Skip to main content Accessibility Help

Your ultimate guide to tailgate food and wine pairings

It's official. A certain football season that we can't legally identify is BACK, baby. Nonetheless, we really Feel Like passing along our excitement.

There's so much to love about this heavily-copyrighted Sunday activity, so this year, we're making sure you non-beer lovers have got the full rundown on what wines to pair with six of those delicious Sunday tailgate foods.

Loaded Nachos

Give us this cheesy goodnesssss. For a heaping plate of 'chos, your best bet for a pairing is a Sauvignon Blanc – consider one from France, like a Sancerre or Fumé Blanc. This cool climate white is usually packed with acidity, green fruit and herbaceous flavors, pairing nicely with the herbs on your plate (if you're not one of those weirdos that is genetically averse to cilantro) and helping to cut through the fattiness of the cheese.

Pulled Pork

Haven't put that smoker you got for Christmas to use yet? It's time, man. If you're slathering your pork in a sweet bbq sauce, your perfect pairing is going to be a Syrah or a Zinfandel. These fuller-bodied reds can stand up to the meat and help to compliment the sweetness of the sauce with their notes of black fruits and spices. Syrah itself even often has a hint of smoked meat flavors, so it'll fit right in.


Whether it's homemade or you're firing up an order from Dominos, you can't go wrong with pizza on game day. Use the phrase “where it grows, it goes" here. Look to varietals that are homegrown in Italy–your classic pizza pairing is really any kind of Italian red. Sangiovese is the most planted varietal in the country and has intense flavors and acidity that are a perfect counterbalance to the cheese and other toppings on your pizza.

Buffalo wings

Ah, wings. The holy grail of football season. If you're someone who plays on the spicier side, you're going to want to look to an off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer. These slightly sweet, aromatic whites help to offset some of the spiciness of the dish, while retaining the flavor of your favorite go-to sauce. If you want to get a little bit more fancy, dry or off-dry sparkling wines are also a killer pairing.


Whether you're making chili con carne or a vegetarian version, we got chu. For the beef iteration, look to richer, fuller-bodied reds that help to cut through that meat – like a Malbec from Argentina or Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. For the veggie version, you can go with a little bit lighter red with some herbaceous or spicier notes to complement all those veggies. Think Cabernet Franc or a lighter red blend like a GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvedrè).

Chip Dip

Ain't no tailgate party without some kind of creamy, cheesy, delicious goodness. If you're whipping up an onion dip, spinach artichoke dip or something completely original, look to an unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay in particular goes great with creamy, buttery dishes.