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Party like a pro: Quick tips for a spectacular Super Bowl party

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Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 7:30 am

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and it’s time for the sports party of the year.

Whether you’ve been looking forward to the football showdown since the season started, or you’ve decided at the last minute that you want to throw an amazing Super Bowl bash, we’ve got you covered.

Read on for party tips, recipes, games, weird trivia, wine pairings (yes, really), where to grab last-minute snacks or find fellow fans, and more.

THE GAME

When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday (6:30 p.m. EST)

TV channel: Fox

Location: NRG Stadium in Houston, home of the Texans.

Teams: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots have gone to eight Super Bowls and won four; their last win was two years ago. This is the Falcons’ second trip to the big game; they lost to the Broncos in 1999.

QUICK PARTY TIPS

  • Get drinks in individual cans and bottles, and keep Sharpie markers handy. That way, people can label their drinks and keep better track. Just be sure to recycle!
  • Have plenty of ice on hand. It’s always better to have more than you think you’ll need.
  • Have a variety of snacks, not just meaty favorites. Even for carnivores, some veggies and dip is a nice change of pace between the meatball course and the party sub course. A few kid-friendly finger foods are a good idea for the under-12 set.
  • Put snacks on a table or counter away from the TV. That way, no one blocks the game while refilling their plate with wings. And make sure there’s an easy path between seating areas and buffet.
  • Have stuff to do aside from the game. Kids may not be interested, and most people will be grateful for something to do — whether trivia or Super Bowl Squares — during those long timeouts. Be sure to have coloring books and crayons, board games, and maybe a ping-pong or air hockey table set up for kids.
  • It may seem obvious, but make sure the TV is working and can tune in to Fox before Super Bowl Sunday.

THE HALFTIME SHOW

Lady Gaga, who sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl L, will return to the stage for half time this year. Though the dance hits superstar was known for bizarre costumes in the past, she’s reinvented herself with a more casual, rocker style since the release of her 2016 album “Joanne.” Still, a few costume changes are likely.

She’s given few clues to which singles her performance will include, but she told Entertainment Weekly she hopes the NFL audience will like “Joanne.”

THE DRINKS

It wouldn’t be a Lodi party without some Lodi wine. BevMo! chief wine buyer Bill Hayes shared a few local suggestions, complete with his tasting notes, to pair with your party foods.

Guacamole and chips

Brand: Michael David’s Petite Petit, a blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot

Tasting Notes: Rich-style red wine with plenty of fruit screams for avocado — big and bold style, showing massive amounts of blueberry and dark plum flavors with a wonderful spice in the end; smooth and sleek on the palate and finish; great texture and depth. Outstanding wine.

Pizza

Brand: Oak Ridge OVZ Zinfandel

Tasting Notes: Rich youthful color; slightly sweet aromas with layers of baking spice, raspberry and blackcherry; medium bodied on the palate with a noticeable amount of pepper spice and raspberry fruit; long and lingering in the finish; screaming for a sausage and pepperoni pizza.

Hero Sandwich

Brand: Gen 5 Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: The Gen 5 Chardonnay offers a bright lively texture on the palate; green apple, pear and melon notes; crisp and balanced with a long clean finish. Great value!

Buffalo Wings

Brand: Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel, if the wings have a barbecue sauce

Tasting Notes: Very dark ruby almost purple color; ripe aromas with layers of raspberry, cherry and vanilla spice; full bodied on the palate with deep concentration of black fruits, very nice texture, balance with smooth tannins and a long finish.

Brand: Sand Point Sauvignon Blanc, if the wings are spicy

Tasting Notes: Fresh and fragrant Sauvignon Blanc that opens with honeydew melon and Meyer lemon aromas; bright, citrus-melon and juicy flavors; well integrated fruit and acid with cut through the spice and pair nicely with the wings

— Source: Bill Hayes, BevMo!

THE SPREAD

Whether you need a dish to bring to a friend’s house, you forgot to make enough wings, or you just have a hankering for some Italian food, there are a few places in Lodi where you can boost your buffet game. Be sure to order ASAP to ensure you’ll have snacks on hand when the game starts.

De Vinci’s Delicatessen & Catering

220 S. Church St., 209-334-3234

De Vinci’s will close early on Sunday, but they are taking orders for the morning. Last pick-up will be at 2 p.m. While appetizers needed to be ordered farther in advance, raviolis are still available and make a great choice for game food, staff said.

