Gary Vaynerchuk on Today Show for Super Bowl Wines

I woke up early this morning, grabbed my vitamins and water, and turned on the Today Show to find Gary Vaynerchuk giving out his Super Bowl wine picks.  This comes a day after I gave out my Chicagoland available wines and favorite carryout/delivery spots for pizza, wings and chili.  Needless to say, I'm always interested in what @garyvee has to say about pairings, plus he's pretty entertaining to watch.  So here's what dishes were picked and what to pair with them:

First, they started off with chicken wings, which Gary paired with an Albariño, which is a grape varietal used in northwest Spain to make white wines with high acidity, low alcohol (great for spicy dishes) and possessing peachy flavor.  I like this pick, but I think Alsatian varietals like Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc or Riesling would work better, a rosé wine or even a New Zealand Pinot Noir. 

They then went to pizza, and Gary pulled out a Touriga Nacional, a varietal grown in Portugal and normally used to make port, but in recent times makes colossal wines from the Douro.  These wines have a large structure and tannins so it could be a good pairing, but I like reds that match well with the tomato sauce.  Italian reds like those made from Montepulciano, Sangiovese or Piedirosso varietals work great with tomatoes because of their bright acidity and cherry flavors. 

Lastly, the focus went to sausage and peppers (and I am a HUGE fan), which Gary paired with Cava, a sparkling wine made in Spain, normally out of three indigenous varietals, Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo.  I've always been a huge advocate of sparkling wines being a go-to for almost any pairing, but I will have to travel back to Italy and grab either a Super Tuscan, which normally has better tannins to go with the oily sauce and sweet peppers, or Aglianico from just outside of Napoli in the south.

Most of these wines can be found for $15 or under, which is great.  Gary has some great picks on his online store, Wine Library, or if you live in Chicagoland, just check out my Best Buys, travel to your local wine shop and grab a few bottles.  And enjoy your Super Bowl!