9 Takeout Food and Wine Pairings
From pizza to Pad Thai, enjoy great wine with takeout food.
Most of us enjoy the occasional night in with takeout food. You may go for pizza on the coffee table, a buffet of little white Chinese food boxes, or a line of foil-wrapped tacos. It’s a guilty pleasure that we all enjoy. However, it can be difficult to find a wine to pair with these takeout foods. Just thinking about the tasting notes in Buffalo wings can make the head spin. How do you find a wine pairing for that?
Luckily, we’re here to help. We have great ideas for pairing wine with your favorite takeout foods, from pizza to Pad Thai. After all, what’s the point of takeout food, if you can’t find a complementary wine?
In general, follow the same rules you know for food and wine pairings. Robust red wines go well with meaty dishes (like burgers). Sweet wines balance out the heat in spicy foods. And, always pick a wine that you know you’ll love to drink.
For the best takeout food and wine pairings, see our list below. These ideas will also work well for homemade versions of these dishes. If you make your own General Tso’s Chicken, go ahead and grab a bottle of chilled Chardonnay!
Takeout Food and Wine Pairings
Cabernet Sauvignon is a great red wine choice for a big, juicy burger. If you only like white wines, then Chardonnay will stand up well to this meaty dish.
Spicy Buffalo wings pair well with a bold, fruity, slightly sweet Zinfandel. This red wine will balance the spice of the wings. As a bonus, it may even be hard to see saucy fingerprints against a full glass of red wine.
For Chinese food dishes full of spice, pepper, and ginger, turn to a Syrah. This dark and mellow red wine will complement the spicy sweetness of most Chinese-American takeout dishes. For General Tso’s Chicken, consider a Chardonnay. The bold and citrusy wine will stand up to the heavily flavored garlic ginger sauce.
Tacos and Burritos
Red meat tacos or burritos will pair excellently with a Zinfandel or a Malbec. The smokiness of the Mexican spices will bring out the fruity notes in the wine. For a carnitas burrito, consider a sparkling dry Lambrusco for something fun and different. For chicken tacos, consider a Vermentino.
The perfect red wine for your favorite pizza depends on what kind of pizza you like. For lovers of the (American) traditional spicy meats, cheese, and red sauce, try a Barbera. This dark red wine balances out heavy cheese, but still tastes good with a tomato sauce. For pizzas with white sauce or veggies, try a Grüner Veltliner or Vermentino.
A traditional pairing with spicy Asian food like this is a Riesling or Gewürztraminer. The sweetness in these wines go great with spicy dishes. Another great choice is an Albariño, which is fresh and zesty and pairs well specifically with the nutty, slightly sweet Pad Thai.
Barbecue and rosé is a fantastic combination. The crisp coolness of rosé will balance the heavy, smoky flavors of barbecue. If you need an excuse to open a bottle of rosé, barbecue is the perfect meal to order.
Following the same logic as other spicy Asian dishes, a Riesling will excellently balance the spice in Indian takeout dishes. If you’re in the mood for red wine, a Syrah has enough body to stand up well to the spice in curries and cream sauces.
Pinot Noir is a nice red wine choice for sushi. The light body, earthiness, and fruit flavors pair well especially with fattier or spicier rolls. Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc are both bright, light white wines that will complement the seafood and any sour or spicy flavors.
What do you drink with takeout food? Let us know in the comments below!