How to match your wine with your take-away

TAKE IT AWAY:  Wine and food matching takes on a whole new adventure with take away food and the journey is a whole lot of fun
TAKE IT AWAY: Wine and food matching takes on a whole new adventure with take away food and the journey is a whole lot of fun

Think a glass of wine is just meant for restaurant meals or a dinner party?  Think again.  There is a wine to match whatever your favourite take-away meal is, just observe a few rules to make sure you don’t ruin the party on your palate.

While you can have a lot of fun exploring the various options, it helps to know what happens to your taste buds on this journey.

Pizza such as plain and good old Margarita, has tomato sauce on it or fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. A good Italian Valpolicella or Sicilian Nero D’avola has the fruit flavours that complement the acid in tomatoes.  

Asian food needs a lighter wine yet with some red fruit in it.  Rosé does a good job of balancing with the delicate, yet spicy foods. Dumplings or Dim Sum are delicious morsels that make a superb, quick take away.  Choose a crisp Riesling from a cooler climate that doesn’t overpower.

Mexican foods are spicy, so a wine that is gentle on tannins and acid is the way to go.  Again Rosé comes to the rescue, but make sure it’s not too dry and is made from grapes that have berry or cherry characters, like a Grenache or Cabernet.  Gamay is a perfect match.

Burgers from fast-food outlets have a lot of sweet relish or a sweeter sauce on them. The buns are also quite often sweeter.  Add to this, the texture of cheese and you definitely need a red wine. Choose a full-bodied red that has some tannin and acid, yet well-balanced.  A big red, that is smoky and strong-flavoured can leave your taste buds in shock and you will find the sweeter sauce flavours will taste bitter.  Go for a warmer climate red.

Sushi is everyone’s favourite quick meal.  Pick a white wine that has some good middle-palate such as a Pinot Grigio or fruity Sauvignon Blanc.  These wines work perfectly with the oilier salmon or sashimi and don’t make soy sauce taste metallic in the mouth.  Choose the Sauvignon Blanc carefully as some of those that are very high in fruity flavour and acids can swamp the food.  

Fish and chips love a good quality Chardonnay, Riesling or even Pinot Noir.  Avoid strong tannins.  Fries on their own love French Champagne.