|Sommelier Kerrie O'Brien shares her Super Bowl wine picks|
Overall, O’Brien recommends that you stick to bubbles, low alcohol whites and light bodied, high acid reds – wines that won’t overwhelm the palate. “The game is long, so you have to keep your palate fresh for the long haul.”
Chips and Salsa
When eating something salty, look for a wine with a little sweetness to balance it out. (Think chocolate-covered pretzels.) O’Brien is a big fan of Brooklyn’s Red Hook Winery Riesling from the Finger Lakes, and notes the “nice apple and pear fruit, but great acidity.”
For a dish with a lot of competing flavors, O’Brien looks for a wine with complexity, like a Spanish white. Her go-to white is the López de Heredia Vina Gravonia, which she praises for its nice acidity and complex “pear skin and nutty” flavors.
To balance the spice, opt for something fruit-focused, like a Vouvray or a Montlouis-sur-Loire. Looking to save? One of O’Brien’s favorite “good value” wines is the Pierre Boniface Apremont. “It’s clean as a whistle, has some nice orchard fruit, but it’s cool mountain air in a glass with great acidity. It gives you a little bit of fruit but finishes really clean.”
For heavy seasonings like barbecue, you need a wine that can stand up to the spice without being alcoholic or tannic. Franck Balthazar Côte Du Rhône does just that. “It has a great prickle on the tongue that keeps the palate alive, and has really nice, wild garrigue notes.”
“When I want a nice, spicy, floral red, I go for Sicilian Reds,” says O’Brien. The Graci Etna Rosso, a Nerello Mascalese, is “super floral, really aromatic, has a nice mineral streak and finishes with a really good palate cleansing acidity.”
When eating anything fried, turn to sparkling wine. “It’s refreshing, like a palate cleanser,” says O’Brien. She suggests trying bubbles from outside of Champagne, such as the Tissot Cremant du Jura.