On Wine and the Super Bowl

I'm fond of telling people that Christmas and New Year's are the Super Bowl of wine sales. By contrast, the Super Bowl is more like the Arbor Day of the wine business. Plenty of desperate appeals begin to appear in magazines around this time of year, suggesting a place for wine at the feast. But I don't buy it. Football is America, and America's wine culture, even with 200 or so years behind it, is simply not ready for primetime. As for the whole somm pastime of pairing wines with teams, or cities, or chicken wings, the whole thing seems to me to be, like Secretary of State John Kerry, rather French.

But say you are French. And you got invited to a Super Bowl party. What would you do, beyond being disgusted? For certain, you'd bring your own wine, because you wouldn't rely on an Americain sensibility to choose a festive bottle. So here's what's in your chic French wine sac, come Super Sunday.

First off, something bubbly, because there has to be something to cut through all that cheese. Ideally, brut, not just because the drier the better when it comes to nachos, but because, well, what's more brut-al than football?

Then you'll want something to drink while you're in the kitchen trying find something not completely revolting to eat. That nice plate of dried sausage was chopped up and dumped into Rotel dip before you could even grab a slice. Someone seems to have brought some fruit salad. So white wine it is. Because all the women who are hanging out in the kitchen are drinking white.

Finally it's halftime, which is the signal for everyone in the house who isn't watching the game to report to the television and take an interest. Musical guests at Super Bowl 50 include Beyonce. So you will definitely want a red. Something full-bodied. Rhone Syrah? Ooh la-la!

Depending on what kind of non-French friends you have, you may be at the kind of Super Bowl where people are just there to "watch the ads." You should have pinot noir for these people. Incisive fruit and supple tannins will pair nicely with their eyewear.

Is there still another half to be played? Alors. At this point, you will want to bring out the big guns. Bordeaux. And cigarettes. Both should pair well with the recliner you found in the next room and a stack of old New Yorkers.