OK, let's get the usual disclaimer out of the way right up front: we know that for most people, Super Bowl Sunday is all about the beer. But we are not most people. This weekend, although we'll be eating the kind of greasy, salty snacks that require no utensils, we want to drink wine while we watch the New York Giants face the undefeated New England Patriots whose fans are apparently Wine Spectator readers.
And if you're reading this, it's a safe bet that that you want that, too.
What to drink with chicken wings
So, what to drink with your Super Bowl food? For the second year in a rowthe WineSpectator. While in we focused on a wide range of foods, this year we searched for wines to complement chicken wings, because, simply put, they're a classic football food. We tried six wines—a Champagne, two Rieslings, a Chardonnay, a red Burgundy and a Zinfandel—with maple barbecue-glazed wings and hot and spicy Buffalo wingsthe kind commonly served in bars with celery sticks and blue cheese. Though there were a few clunkers, most of the wines held their own against the chicken snacks.
Read on for the fulland make sure to check out our recommended wines below. The wine was a reasonably good match with the barbecue wings, with the sweetness of the sauce unaffected by the dryness of the wine, though as associate editor Robert Taylor pointed out, "I suspect a sweeter sparkler would be even more successful.
The wine made a thoroughly successful combination with the spicy wings, each component holding its own against the other, and the wine performing a refreshing, palate-deglazing function against the hot, acidic sauce. Cheese and wine or hot wings beer
Bottom line: A dry, non-vintage wine works well for the spicy wings; those seeking a perfect match for barbecue sauce may want to seek out a semi-dry sparkler. The were mixed for both wing pairings, diverging on matters of personal taste. News editor Eric Arnold found that the flavor and texture of the wine became watery in the face of the barbecue wings, though assistant managing editor Joe Meyerson and your author both thought the fruity wine and the sweet barbecue sauce made an exciting synergistic combination.
The Riesling cut through the spiciness of the hot wing in a way that Arnold found "pleasing" but to Meyerson was "simply unpleasant. We moved on to Dr. Of all the wines we tried, this one "keeps its flavor best with both types of wings," remarked Meyerson.
Arnold agreed, finding it "killer with both wings. The panel unanimously rejected the pairing of the barbecue wing and the wine, for the way that the wine washed out the flavor of the sauce and left what Meyerson called "an awkward, odd-textured experience" in its place.
The wine also did no favors to the hot wing, though the flavors in the wine fought back on the long finish. Bottom line: Skip the Chardonnay on game day.
We agreed that the barbecue wing and the wine did a fairly good, if uninspiring, balancing act, each allowing the other to showcase its strengths. The hot wing and Pinot Noir combination, however, was a dud. Arnold found the pairing "off balance," Meyerson thought that "the sauce makes the wine seem awfully flabby," and Taylor threw down the gauntlet with a succinct, "Nasty.
Fiona beckett | matching food & wine
The final wine of the experiment was Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma Countywhich shows nice red fruit aromas and ripe tannins. The Zin proved a great match for the barbecue wing. Bottom line: A good pick for either variety of wing. If you'd like to make your own chicken wing matches, check our our recommended wines below—and have a great Super Bowl Sunday, no matter which team you're pulling for. On the dry side, this is well-balanced and lively, with a crisp, mouthwatering finish.
Drink now through Tasted twice, with consistent notes. Ends with clean, snappy acidity and tannins.
Drink now. Lively, with a moderately long finish, yet there's also a woolly accent.
Pairing wings and wines
By Laurie Woolever. You Might Also Like Recipes. Julie Harans. Explore Newsletters. Restaurant Search. A full-bodied bubbly, featuring graphite, honey, apricot and toasted brioche flavors.
Rich and assertive, with intense, well-centered blackberry and raspberry fruit that has a pleasant floral and spicy air about it. Toast, pencil shavings, apple and lemon flavors highlight this dry Champagne, which is concentrated, with a creamy texture midpalate before the lean finish kicks in. Light and fragrant, with pretty blackberry and currant fruit shaded with a crisp hint of white pepper, lingering gently. Fresh, briary blackberry and spice aromas lead to jammy, rustic black cherry, plum and charred anise flavors, with a tannic finish.
Ripe and jammy, with appealing pepper and raspberry aromas and supple flavors that take on length and firm tannins on the finish.
Orange, apricot and spice notes feature prominently in this opulent Riesling.