Ah, the Super Bowl.
That much anticipated spectacle of man-on-man smashing, machismo and (for some inexplicable reason) Coldplay is right on our doorsteps. There will be fireworks (because ‘Murka). There will be hordes of marketeers and merchandisers attempting to sell you literally everything (because ‘Murka). There will be big hits, raucous celebration, joy and elation, victory, loss and utter dejectedness (because ‘Murka dammit).
There will be a performance by an English band whose hackneyed, soft and mildly introspective brand of pop makes a lot of sense when you consider that the shy and spindly man who leads them named his kid Apple? Oh.
But most importantly, there will be hot wings. (Editor’s note: The subsequent paragraph consists only of the exclamation ‘hot wings!’ )
Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings! Hot wings!
Moving on, the lifeblood of any good Superbowl viewing party is the hot wing… and while you may be tempted to slosh back a few cans of the brand of watery lager that rented the NFL for the day, we urge you to reconsider. When it comes to going toe to toe with spice, wine has no peers. So ditch the Whatever Lite, say goodbye to bloating and hello to six styles of wine that will make your wings sing.
Dry Bubbly, baby
The key to putting out an in-mouth spice fire is drying it all out. A super dry Cava (look for the words ‘Brut’ or ‘Brut Nature’ on the label) is failproof when it comes to fried stuff. Plus, all that effervescence will play real nice with the tingly spice vibes your wings shall provide. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
German and Austrian winemakers are known for churning out some of the sharpest, most controlled, crispy “cool weather” wines in the world. A wunderbar Grüner (affectionately known as Grü-Vee) will come with a strong kick of acidity, green and grassy fruit flavors and an understated dryness. In other words, Grüner is the most refreshing thing you can do to your mouth. This will allow you to eat each wing as if it were your first.
Though it has built up a reputation as sort of a basic bitch, a great SB is a perfect companion for wings of the hot variety. Why? It’s acidic, dry, citric and comes with a hint of something tropical (think pink grapefruit). It doesn’t have the “oral restart” power a Riesling or Grüner does, but makes up for it with all that spice-fighting tropical fruit.
Could there be a better wine for Superbowl weekend than brosé? If you stick with something on the drier and slightly more acidic side, you can’t go wrong. Many view rosé as a strictly for summer kind of drink, but they’re pretty much wrong. As sort of a hybrid of a red and white wine, rosé captures the refreshing kick that white wine often provides while also offering up some of the depth and tannin of a red- the kind of flavors that’ll take on those wings. The great news is that rosé also comes in sparkling form, and we can’t really say enough about the virtues of mixing bubbly with wings.
Hold on, you say, red wine with chicken? Isn’t that against the laws of man, Robert Parker and the Baby Jesus? Not really, it’s actually a great match. Zweigelt comes primarily from Germany and Austria, meaning it’s got that cool weather vibe to it: acidic, very balanced, lower in alcohol and tannin and not particularly big bodied. A big ole red like a Zinfandel would blow up multiply that wing spice by 1,000, but this grape is a cool customer that provides tons of refreshment and juicy fruit flavors without overwhelming. Drink it cool if you want to be cool.