Buffalo Wild Wings

1537 Lower Sacramento Road, Suite 110, 209-365-1693

Buffalo Wild Wings has a menu full of ideas for large take-out orders. With the $29.99 bundle package, customers can order a large traditional wings (20 count) or boneless wings (24 count) along with two appetizers. Customers should make sure to order early, though, staff said. The store can only cook a certain number of wings at one time, so if same-day orders are made on Super Bowl Sunday, you may have to pick them up later than you’d like. All Super Bowl Sunday orders will need to be made by phone or in-store, not online.

Wingstop

2640 Reynolds Ranch Parkway, Suite 100, 209-339-9464

Wings are always a really big seller, staff at Wingstop said. To avoid a long wait, they recommend ordering ahead and pre-paying. Prepaid customers can jump the line and go directly to pick-up once their order is ready. Wingstop recommends ordering early so you don’t have to leave your party mid-play, but if you do wait until the last minute, the game will be on the restaurant’s TVs.

Plenty of pizza!

Pizza is another game day favorite, and Lodi has plenty of options for delivery and carry-out. Get your order in before they’re booked:

PARTY GAMES

Super Bowl Commercial Bingo

Even if you’re a dedicated football fan, Super Bowl commercials can be fun. Add some Bingo cards, and they can get a little competitive, too. Just be sure that your guests know it only counts if it’s in a commercial! Anything seen or heard during the game doesn’t count.

Squares can range from brand names to items like “a horse” or “singing and dancing.” Make your own, or find some pre-made, printable cards at www.playpartyplan.com/super-bowl-games-bingo.

Super Bowl Squares

Football squares brings a little competitive betting fun to the game. Guests can purchase a square, and winners are determined by the score at the end of each quarter. To find out how to lay out a grid and the rules, head over to www.footballsquares.net.

Paper Football

This is a good way to pass the time during timeouts. First, make a paper football. Find simple instructions at www.paperfootballzone.com. Then, set a card table or coffee table as your “field” — just make sure it’s a drink- and snack-free zone.

Flick the paper ball so that it lands close to the edge of the table without falling off. At least part of the paper football must be hanging over the edge for it to count as a touchdown.

Then, have a buddy hold their hands like a goal post slightly above the table’s surface. The ball must go between their fingers to count as a field goal.

End Zone Dance Contest

Whenever a team makes a touchdown or a field goal, everyone gets up and dance until the game starts back up again. A judge can choose the winner, who gets to judge the next dance-off — or have any kids at the party take turn judging the dancers.

Pin the Football on the Field Goal

Cut out football shapes, then attach loops of Scotch tape to the back. Make a “field goal” out of masking tape on a nearby wall. Blindfold your guests, give them a spin, and have them try to get their football between the goalposts, “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” style.

Football Trivia

It’s easy to find all sorts of factoids about the Patriots and Falcons, the game in general, Super Bowls from the past, and even Lady Gaga (for example, where did she get her name?) Test your friends during breaks.

NO PARTY? NO PROBLEM

If planning a party seems like too much work, here are a few places in Lodi where you can enjoy a cool beverage, some snacks, and the game with fellow football fans:

  • Garry’s Lounge: 13 S. School St., 209-333-9794
    Game on three TVs. Complimentary snacks, $2 pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon, $13 pitchers of Guinness.

  • McGuire’s on Elm Street: 27 W. Elm St., 209-339-4747
    Half-off appetizers, $3 for Guinness and Killian’s draft beer.

  • Ollie’s Pub: 22 N. School St., 209-333-9933
    Tailgate-themed party with the game on TV. There will be a cornhole tournament, finger foods and more.

  • Stooges: 105 W. Pine St., 209-368-7499
    Drink specials, roast turkey and buffet for paying customers.

  • Stadium Sportsbar: 116 W. Turner Road Suite D, 209-366-2815
    Complimentary tri-tip and pasta with a drink, raffle giveaways (prizes include a golf package) and smaller giveaways during the game.

  • Stogies Cigar Lounge: 230 W. Pine St., 209-334-5764
    Party starting at 2:30 p.m., catered from Habanero Hots, raffles during the game, drink specials.

  • Vintage Sports Grill: 117 N. Sacramento St., 209-912-9488
    Hot dogs and chili (complimentary for paying customers), drink specials.

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