How To Order Take-out Wine Like A Pro

Posted: Jan 25, 2021

Even with Denver’s indoor dining rooms open at limited capacity and Colorado’s 5 Star State Certification Program in the works for Denver County (which will open up even more of those inside seats), most hungry locals are still facing a winter with two main choices available for enjoying restaurant fare: Sit on an outdoor patio (hopefully by a fire pit or heater) or order food to go. When the latter is your preference, navigating a restaurant’s wine list without a sommelier or server by your side may make you feel like you’re on your own. You’re not.

Whenever I order take out, I choose what I’m eating first, and then look to the restaurant’s wine list for pairing options. Of course, if you see pairing suggestions on a menu, definitely consider them; the experts at the restaurant most likely know what goes best with their food and are intimately familiar with the wines they offer.

Here are a few guidelines so you know what to look for the next time you call or click for curbside carryout.

Sparkling wines like Champagne, prosecco, and cava are perfect for drinking alongside most fried items because the wine’s effervescence cuts thru the richness of the food, cleansing your palate in preparation for the next bite.

Rosé has transitioned out of its former designation of being a summer-only wine, and drier pink styles are everywhere. Even better, rosés are incredibly versatile with food because they can be made from any kind of red wine grape, from Gamay to Pinot Noir to Grenache. Lighter styles, from regions such as Provence, France, pair well with fresh salads and seafood, while medium- to full-bodied rosés from Spain and Chile can stand up to the big flavors found in charcuterie, grilled meats, and even pizza.

In wine-speak, “Old World” generally refers to wines produced in Europe; these vinos tend to be lower in alcohol and have a good amount of acidity, and also showcase less texture on the palate—which means they are at their best when consumed with a meal. New World wines, on the other hand, coming from countries that were once colonies (such as the United States, Australia, Argentina, and South America), can be bolder and more fruit-driven, which may compete with your meal.

By Maia Parish
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