Ordering In on Valentine's Day? (Smart!) Pair Your Takeout with the Perfect Wine

Happy Valentine's Day!  

If you are one of the many folks who don't want to deal with the restaurant crowds and the prix fix meals, then throw on some sweats and slippers and order in!

Pull out the takeout menus tonight and maybe instead, spend some money on a great bottle of wine.

And while Champagne may be the obvious, celebratory choice, there are tons of great take-out pairings.  

But Bubbles Do Go With Everything

Champagne loves takeout food.

Moet & Chandon always creates fun and limited-edition Champagne bottles for the holidays.

Or try the Billecart Salmon Rose, says Doug Shafer, CEO of Shafer Vineyards: "It will work perfectly with all your fried and salty takeout." 

Thai Food 

While Champagne will work great with Thai food, consider #RoseAllDay instead.

Kim Nicholls, winemaker at Markham Vineyards, in Napa, Calif., suggests Pad Thai, out of the carton, with the company's Markham Rose, made from Pinot Noir grapes.

Rose is easy and fruity enough to cut through the spice of Thai food.

As an alternative, try a Riesling.

Chinese Food

While the spectrum of Chinese food runs the gamut, from that fruity duck sauce to spicy noodles, a Rose or Riesling will always be a great choice.

But you can easily pick a red wine too. "Chinese food tends to have higher sugar levels and a slightly oily component in some dishes, so look for fruit-forward, juicy styles that can play nice with both of these elements and reset the palate for the next mouthful," says Paul Yanon, Wine Division account director at Colangelo & Partners, one of the wine world's largest PR agencies.

So pick more neutral red wines made from grapes like the Tempranillo, Grenache or Cinsault. "Try the lightly oaked 2013 Beronia Rioja Crianza," suggests Yanon. Made from the Tempranillo grape, "it's soft and approachable."


Or try The Prisoner, a California red blend that will pair well with those pork dumplings.

Italian Food

If you're recreating Scenes From An Italian Restaurant at home, then your best bet generally is to pick an Italian wine.

Try the Masi Costasera Amarone with traditional Spaghetti Carbonara, made with with egg yolks of course, says Master Of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan. "This pairing touches on all the types of tastes -- sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami," she says.

A good Chardonnay will always work with a creamy pasta too. Consider the 2014 Cervaro Della Sala Antinori 2014, says Andrew McMurray, vice president at Zachys Wine & Liquor in Scarsdale, N.Y. Especially if the pasta has Italian sausage in it. Yum.

And you just can't go wrong with a 2010 Brunello. So if you're ordering in meat or roasted chicken, try the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Cava d'Onice, suggests McMurray.


Pizza

Picking a wine with pizza often depends on the toppings.

While a Chianti will always work, you can choose a Grenache or a Syrah with that your plain pie. 

A Grenache is an even better choice if you throw some sausage on the pizza.

Or pick a big Cabernet or a creamy Chardonnay if you're ordering a white pizza.

Indian Food

The spiciness of Indian food calls for a sweeter Moscato, says Simonetti-Bryan. A Riesling will work here too.

Burgers

Wines from the southern Rhone Valley of France are actually a great choice here. "Made predominantly of the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes, these wines offer rich, round and structured profiles that are the perfect foil for meaty dishes that may feature accompanying sauces," says Yanon.

Check out the 2014 Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Villages Puymeras Rouge

Or go even bigger with that burger. Don't forget, Miles Raymond, the curmudgeon searching for great Pinot Noir in the cult wine movie "Sideways," pulled out a 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc with his burger and onion rings at the end of the movie.

The wine, a Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend, will run you around $2,000 if you can even find it - but our guess is it will make for a pretty memorable Valentine's Day.

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