While we cooked feverishly in the early days of quarantine, we miss dining out more than ever before – the dressing up, scintillating conversations with friends, ordering family-style dishes and sharing fine wine. Another thing we’ve really missed about eating out is sommelier-approved wine recommendations to our grub.
Hope’s already glittering on the horizon, but for now, dining in seems to be the safest bet. Takeout has been a huge silver lining through the pandemic, for patrons and restaurant owners alike. Let’s face it – there’s only so much banana bread or sourdough you can bake. And as you already know, we love local wine around here. Some of the most soul-satisfying moments in the last year have involved takeout and local wine.
The best wine pairings are no-cook options. Nope, not even assembling a cheeseboard. We’re talking real, honest-to-goodness takeout.
We paired the tastiest of takeout dishes with our favorite PNW wines, and can safely say that there’s something in there for everyone. No-frills Tuesday night in, or a fancy Friday with fairy lights and a projector in the backyard? Pizza and Pinot Noir? We have you covered!
Here’s raising a toast to springtime feasting…
Wine: 2019 Goose Ridge Estate Rosé, $24
Takeout: The Salmon Burger from Alexa’s Cafe, Bothell, Wash.
Why it works: Just in time for rosé season, this is a pairing best enjoyed on the patio. This all-day sipper goes well with brunch foods. Alexa’s house-made salmon patty is perfectly matched with the Goose Ridge Rosé, given its mineral-driven character and crisp acidity followed by notes of strawberry and papaya.
Wine: 2018 Delille Cellars D2, $47
Takeout: Filet Mignon from Metropolitan Grill, Seattle
Why it works: This Bordeaux-style red blend is voluptuous, robust and just the perfect match for a hearty beef tenderloin dish. The wine has a distinct mocha and dried berry character that pairs wonderfully with the tender Filet Mignon from Metropolitan Grill. Sourced from a dozen of Washington’s premier vineyards, the D2 from Delille Cellars is a great way to explore Washington’s iconic vineyards with one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic steakhouses.
Wine: 2016 Gramercy Cellars Walla Walla Syrah, $39
Takeout: The Lamb Tagine from Saffron, Walla Walla, Wash.
Why it works: Gramercy Cellars is well known for its fantastic expressions of single-vineyard Syrahs. Moroccan dishes pair spectacularly with Syrah, especially on a chilly spring evening. This medium-bodied 2016 vintage offers lavender, cloves, pepper and sweet cherries, holding its own against the slow-cooked lamb tagine. In fact, its own peppery heat and earthy flavors intensify the flavors of the hearty, melt-in-the-mouth stew.
Wine: 2017 Domaine Serene, ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir, $77
Takeout: The Mushroom Pie from Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Portland, Ore.
Why it works: Here’s a wine perfect for pizza night. Pizza and Pinot Noir have been two of our biggest saving graces during quarantine. A soft, elegant wine, the Evenstad Reserve with its herbaceous notes and savoriness is a perfect complement to wood-fired pizzas. For a match made in umami heaven, try the delicate, earthy wine with the mushroom pie from Ken’s – lots of yummy mozzarella, fontina, herbs, garlic, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
Wine: 2019 Bryn Mawr Willamette Valley Sparkling Rosé, $28
Takeout: Sizzling Garlic Shrimp from Epi’s, Meridian, Idaho
Why it works: This bubblegum-pink sparkling rose is made according to exacting champagne-making techniques. At Epi’s, Basque food is lovingly prepared using grandma Epi’s time-honored recipes. This effervescent wine is an amazing match to Basque-style seafood – the sizzling garlic shrimp sauteed with copious amounts of parsley and garlic is an excellent choice. Vegetarians, don’t fret – the herbed mushrooms make for a delicious umami-filled, option, too.
Wine: 2018 Willakenzie Chardonnay, $75
Takeout: Taco Kit from Marination, Seattle
Why it works: Pandemic-approved taco kits are available at Marination, which means we are spoiled for Taco Tuesday for life. The only thing that can sweeten this deal is a lovely Chardonnay. This amber-hued beauty from Willakenzie is just the right Chard for the task. Brimming with citrus zest, pear and green apple – this vibrant, yeasty chardonnay pairs very well with fish, miso-ginger chicken and even the ‘sexy tofu’ tacos from Marination. Mellow oak brings nutty flavors that contrast brilliantly with the Asian slaw, jalapenos and sweet-spicy sauce.
Wine: 2018 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Chardonnay, $47
Takeout: Skägen Shrimp Smørbrød from Maurice, Portland, Ore.
Why it works: Maurice is a lunch-only cafe that offers delicious French and Norwegian specialties. And while we love their decadent quiches, their Smørbrøds are understated but super-delicious too. Skägen Shrimp Smørbrød, anyone? A smooth, buttery chardonnay will make for a mind-blowing pairing. This bracingly acidic Chard from Knudsen cuts through the crème fraîche–tossed Oregon bay shrimp and is a refreshing pair to all the creamy, herby flavors. Add a fresh spring garden salad with aged goat cheese to round off this yummy lunch.
Wine: 2019 Matthews Sauvignon Blanc, $21
Takeout: Fish and Chips from Spuds, Seattle
Why it works: Fried food and Sauvignon Blanc are a legendary combination. The Matthews 2019 Sauvignon Blanc shows chalky minerality, wonderful peach flavors and just a touch of salinity. This aromatic dry white can pair with any fresh catch of the day, but we’re going to go for Spuds – there’s nothing quite like the deep-fried deliciousness of their fish and chips to play up the wine’s mouthwatering, zingy acidity. Have your order made to go, and enjoy this beautiful deep-fried feast at a beach picnic on a nice spring day.
Wine: 2019 Long Shadows Poet’s Leap Riesling, $19
Takeout: Chettinad Chicken Curry from Chili’s South Indian Cuisine, Seattle
Why it works: Spicy South Indian food? Dry-style riesling all the way! The 2019 Poet’s Leap Riesling has complex floral and tropical fruit flavors. The wine’s laser-sharp acidity and just enough residual sugar is an excellent match for flaming hot South Indian chicken curry, providing much-needed relief in between bites. The Matar Paneer (cottage cheese with peas) is a great option for vegetarians or for those who like their food mildly spiced. You can segue seamlessly into dessert territory with this vino – we highly recommend their Gulab Jamun.
Wine: 2016 Bethel Heights Estate Chardonnay, $33
Takeout: The Tasting Menu from Staple & Fancy, Seattle
Why it works: The Bethel Heights 2016 Estate Chardonnay is a fragrant, multilayered wine. It packs a punch with its lively acidity, tropical fruit flavors and intense mineral notes. Acidity is a tremendous natural foil for sweetness and fat, and the Staple & Fancy Italian-inspired tasting menu to go provides ample opportunities to pair the wine with a broad range of flavors; from antipasti to bruschetta to chicken liver mousse. In fact, it even pairs well with their scrumptious lemon tart.