Four days until America’s biggest unofficial national holiday.
If you host a Super Bowl party, you face super challenges in choosing the right food and drink to bowl over your friends.
You can go tawdry—store-bought dips and chips, tasteless beer, Vienna sausages halved on Town House crackers as your pièce de résistance.
Or maybe you read wine columns and aim higher.
Keep it simple (and affordable in case you whiff on the office pool). Ensure there is enough to last four-plus hours. Go with foods tasty warm or cool that can be eaten with one hand. Lead suggestion: avocado dip and quality chips.
Mash avocados, leave some chunks. Add diced white onion, cilantro, bacon chips, chipotle chili (take out seeds), salt, lime juice (use a press), put plastic wrap on top touching the dip, chill until event begins. Pairs with all libations.
More ideas and wine pairings; Google for recipes:
• Chicken fajitas home-made or take-out made with pinot noir—Kim Crawford Pinot Noir South Island ($17), La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($23), Mark West California Pinot Noir (not great, but $9-11).
• Sausage-and-pepper hero/submarine sandwich with syrah, syrah blend—14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend Columbia Valley ($8-11), Columbia Winery Composition Red Blend ($14), Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Syrah-Shiraz ($15), Michael David 6th Sense Syrah ($16).
• Fingerling papas (Spanish fried potatoes) with Cristalino Brut Cava ($10); cava’s green apple flavors pair with spicy papas.
• Smoky deviled eggs with rosé sparkling. Rosé matches with smoky paprika—Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($10), Gauchezco Malbec Rosé ($14), Las Rocas Rosé ($14), Yellow City Cellars Dead Flowers Rosé (Texas-made $16).
• Crisp, dry riesling and sauvignon blanc pair with most anything—Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley ($10), Indaba Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape ($11), Kendall-Jackson Riesling Monterey County ($12), Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($14), Selby Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($16), Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Napa Valley ($20).
Last round: Drank a lot wine with friends while watching the game. Fortunately, I have a hangover. If I woke up and nothing hurt and my head was crystal clear, I would worry that I was dead and would look around for flames or clouds and harps.
Email Gus at email@example.com. Follow tasting notes on Twitter @gusclemens. Website: gusclemens.com. Facebook: Gus Clemens on Wine.