What Wine to Serve at a Football Party
By Marie Gorbenko Published January 2022
Ready to score a touchdown with your Big Game party spread, or do you still need a few pointers for the kickoff? Much has changed since the very first Big Game in 1967, yet one thing remains the same— enjoying the big game at home. Sidelining with friends and family with winning game day eats and drinks deserves as much hype as the teams. Before you reach for that traditional football watch party beer - consider taking your celebration to the next level by offering a wine selection that’s perfect for game day. While food and wine pairings usually take a lot of patience, football wine doesn’t need to take center stage in your feast of snacks. Choosing wine for the big day is less about the art of pairing and more about having a nice food-friendly glass of red or white to sip in the background while most of the attention remains on the screen. Here are ABC wine expert Nathan Dale and Paul Quaglini’s picks for game changing football party wines that are sure to make everyone’s roster. Wine for the win!
Originating in a wine region in the northwest of Portugal – Vera Vinho Verde is made from a variety of local indigenous grapes. It’s a young wine with a light effervescence that’s bright, fresh and uncomplicated. The ideal wine to pair with an endless variety of salty, game day foods, like chips and savory snacks. It also has a low alcohol content, so it is a safe option for a three-hour game where you don’t want to go too far into the red zone with the libations.
This dry lambrusco is a fantastic food wine. The tangy acidity and flirty fizz cuts through fatty foods like a knife and leaves your mouth salivating for that next bite of pizza or spicy sausage. Since football party foods tend to steer toward wings and salami, this zesty and refreshing, low alcohol wine is an excellent Italian companion to those pizza bites.
Zinfandel is a grape known for richness, mild sweetness and great ease of pairing with barbeque. It complements bolder flavors and will go with almost every finger food you can think to dish or serve up. Its continuing popularity lies in its fruit driven, deep, and sometimes slightly smokey flavor profile. This Sourced & Certified option is our wine expert’s top pick.
While you might associate a slam dunk with basketball, if you’ve ever watched Rob Gronkowski spike the football after catching another touchdown pass from Tom Brady - then Slamdunk is your wine! A big, bold, juicy blend of zinfandel and petite sirah, it’s a fun and flavorful label to serve with those spicy wings.
What’s arguably the best wine to pair with football? A wine made by a football player! Former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers and Raiders, Charles Woodson, created Intercept Wines as the perfect game day companions. With four delicious options to choose from, there’s a bottle for every taste and every game. Want to add a spirit to your mix? Add his bourbon, Woodson Bourbon Whiskey, to your line up for game day.