As a Philadelphia native, I was a wee bit excited about the Eagles getting into the Super Bowl. So I’m hosting a Super Bowl party! I figure I have to do cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, even though a naysayer colleague said…nay. But I say nay to that naysayer! Which edges into double negative territory, and that makes me deeply uncomfortable, so moving on.
Because I am a nerd, I have done research on the optimal cut of beef. Most recipes agree that ribeye, sliced extra thin, is preferred. So you hear steak, and you think cab sauv, right? But this is cheesesteak, friends. Topped with melted cheese, and preferably sautéed onions and peppers.
NOTE: I’ll be opting for mild American cheese from the deli counter, not a strong cheddar. And I will not be buying Cheez Whiz, the traditional topping at legendary establishments such as Geno’s or Pat’s Steaks. In my house, “cheese” is a noun, not an adjective, as in “cheese food.” My commitment to authenticity only goes so far.
Cab sauv is going to clash with all of that, as will anything with a lot of oak. But we still need something with a little heft.
A medium to full-bodied red blend is the way to go. In this article from 2012, The Daily Meal recommends Chateau d’Oupia Les Heretiques vin de pays de l’Herault. I just had the 2016 vintage recently along with pâté and loved it! Daily Meal refers to it as “rustic, without a big-ticket pedigree,” and that’s the key. Cycle Buff Beauty, an Australian shiraz/malbec blend, will work well here too. It’s got bold flavor but not so fruity it’ll be weird with everything else going on.
Beer-wise, again I’d probably stay away from anything with floral hops or fruitiness. A nice clean witbier might work here, but again nothing with too much heft. Much as I hate to admit, Sam Adams (gah!) might pair up well.
Also the Philadelphia Inquirer posted this pretty punch recipe that is appropriately and gorgeously green with basil syrup and leaves to garnish. You could make this with basil for this weekend, and change it up with mint for a St. Patrick’s Day or Kentucky Derby Day party!
In conclusion, I leave you with the most Philly thing I can think of: the South Philly Mummers String Band singing and strutting to the Eagles fight song. May the Eagles deflate all of Tom Brady’s hopes!