Rams Fan? Wine Choices Abound for Big Game Food-Pairing Partners

Unlike the Cincinnati Bengals, the Los Angeles Rams were among the pre-season favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. And now, they have.

If you’ve decided to root for the Rams during the big game, your wining-and-dining choices range from traditional to ethnic — and both we’re about to suggest involve dipping.

Philippe’s restaurant in downtown Los Angeles helped put the French Dip sandwich on the culinary map. The sandwiches are assembled on the spot by the person who takes the order and are served either dry or dipped in au jus. Of the 3,000 or so French Dips sold each day, probably six are not dipped. Seriously, the au jus is that good.

Philippe’s offers six different types of French Dips — beef, lamb, pastrami, pork, turkey and ham. And each calls out for a different wine-pairing partner. A few ideas:

* With beef — Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

* With lamb — A rich, buttery Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

* With pastrami — Syrah or Chianti Classico.

* With pork — Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

* With turkey — Riesling or Beaujolais.

* With ham — A rosé-style wine or sparkling wine.

Mexican culture also informs the cuisine of Los Angeles, and birria tacos are coveted by locals and visitors alike.

Hailing for Jalisco, birria is a stew of beef, garlic, thyme and spices. The tacos are made by dipping tortillas in fat, filling them with birria meat and placing the tortillas on a griddle to fry. They’re served with the consommé from the stew for dipping.

Now it may seem incongruous to recommend a German Riesling as a wine-pairing partner for a birria taco… but it works.

Other inspired choices would be a couple of wines from Chile: Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot. That’s right, birria tacos can be enjoyed with both white and red wines.

The Rams are favored to win the Super Bowl, so if that makes a difference as far as which team you plan to root for — and what you decide to eat and drink on February 13 — now you have a culinary roadmap.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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