wine he makes for Fidelitas would be the ticket.
  • Dana Roberts went in a different direction, pairing his blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling called Bordello Blonde. It’s an off-dry white.
  • Chef Magaña chose the Alexandria Nicole Cellars Reserve Viognier from the Horse Heaven Hills.
  • Adam Campbell went back to his Pinot Gris for this pairing.

Bacon-wrapped sausages

Super Bowl food

Bacon-wrapped sausages are a great dish for football games (via flickr)

A favorite whenever guys get together, this classic snack also was a favorite with our experts.

  • Adam Campbell said a full-bodied red, such as his Mount Richmond Pinot Noir, would be the perfect foil for the bacon-wrapped sausages.
  • Trey Busch chose his Levitation Syrah, a rich, dark red.
  • Charlie Hoppes chose his Fidelitas Red Mountain Merlot, a sturdy red wine.
  • Chef Magaña thought the Syrah from Anelare in Benton City, Wash.
  • Dana Roberts chose his Jetty Cat Red, a blend of Cab, Merlot, Syrah and Cab Franc.

Sweet-and-spicy meatballs

Super Bowl food

Sweet-and-spicy meatballs are a fun game-day treat (via flickr)

Here’s a wine-pairing conundrum, as there are all kinds of flavors going on here.

  • Trey Busch chose his Spellbinder, a red blend of Merlot, Cab, Malbec, Syrah and Sangiovese.
  • Chef Magaña decided on a rare Washington Pinot Noir from Vin du Lac in Lake Chelan.
  • Dana Roberts chose Surfer’s Last Syrah, a big, bold red.
  • Charlie Hoppes went with his Fidelitas Red Mountain Red, a blend of Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc.
  • Adam Campbell wanted a white wine that was richer than a Riesling, so he went back to his Pinot Gris.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

One Comment

  1. Benn Dunn

    February 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    That’s a tough duty, there. Can understand the reticence on pairing with Nachos (those are “not yo’s” they’re mine). Most likely will follow-up on some of those suggestions at some point. What could be wrong with bacon covered sausages?

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