If you haven't scored tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, send out the invites and host your own Super Bowl party. Good Latin party food tends to be spicy food - we think this is why event organizers tapped the Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform at halftime - so it's with gratitude that football viewing parties have moved beyond the pizza and beer of our dorm room days and into an era wherein said spicy foods can be served alongside sophisticated wines without anyone claiming party foul.
Put out a spread that includes spicy chicken wings, nachos, pulled pork sliders, Mexican pizza, and, of course, tacos. Bring on big, bold red wines that can stand up to heat, spice, and the thrill of the biggest game of the year. Our hottest tips: Use a heat diffuser or chafing dish to keep your Super Bowl party foods warm, refill throughout the evening, and have plenty of backup on the wine!
As to wine pairings, one of our go-to grapes for traditionally spicy Super Bowl party foods is Syrah, which also goes by the name Shiraz. In general, wines made from this grape tend to be fruity and have some spice or black pepper flavor, so they pair well with mouth-searing food.
Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2011 (left), from Australia, is a juicy wine with lush flavors of blackberry and blueberry and notes of clove and violet. Nice tannins will hold up to well-marbled meat, and bright acidity makes for a refreshing finish.
Thelema Mountain Red 2011 is produced in Stellenbosch, South Africa. A blend of Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, and Cabernet Franc, it's full and fruit-forward on the palate, with flavors of black plum, cherry, and freshly ground pepper.
Emiliana Coyam 2010 (left) from Chile is made with Syrah, Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, and Petit Verdot. Coyam is the Mapuche word for oak, and this wine benefits from 13 months in oak barrels. Generous flavors of mixed berry preserves, white chocolate, and caramel makes this a good choice when rich foods are on the table.
Next, top Zinfandels to round out the spread...