Guest Blog by Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit
So you’ve ordered your tuna rolls or burrito from Seamless. While you wait with a grumbly belly on the delivery guy, have you thought about a wine to pair with the tasty treats? While our first advice at Bottlerocket is always “Drink what you like,” the right wine can elevate your experience and set your taste buds humming. But how do you know what wine to choose?
As a general rule, it works to pair “like with like.” Light-bodied, crisp wines with fresh acidity (think Sauvignon Blanc/Sancerre, Grüner Veltliner, Albariño or Vino Verde for example) enhance food flavors like a squeeze of lemon juice. Any of these or other similar style dry whites will work with most sushi and sashimi. And don’t rule out sparkling wine! Their “scrubbing bubbles” – whether from Champagne, Cava, Prosecco or Crémant – are a refreshing foil to fatty fish and the sinus-clearing power of wasabi.
What doesn’t work with Japanese take-out? Big, brash red wines (California Cabernet Sauvignon, we’re looking at you!) and full-bodied whites with lots of oak influence (sorry Chardonnay) with will steamroll over sushi’s subtle flavors and textures.
Conversely, robust and juicy reds are often perfect partners for rich and spicy Mexican take-out. Malbec from Argentina anyone? Beyond the usual components – acidic and spicy salsa, fatty cheese and corn or flour tortillas – think about the way the ‘main ingredient’ is being prepared. Grilled steak or carne asada? Slow-cooked pork? Marinated chicken? Sauteed veggies?
Grilled red meats can stand up to bigger, bolder wines and we especially like them paired with Carignan-Syrah-Grenache blends from Southern France or Spain. Fish tacos on the menu? Remember the lessons learned from sushi and grab a chilled Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc or light rosés.
Think beer is the only carbonated beverage that belongs on the table with Mexican? Replace those hoppy bubbles with sparkling wine for a refreshing change that also calms the habanero-fueled fire in your mouth and cuts through the gooey, cheezy fun of a quesadilla.
And don’t ignore the alcohol content: higher alcohol wines accentuate the spice “burn.” Lower alcohols options – white, red, rosé or bubbly – will literally be more refreshing. And if you love fire-alarm salsas, opt for a white or rosé with a little sweetness (German Riesling or off-dry Moscato) to douse the flames in your mouth!
Ultimately, remember that this is just dinner. Don’t be afraid to break the ‘rules’ and try combinations that seem intriguing and fun.
Try your hand at this pairing business yourself. Join us at Bottlerocket & Seamless Order In: Take-Out Food & Wine Pairing on Thursday, May 30th at Bottlerocket. Tickets and details here.