Wine With…Chili


by Paul Lukacs and Marguerite Thomas



A big pot of chili is always simmering on the stove at our neighborhood Super Bowl get-together.  And while lots of folks drink beer with it, plenty of others opt for wine.  So with the big game just around the corner, we wanted to find out which wines pair best with this always popular football treat.

 Since a Super Bowl party is apt to draw a crowd, affordability played a part in our choice of wines to try for this edition of “Wine With. . .”  We sampled fourteen, all with suggested retail prices under $20 a bottle.  And to keep everything wine-friendly, we intentionally made our chili on the fairly mild side–with some heat, but nothing tear-inducing.  We served it with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocados.  Then we popped the corks and got down to work.


In the past, we’ve only paired red wines with chili.  Since some of our neighbors prefer whites, we made sure to include a couple in this line-up.  One, a South African Chenin Blanc, proved too light, but we were pleasantly surprised by how well a lush but balanced New World Chardonnay performed.  The key wasn’t just its rich character, but also its focus, as no single element (wood, fruit, acid, etc.) seemed out of place with the food.  Much the same proved true of the reds.  The wines that matched best came from different places and were made with different grapes, but they all impressed us with their harmony, balance, and structure. 

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Award Winning Black Bean n’ Pumpkin Chili


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).



Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 192 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 658 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 16 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 very lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Black Bean ‘n’ Pumpkin Chili published in Taste of Home October/November 2008, p39 and available for viewing online.