Most people know that fish dishes pair well with white wine while a classic red will taste delicious with steak.
But what kind of wine should you buy if you’re ordering burgers, gyros, or sushi?
We spoke with Jeremy Block, an oenophile and owner of Some Good Wine in New York, about what wines go best with our favourite takeout foods.
Keep reading to never pair your dinner with the wrong wine again.
If you’re ordering Chinese food, try Vouvray.
Chinese food has a lot of flavours and spices that are not normally seen as “wine friendly.” Most people wouldn’t reach for a wine at all and instead down their food with a light beer.
But Vouvray is the way to go. This undervalued French white wine comes from the north banks of the Loire Valley and has a little more body than a Riesling, according to Block, which will pair well with meat-heavy Chinese dishes.
“With subtle sweetness that is blissfully honeycombed, you have something to counteract the inevitable umami and hot spice,” Block said.
If you’re ordering pizza, drink Frappato.
Block said that when it comes to pizza, “there is no right answer.” Really, almost any red will do with this classic dish.
But if you’re looking for the perfect complement, Block recommends Frappato, a light-bodied red from Sicily that has just the right fruity notes.
“The fresh raspberries, smoke, and juicy acid elevate tomatoes and mozzarella to new and transcendental heights,” Block said.
If you’re ordering Mexican food, try Barbera d’Asti or Alba.
Because Mexican food can have a lot of flavours and spices, Block said you need something that cuts through it for a refreshing taste.
“Barbera with a slight chill has the perfect quenching acidity to counteract the intense and layered spices,” Block told us.
There are two types of Barbera wine: D’Asti or Alba. Both are fruity red wines from the Piedmont region in the eastern US, though some experts believe Asti is a little lighter than the fuller-bodied Alba.
If you’re ordering burgers, pair them with some Grenache.
Block said his choice might be controversial in the wine community (or beer community, depending on who you ask), but that Grenache will complement burgers very well.
It’s a medium-bodied fruity red wine with cinnamon notes that brings out the taste of spices, roasted meats, and vegetables.
“With fleshy tannins and austere acidity, a good Cotes du Rhone should elevate the burger but not take over the meal,” he told us.
If you’re ordering sushi, try it with sparkling wine.
Sushi is one of those foods that’s best served with beer, but if you’re a wine drinker, than carbonation is key.
“Something dry and minerally with subtle citrus vibrations that will cut through the intense layers of raw fish, soy, wasabi, ginger, and whatever other toppings your favourite place has to offer,” Block said.
He recommends skipping expensive champagne and instead trying a light, sparkling wine.
If you’re ordering Greek food like gyros, get Carignan.
Block said Carignan is “one of the least known and least appreciated grapes on the planet.”
Carignan has a bad reputation in the wine world as being at best un-distinctive and at worst bitter, boring, and harsh.
But when it’s done right, Cariganan is “quite unique with a fine cohesion of tanginess, spice, and acid,” Block said, and the red wine will mingle well with the spicy meat, yogurt, and herbs in Greek fare.
If you’re ordering chicken wings, try Zweigelt.
Light red wines go well with chicken wings, but Block said that “there is something about this mysterious, Austrian red wine that always makes chicken wings a perfect match.”
Zweigelt is an Austrian red wine that is relatively new (dates back to 1922) and is very light. It will enhance the flavour and the spiciness of your wings without overwhelming your taste buds.
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