April 28, 2020
Many of us are wondering if our favourite places like restaurants and cafes will still be around once the COVID-19 pandemic finally releases its grip and we’re allowed to return to normal life.
To help make sure small and medium sized restaurant businesses in particular can bounce back after this downturn, Canadians are being asked to order takeout or delivery from their favourite local restaurants every Wednesday as a show of support.
It’s being called Canada Takeout Day, and it’s meant to be a show of public and financial support to thousands of restaurant owners, chefs and employees in the food and culinary industry.
Canada Takeout Day Pairings
To help make this a bit more fun, and to round out your Takeout Day meals, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is providing pairing advice with some popular delivery, takeout or to-go meals.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Sommelier Manager Mike Roberts has selected some perfect pairings to sip with several popular takeout dishes.
“Get in on Canada Takeout Day by celebrating the diversity of our beautiful country,” Roberts enthuses. “We all have our favourite takeout joint and we want to help you enjoy some great wine and tasty local food at your table.”
Best Pairings with Vietnamese Food
Wondering what goes well with Vietnamese cuisine? Bun Cha is a classic Vietnamese grilled pork and noodle dish, often served with crispy spring rolls.
Vermicelli noodles are light and delicate compared to flour noodles, providing an excellent vehicle for a layered dish of savoury flavours, salty umami and sultry spices. Some fresh vegetables also provide a crunch, and the fish sauce, complexity.
Roberts loves digging into a deep bowl of bun with a wine from one of his favourite regions.
“Keep your palate fresh and balanced with a little white wine from the Alsace area of France,” recommends Roberts. “Zinck Riesling, a bone-dry Riesling, has racy acidity and a lime-zest-pop that’ll keep you on your toes. The wine is equally complex showing all those wet stone and nectarine notes that Riesling is famous for!”
With the Vietnamese classic Beef Pho noodle soup, Roberts likes another Alsatian wine.
“The Zinck Pinot Gris is another great pairing option with a rich flavourful and slightly sweet palate. It is a match made in heaven, as that little bit of sugar will make a nice match with the spice.”
Perfect Pours with Chinese Takeout
One of the most popular Chinese dishes in Calgary has to be Ginger Beef. The city lays claim to its invention, and it’s still one of the favourites when it comes to Chinese takeout.
Roberts recommends a Gewurtztraminer.
“‘We just call it ’Gewurz,’ and it’s always full flavoured, spicy, exotic and soft on the palate. It is well known for lower acid levels, and elevated sugar and alcohol making it a big mouthful of wine.”
Pfaffenheim Gewurztraminer from France is a great option. If red wine is your jam, a fruity young Rioja like Campos Viejos is another tasty pick.
“Serve this red wine chilled to enjoy its candied strawberry and red cherry notes,” recommends Roberts.
Grabbing some pie? Don’t forget the wine!
Pizza night is a family favourite, and the battle over toppings can get heated. Fortunately, creating half-and-half pizzas is usually easy, so the adults and the kids all get something they like.
With a classic Margarita pizza, it’s best served alongside a Tuscan red, and Roberts thinks Roca delle Macie Chianti Classico will do the trick.
Compliment a meat lovers pizza with an Australian Shiraz or a French Syrah. Going Hawaiian? Pineapple on pizza is very controversial, but your wine choice needn’t be.
“Serving Hawaiian? You need to pour a Pinot Noir,” Roberts says. “The acid in the pineapple and those savoury ham bits will be perfectly aligned.”
Greek or Mediterranean Pizza? Try a Greek wine!
“Boutari Grande Naoussa is an intense red that will knock your socks off!”
Sips for Sushi
Sushi’s delicate flavours and carefully matched ingredients require similarly careful pairings. Sushi is best served with a white wine or a rosé, according to Roberts.
Whether your top choices are California rolls, spicy tuna cones, or a delicate salmon sashimi, your best bet is to choose a crisp, clean, dry or just off-dry style white. Roberts suggests looking for lighter flavour profile and delicate high notes too.
“French Sauvignon Blanc like Sancerre, or a bone-dry Riesling from Clare Valley Australia, Alsace France, or even the Portuguese Gazela Vinho Verde would a great value option too!”
Fried Chicken Feast? Fan favourite wines…
Whether it’s the crispy-fried skin, the blends of spices, or the tender marinated chicken, fried chicken can be a complex and multilayered meal. Whether you prefer a fast food version, a local option, or Korean Friend chicken, there’s a fried chicken joint for everyone’s tastes and preferences.
“My first instinct is a big, rich and buttery Chardonnay!” Roberts insists. “The Bread n Butter Pinot Noir would also be good: that salty chicken and the vibrant cherry fruit notes would be a great pairing.”
He also recommends an off-dry style of Pinot Gris would be fun with the saltiness, or a Monastrell from Spain.
“I’d like a more rich, silky wine style without too much tannin here—stay away from tannic wines with fried chicken. You could also pair a clean fresh, dry white. A Pinot Grigio would also be great palate cleanser—and refreshing!”
What to Serve with a Burger & Fries
When it comes to burgers and what to pour with them, Roberts has a strategy that goes deeper than just pairing red wine with red meat.
“I love to pair the wine to the toppings and the strongest flavours. It may be the cheese, particularly if it’s aged, or if it’s packed with flavour like a Blue cheese. You could also pair to your preferred mustard, horseradish, or BBQ sauce.”
Roberts thinks a burger and fries is pretty casual so most any wine will do the trick. But he leans towards a more robust yet still dry-style Rosé.
For some folks, burgers are meant to be eaten with a beer. If that’s your preference, try an ESB beer like Fullers ESB or Philips Blue Buck.
Is it Taco Time?
Whether you prefer your Mexican mild, or five-alarm, most folks might lean towards serving it with a light Mexican beer. While you can’t go wrong with that, enjoying a glass of wine alongside is an unexpected treat.
“A peppery wine with ripe fruit is important here. I’d look to Spain and Australia with with their hot climates that will provide ample wines with full, jammy fruit and spicy kicks. A California Zinfandel would be delicious with tacos too. Try the Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel,” Roberts enthuses.
So enjoy Canada Takeout Day each Wednesday, and try your next takeout dish with one of these wines from Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
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