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January 29, 2014 | Matt Mills

5 Wine Pairings for the Super Bowl

I couldn't argue that beer, brats, chips and pizza have not been the tried and true approach to Super Bowl Sunday since the era of Lombardi.  Overindulgence pairs beautifully with the emotional highs and lows of America's favorite sporting event. But I might argue that maybe just once... just forthis Sunday... you can turn your all day eat and drink fest into a five course event with wine pairing that could earn your home its own Michelin star.

So call an audible and raid the wine rack. Omaha! Omaha! Omaha!

First Quarter: Sauvignon Blanc and Spinach Dip

Oft overlooked by even the most ardent vinophiles, starting with a glass of white wine is a great primer for your palate.  A great Napa Valley Sauv Blanc (or perhaps a Spanish Verdejo or Burgundy Chablis) can exhibit limited dryness, moderate to high acid content and crispness to help cut thru the creaminess and richness of your spinach dip.

Second Quarter: Pinot Noir and Lamb Kebabs

Old World or New World, Pinot Noir is a wine grape that still favors a higher acid profile thus making it a perfect match-up for lighter cuisine. Nothing like the taste of terroir and lighter red fruit with the dry spices and smokiness of kebabs.

Third Quarter: Syrah and Buffalo Wings

The heat on the glaze coupled with blue cheese and the chicken make a dream pairing for Syrah.  While not always possessing the body, dryness and power of a Cabernet, Syrah (and Zins for that matter) have always been a favorite pairing for the grill for how they exhibit supple tannin, rich fruit, and spices like pepper.

Fourth Quarter: Cabernet and Burgers

And now finally you can pop that Cab you've been sitting on... The classic pairing of Cabernet (and Cab-based blends) and red meat.  If you followed the gameplan then your palate should have no problem enjoying the tannin, fruit and oak of your bottle against the sweetness of the grilled onions, texture of the lettuce, coolness of the tomato and juiciness of the patty.

Post Game Wrap-Up: Champagne

Your team wins or loses. You win or lose your office squares game.  You're still upset your team didn't make it to the Big Game (even though it was obvious the refs should have called intentional grounding, roughing the kicker and a turnover... all in the same game).  As Napoleon observed: "In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it."

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