Pairing Wine and Takeaway Food.

Ireland’s affection for takeaway food has risen steeply over the years. From the humble battered cod’n’chips to the huge variety available in recent years, people have expanded their takeaway food tastes and practices.

Up until the outbreak of COVID 19, you could search online and find almost any type of takeaway food that tickled your fancy. And have it delivered.

In the current environment of a coronavirus, not all restaurants can still offer that facility. However, in all of this uncertainty, new players have arisen. Many, heretofore eat-in-only, outlets have started takeaway options to shore-up turnover.

The same can be said for the ordering and delivery of wine, actually. For instance, here’s a link to our current order and deliver, cases offer.

This changing trend in people’s online ordering is probably here to stay. In fact, it will probably grow as the Government sees fit to remove further red-tape/restrictions on such activity. You can envisage a swathe, of particularly smaller, restaurants launching non-contact and delivery services for the first time.

It’s simple really, ring up, place order, accept delivery, eat/drink.

In fact, there is another – very welcome – trend that I’ve noticed, especially in Wexford. People have shown an eagerness to support their local retail outlet, if open.

And with takeaways and delivery being one of the few home comforts these days – they are 100% shopping local. Thank you to our customers who support us every day during COVID 19 restrictions.

Thank you to our customers who support us every day during COVID 19 restrictions - Green Acres.
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On a personal note, this support means a lot to all of us in Green Acres. Because when people order directly from us, we retain the full price from every sale. None goes to a delivery provider.

In the current environment, I think we all deserve a delivery of food that can’t be replicated at home, but let’s not forget about the wine. So, what wine do you drink with takeaway food?

I will spend the rest of this post discussing that topic. In particular the pairing of wine with such takeaway food as burgers, pizzas, fish & chips and wings.

Lockdown Wine and Takeaway Food

The first thing I’d like to say is that I appreciate there is a massive temptation to have that extra glass (bottle), while watching your Netflix show. I mean that ‘playing next episode’ slider at the bottom of the screen will be the death of me! But, seriously, it is best to drink moderately right now – so try and choose a wine that soothes.

A soothing wine might be one that you know well. Maybe because it triggers distracting happy memories of a place or time, or because you know and like it – it’s a comfort to you.

Everyone will have their own idea of a comfort wine. For me, certain sensual qualities such as mouthfilling richness, directness of flavour, and a suave smoothness improve the experience of a wine.

Image by Daniel Ma?ura from Pixabay

Wine and Takeaway Food – Burgers

Yes, I am referring to takeaway burgers, but not the big squishy ones from the local chipper, full to the brim with sauces, spices and salads. I’m really talking about the homemade variety – what some people might refer to as a gourmet burger.

I mentioned ‘squishy’ burgers above, not because I don’t recommend them, but because the more ingredients you add, the more a wine can struggle.

Burger sauces and ketchup are the main culprits because of their sweetness. Raw onions and pickles are a real challenge also. So I am recommending riper (fruitier) wines rather than dry wines.

Try these pairings:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon and or Merlot
  • Modern Tuscan reds
  • Grenache or Malbec
  • Zinfandel.

You’ve probably realised by now that I am suggesting that big reds work best with burgers (a burger is after all, only chopped steak), so any of the above would work in my opinion.

Wine and Takeaway Food – Pizza

Let me say this (in an Italian accent); wine and pizza, like some things in life, are just meant to be. Although, these days there are just about as many pizza toppings out there as there are wine varieties. That’s why I’m just going to dive-in and list my suggestions:

BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA – Pair with: Pinot Noir, or Merlot, Chardonnay or Rosé.

HAWAIIAN PIZZA – Pair with: Riesling or Prosecco, or Sauvignon Blanc.

MARGHERITA PIZZA – Pair with: Pinot Grigio or Sangiovese, or Rosé.

MEATLOVERS PIZZA – Pair with: Cabernet Sauvignon, or Tempranillo, or Malbec.

PEPPERONI PIZZA – Pair with: Sangiovese or Barbera or Nero d’Avola, or Nebbiolo

VEGETARIAN PIZZA – Pair with: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, or Prosecco, or Rosé.

Of course, there really are no hard and fast rules when it comes pairing wine and pizza. There is an old theory though that states what grows together, goes together.

I have been asked about white wine and pizzas. I usually answer that it depends on the toppings really. For instance, goats’ cheese and spinach pizza, pizzas topped with prawns or other seafood would pair with a simple Pinot Grigio.

And with pizza topped with fresh ingredients such as parma ham and rocket? Try a dry Italian white like Gavi or a well-chilled glass of Prosecco!

Image by GinniDeville from Pixabay

Wine and Takeaway Food – Fish and Chips

We all know that white wine and fish is a great combination but, to choose the perfect match for wine with fish and chips, you need to consider other things. By this I mean, not just the fish itself but also the batter and extras such as salt and vinegar (vinegar can kill the flavours of a wine).

Try these pairings:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay (unoaked)
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Rosé
  • Sparkling
  • Dry Sherry (chilled – I know, trust me!)

Tip – Chips rarely make much difference to a wine pairing, unless you smother them with gravy.

Image by Larry White from Pixabay

Wine and Takeaway Food – Chicken Wings

Wings can be prepared in a number of ways, both baked and fried and with various coatings. Some people prefer them sweetly glazed with honey, but the bar-food staple is commonly associated with hot spice tempered by a cooling dipping sauce.

Of course, there are buffalo wings and those with a hot and spicy sriracha sauce. An obvious answer would be to drink beer with them. However, we’re talking about wine in this post so here goes:

Mild and Merlot

Hot and Gewürztraminer

Buffalo wings and Sparkling or Riesling

Really Hot and Riesling

BBQ – Zinfandel (Primitivo)

Honey Mustard and Chardonnay

Crispy and Sparkling

Sriracha Honey and Chenin Blanc

Lemon Pepper and Sauvignon Blanc

Garlic Parmesan and Pinot Grigio

Most of these ‘wings’ are really best eaten as takeaway foods as it is difficult to replicate the taste at home.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Takeaway Food vs Make at Home

Before you all unleash your examples of culinary skills, fine tuned in recent weeks, allow me to explain myself. If the aim is to cook a healthier version of ‘whatever’ at home … you probably could do so.

However, you must appreciate how crucial a tandoor, proper wok burner or wood-fired oven is to Indian, Chinese or Italian food. Most of us cannot replicate that action in a domestic oven.

My last piece of advice is this. Choose your wine before the takeaway food is delivered. Set the table (if required). Warm the plates, sample the drink, napkins (kitchen roll) folded and Netflix paused.

With these measures in place – just moments after the takeaway enters your home – it can slot right into your routine. Because at the end of the day, it really is as simple as, ring up, place order, accept delivery, eat/drink.

As always – enjoy the wine and friends you’re with (in moderation).

#StaySafeSaveLives – Talk Soon – James.


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