September 29, 2021 by Arden Montgomery
Best Wine for Football Games and Tailgates
I mentioned the title of this article to a few friends earlier this week and they all seemed shocked. “Wine doesn’t go with football, that’s a beer-drinking sport!” they all said. Apprehensive commentary eventually led to mocking imitations of snooty, pinkies-out “wine people” clapping politely as one 6’5 300-pound man tackled another.
Obviously, football and wine are not an easily-made association, but as the wine world continues to become more and more accessible to the average American adult, I believe that viticultural beverages will become a staple at most Sunday gatherings.
If you’re here, that means you must love wine. And if you’ve made it to this paragraph, you must also enjoy football. And this article was written to help you figure out just how well the two can go together. Football Season in the US is well underway, and if you want to make expert-level wine pairings for your Super Bowl fare you need to start tasting now. Let’s dive in.
Choosing the Best Wines for Football Season
Football gatherings are all about having a good time while cheering on your favorite team. That means that, above all, you should enjoy the wine you’re drinking. But if you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend pairing your wine selection with the array of greasy, cheesy, indulgent snacks you’re planning to have for your super bowl buffet.
Let’s start with the veggie platter. Crudités with a heavy ranch dressing calls for something sweet but sharp to both lift up the vegetables but cut through the fattiness of the dressing: think Pinot Noir for reds, or Sauvignon Blanc for whites.
Speaking of dressing, there’s bound to be some kind of chips and dip situation. A cheesy, creamy dip needs a fresh wine like a Gruner Veltliner to contrast the richness. Bean dip or chili are well complemented by tannin-heavy reds like Merlot.
For mains including hotdogs, sliders and gooey pizza a Syrah or Barbera will do the trick. Spicy wings can be tamed by a sweet white, and sweet or creamy wings uplifted by a berry-forward red.
If that wasn’t enough for you, here are some of my game day favorites from the Argaux collection.
Best Red Wine for Football
- 2020 Guido Porro Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Vigna Pari’ – $24
Soft tannins and a delightful balance between fruitier flavors and plenty of spice make this delicious red a versatile pairing that won’t betray you in the face of something on the spicy side. Smooth with medium acidity, the Vigna Pari is the ultimate companion to a slice of greasy, stringy pepperoni pizza.
- 2019 Domaine de La Bonne Tonne Morgon ‘Côte du Py’ Beaujolais – $45
No reason your all-American football game can’t come with a splash from one of the great French winemaking regions. A Beaujolais from Burgundy, this Gamay wine is rich with earthy fruits and spices in the nose as well as on the tongue. Pair with pork hot dogs, spicy chicken tacos, or this timeless 7-layer bean dip.
- 2019 Gouchas Luján de Cuyo Malbec – $22
The ideal red for your Sunday main course. This chillable Malbec feels like drinking a spritzer minus the bubbles, making it a great party-time drink. Juicy fruits, sweet cocoa, and just a hint of smokiness on the palate make it the perfect match for sliders, barbecued ribs, or beef chili dogs.
Best White Wine for Football
- 2019 Pedralonga Rias Baixas Albariño – $27
Green, herbaceous, and wild, this wine provides an utterly romantic take on all that football is — athletic individuals performing epic feats of strength on a perfect lawn. It’s smooth but complex and totally refreshing — a great pair for spicy wings, heavy potato salad, or barbecued veggie skewers.
- 2020 Le Coste Litrozzo Bianco Orange Wine – $28
This spectacular skin-contact white is the bottle to break out when your team scores the winning point. Who says beer is the only beverage for sports fans? The lads on the label are here to prove otherwise. Notes of citrus, stone fruits, and almonds and a lively body make this wine a great match for anything fried — especially pork rinds or honey-glazed chicken drumettes.
- NV Sorro Prosecco Treviso DOC – $25
Prosecco is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between the disparate beer and wine crowds. Crisp and fresh, this Treviso in particular will have even the most hardened Bud Light loyalists asking for a second glass. For a perfect pair, use this bottle of bubbles as an excuse to bring a slightly more upscale charcuterie board to the party. Or, serve alongside a mountain of classic thin-cut fries.
- 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Chenin Blanc – $25
Oenophile football players ask their coaches to ditch the gatorade and fill the cooler barrels with this wine instead. We dare anyone to spot the difference — notes of pineapple, peach, citrus fruit and blossoms, and sparkling minerality lend an appropriate air of athleticism with each sip of Les Athlètes. Pair with mac and cheese, or a rich and creamy spinach dip.
Best Rose Wine for Football
- 2020 Storm Watch Hill Vineyard Grenache Rosé – $28
Beautifully balanced with a delicious blend of sweetness and tartness fronted by cherries, blood orange, and watermelon. Pair with white cheeses, that rarest of superbowl salads, or your favorite football-season pizza.
Best Wine for Football from Argaux
This is what the Food and Wine Pairing 101 kit was made for. Many alcohol-enthusiasts see wine as this untouchable fancy thing that can only be paired with delicacies like caviar, salmon steaks, or filet mignon. Not true! If you can eat it, we promise there is a wine that will complement it — everything from hot cheetos, to stuffed potato skins, to fish and chips, to 5 layer cheese dips. Football fare is all about indulgence, and there’s no reason why that indulgence can’t include a really delicious wine. Order your kit today and receive a copy of Vanessa Price’s book Big Macs & Burgundy, as well as 2 – 4 hand selected bottles from the Argaux collection to begin your training as an a-team sommelier.