Expert Super Bowl Party Tips | Wine Enthusiast
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Expert Super Bowl Party Tips

On February 7, the NFL will host the landmark Super Bowl 50 (minus the fancy Roman numerals this year). Dubbed the Golden Super Bowl because of the anniversary (you may have noticed the gold 50-yard-line numbers used this season), it’s also being played in the Golden State—Santa Clara, to be exact. It’s the perfect opportunity to invite some of your favorite friends over, pull together an assortment of California wines and throw a Super Bowl party that everyone will be talking about for the next 50 years.

Pregame Warm-Up

Take a look at your guest list. Are your friends more charcuterie and crudité or happier with Buffalo wings and nachos? Once you’ve sorted that out, plan on making appetizers yourself or ordering them from a specialty supermarket or gourmet store. Pull out your largest serving platters and dishes, and if you happen to have a large football-shaped dish, now’s the time to dust it off.

Choose Your Teams

Let’s face it, not everybody wants to watch the game. If your home is big enough, set up the party in two different areas so that disinterested friends won’t interrupt the serious game-watchers, or vice versa. Plan two platters of each dish, one for each room.

Kick Off

Get the party started by offering your guests a glass of their favorite California wine. A sparkling wine always sets a festive mood—J Vineyards’ NV Cuvée 20 Brut is a terrific choice. Cover all your bases (yeah, we know, wrong sport) by serving Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the Golden State. Look for bottles like Dry Creek Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc, Buena Vista’s Carneros Chardonnay, and Firestone’s Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Ynez Valley. For a lighter red, our draft pick is The Calling’s Pinot Noir: Jim Nantz, who will call the game for CBS, is a co-owner of the brand.

Building the Franchise

At halftime, bring your teams together with a build-your-own sandwich bar. Have a variety of breads and rolls, cheese, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and condiments arranged in a central location. Cook a fresh roast beef and a herb-roasted turkey breast and serve them warm. Hand your best carving knife to your loudest friend and tell him or her to get to work.

Sweet Victory

Regardless of who wins the game, everyone loves a cupcake for dessert. Frost half of them in each team’s colors so no one is disappointed. Remember to set up a big pot of coffee when there’s 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter—there’s at least half an hour for it to brew before the game is really over.