The Super Bowl is big. No, make that Giant.
It applies to everything: game, bets, audience, tailgate, beverages.
So, to face the festivities with full-bodied choices that will keep you rooting for Big Blue.
Magic Hat Brewing Co. scores with Ravell, a creamy porter that has the added kick of vanilla. It's part of the Magic Hat Winterland Variety Pak, which also includes Howl, the brewer's rich "black as night" lager that has coffee notes. The pack finishes with Encore, a cold-weather IPA; and the year-round refresher No. 9, a pale ale-type. Figure about $17 for the 12-pack.
For a New York brew, try the Rare Vos Amber Ale from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown. The coppery, rich ale is about $8 for a 25-ounce bottle. Or consider the upstate brewery's Belgian Pale Ale, at about $14 a bottle. Blue Point Winter Ale, a Long Islander that will brace you for a long game, is $9 to $10 for a six pack.
The 2008 vintage in Napa Valley deserves a trophy for concentrated, classic cabernet sauvignon. Score early and often with the 2008 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon ($49), 2008 Clos Pegase ($48), 2008 Stag's Leap Cellars 'Artemis' ($55), 2008 J. Davies ($80) and 2008 Hall 'Kathryn Hall' ($90), all memorable, all loaded with red and black fruit.
Intense and ready for action are two big Long Island reds. The 2007 Macari Vineyards Bergen Road ($46), a supple and winning four-grape blend leading with cabernet sauvignon; and the 2010 Bedell Cellars Cabernet Franc ($30), cherry-berry varietal that shows what a star this grape can be on the East End.