Pair it Up! Super Bowl Edition

After reading Jake’s post about Pistachio Dip last week, I had dips on the brain. And then as talk of deflated balls started to hit social media, I got to thinking about the big spectacle coming this Sunday — the Super Bowl.

Specifically, I got to thinking about my favourite part of watching the Super Bowl — the eating and drinking. And in keeping with Jake’s dip focus, I thought about a couple of my favourite classic, old-school Super Bowl dips, and the wines that might work with them.

First up is the original fiesta of flavour. You know it, you love it — the seven-layer dip. Connoisseurs of fine Tex-Mex fare will already have their secret tweaks to this classic stacked dip, which typically features refried beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, olives, lettuce, etc.

Alison Ladman of the Associated Press has blown up the classic, pulling together two completely unique seven-layer bean dips for your tortilla chips based on the two teams that made the Super Bowl — The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

The Patriots dip includes barbecued pork tenderloin, baked beans, sautéed apples, bacon and cheese. For this guy, try something red that’s not too tannic, but that brings juicy red berry notes and a touch of smokiness — the EastDell 2012 Gamay Noir from Niagara Peninsula should do the trick.

The Seahawks dip, meanwhile, offers crab meat, smoked mussels, purple cabbage and caramelized onions, amongst other ingredients — quite a different animal than the Patriots dip. You’ll want to go west to support the Seahawks, and there are plenty of options from B.C. for both red and white wine fans.

But the killer under-the-radar pairing here is a dry rosé like the Haywire 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé. The bright berry notes are bone-dry, and the acidity and very light tannin combine to give this pink wine some backbone. It’s definitely a food-friendly wine, and with the seafood component to the Seahawks dip this will be a slam-dunk… er, touchdown.

Next up is the quintessential dip in that iconic pumpernickel bread bowl — the spinach dip. Your basic spinach dip is spinach and some sort of dairy product: cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, etc.

Food & Wine’s Spicy Spinach Dip with Pine Nuts takes things in a different direction, using Greek-style yogurt and adding pine nuts, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne and more.

Wine-wise, the heat and texture of this dip calls for a touch of sweetness as well as acidity. The Ridge Road Estate Winery 2013 Riesling brings the sweetness/acidity balance nicely, with plenty of stone fruit, fresh citrus and some red apple.


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.

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