Buffalo wings! An impossible food-wine pairing


Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, a giantly patriotic dish showcasing American innovation: Buffalo wings!

Is it impossible to pair wings with wine? You make the call! (And don’t forget the blue cheese dip.)

Related: “Betting wine for football.”
Impossible food-wine pairings: chips and salsa!
UPDATE: Thanks, Mark, for pointing out the “classic” wine pairing!
Image: istockphoto.com

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29 Responses to “Buffalo wings! An impossible food-wine pairing”

  1. Beer! and given the time of year (its Imperial IPA season) Troeg’s Nugget Nectar or Bell’s Hopslam would do wonderfully, though something with a bit tamer profile might be a more reasonable bet.

  2. Bonny Doon Vin Gris — or a Zinfandel (Ridge, Rosenblum, JC Cellars) — Zin is an all-american, buffalo wing kind of wine……….

  3. I’m with Saul. But if wine it must be, then how about a nice chewy Syrah.

  4. I’d go with a party wine. Go with Lambrusco. The sweetness will let you spice it up, and it will not ignore the blue cheese. Wings and a chilled red. Think about it.

  5. Personally I like a nice crisp white with wings…I’d say a Sauvignon Blanc, I like that it chills the spice out, refreshes my palate, and still works with the blue cheese for me. I’m loving the ones from Chile and South Africa these day.

  6. Mmmmmmmm……. Nugget Nectar, I agree, a nice hoppy zippy IPA is perfect with spicy buffalo wings. Also a good Riesling Kabinett like Leitz Dragonstone, or even a Spanish Rose, fruitier and a bit off dry. I used to say a big spicy Zin, but I’m so tired of the monstrous abv levels.

  7. I like either a Guinness or an IPA with wings (my 2nd favorite food of all-time) but I like the Zin idea. I’ll try that out next time.

  8. What about a gewurtzraminer? Spice with spice, no?

  9. gewurtztraminer that is. Tough one to spell…

  10. I’ve tried a number of different wine pairings and the best one I come up with is…..Beer.

  11. Bob W –

    Hysterical! Very well played.

  12. prosecco could be nice too!

  13. Riesling. It’s a strange pairing, but think about it. After putting down “fire-breather” level wings, a cool, tart, mouth-coating riesling will put the fire out.
    Check out our review for the 2005 “Bunny” Riesling.

  14. This is an easy one: A bottle of Dom Perignon. The folks at Hooters have been selling this for years. Seriously:

    Bleu Cheese or Ranch Dressing & Celery or Carrots
    Extra Bleu Cheese, Ranch, or Sauce

    Personally I prefer a Bollinger 95 with my wings.

  15. Sparkling, definitely. The bubbles and acids cut through the fat and cool the spice leaving a fresh, clean aftertaste.

  16. Mark – wow, what a gem!! How could that piece of delicious Americana not have come to our attention earlier? And I’m sure you go to Hooters for the wings, of course…

    If I had to pair wine n wings (have never tried and it’s not because I don’t like wine), I think sweet is the way to go with this spice. Cava perhaps? Off-dry riesling would most likely be a good pick but don’t overdo it on the price…

  17. First, I absolutely love that everyone seems to have a different take on this one! I’m personally inclined to go with a zin, too — I don’t know if it’s more about the pairing itself or the fact that an American wine (well, sort of) seems like the most appropriate choice on this, the holiest day of football. I was initially thinking sparkling, too, but would be a little hesitant if the wings were really spicy just because of how extreme spice and fizz interact (think: pain!). But hey, if it’s good enough for Hooters, who am I to second-guess? 🙂

  18. […] are posts by Dr. Vino on matching wine with Buffalo wings and and chips and […]

  19. Being from Buffalo originally, it’s my goal in life to make a wine that pairs perfectly with Buffalo wings. Hopefully next year by this time it will be a reality. It’s going to take alot of wing eating and wine drinking though in the meantime.

  20. The fierier the wings, the more I want Riesling.

  21. I just had a wine that I think would pair perfectly with hot wings; Hazlitt Red Cat. It’s a party wine, no doubt. A blend of braco noir and catawba, it’s sweet enough to balance the fire, and got enough fruit to match the sauce. For a bonus, it’s from Canadagua, in the Finger Lakes, not far from the home of Buffalo wings…

  22. If you must do a red…maybe a German Dornfelder. I like the Lambrusco idea, but I have to agree Beer is best with wings!

  23. Wings + Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin=soul mates (Try it with BBQ, too)…

  24. I tried Champagne and Cava with Buffalo wings and it was a total disaster. It was painful. I think the carbonation in the wine amplifies the heat on the wings. I’d try a flat, off-dry wine to relieve some of that heat. Never tried it with White Zin but who knows, maybe those two culinary/viticultural wonders may be the perfect match! 🙂

  25. For some reason, a Dessert Catawba wine pairs great with bleu cheese dressing and mild wings for me. Maybe its the sweetness and how it has less carbonation. I agree with Diablito that the carbonation increases the intensity of the “heat” from the wings.

    I’ve only tried one brand with my wings, and that is my local winery’s Dessert Wine.


  26. […] we need to pair this viewing with some food. Since we have previously tackled wings and chips and salsa, this time we round out the viewing with something heartier: seven layer […]

  27. Demi-Sec Vouvray! Acidity to cut the rich dressing and fat, sweetness to balance the heat. Of course, Spätlese Riesling would work as well for the same reasons.

    That being said, IPAs are the way to go, right?

    Enjoy the Super Bowl!

  28. I think the regional pairing is best. Pair it with some of the sickly sweet Niagara wines they have around here, goes nicely with the really hot wing sauce. Maybe…

  29. […] food-wine pairings.” So, from the archives, here they are: * Chips and Salsa * Buffalo wings * Seven-layer dip * […]


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