A Sommelier's Favorite Takeout Food-and-Wine Pairings

By Vanessa Rea-Marcel · 05/08/2020

Eastern Standard’s wine director shares her favorite dishes—and wine pairings—to order for takeout during quarantine.

While many Boston restaurants are closed to the public during the pandemic, there are still spots turning out tasty treats that can be delivered right to your doorstep. The following restaurants are getting creative with their menus, rallying for the community, and spreading their love of service through thoughtful preparations. Read on for standout dish picks, and the perfect wine bottles (all under $30) to order alongside them.

Pizza + Earth-Driven Red, Brewer’s Fork
There’s nothing quite like a pizza layered with melted cheese, studded with toppings, and savored alongside a glass of earth-driven red. Strike the balance between rich texture and lifted structure with one of my favorite wines from Sicily, Nero D’Avola. Childhood friends Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano founded Azienda Agricola COS in 1980. They farm biodynamically with a focus on place and nuance of fruit character. Order the Marge (a Margherita pizza) from Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown, and serve it alongside the red- and black-fruited, mineral-rich “Nero di Lupo” from Azienda Agricola COS.

Dish: Marge (Brewer’s Fork)
Pairing: Azienda Agricola COS “Nero di Lupo,” Nero d’Avola, Terre Siciliane

Carnitas Tacos + Rosé, Lone Star Taco Bar
Transport yourself to summer with this delightful duo from Lone Star Taco Bar’s Allston outpost: Carnitas Pork tacos with griddled corn tortillas and a zingy salsa verde alongside a glass of rosé. I favor lower alcohol rosé that balances fruit and mineral qualities. Côté Mas produces a sustainable grenache-led rosé, Aurore from Languedoc, France, that is ideal with carnitas. The rosé is bright and lifted with white strawberry, fresh peach, and lime peel.

Dish: Carnitas Pork (Lone Star Taco Bar)
Pairing: 2018 Côté Mas “Rosé Aurore,” Côteaux du Languedoc

Small Plates + Orange Wine, Nathálie Wine Bar
The best part of takeout is setting up an Instagram-worthy spread at home, complete with a stunning bottle of wine. Orange wine is versatile; it can showcase a variety of styles: floral, tropical, structured, and spiced. Brianne Day’s “Tears of a Vulcan” is a blend of aromatic varieties from organic vineyards planted in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains. It’s the perfect amber treat to sip on while sampling snacks from Nathálie Wine Bar, like the subtly spiced Harissa Shrimp with scallion and Fried Brussels with fish sauce syrup and crushed peanuts.

Dish: Harissa Shrimp; Fried Brussels (Nathálie Wine Bar)
Pairing: Brianne Day “Tears of a Vulcan,” Chehalem Mountains, Oregon

Fried Chicken + Bubbles, Shy Bird
There’s nothing quite like a salty, crispy chicken sandwich and a glass of lively, mineral bubbles. Feeling fancy? Champagne it is. Jacques Lassaigne “La Colline Inspirée” (100 percent Chardonnay) is a fantastic, splurge-worthy sparkler with notes of Meyer lemon curd and summer honey. On a budget? Prosecco or cava will do the trick. Try the vintage sparkler from Michel Gillieron Parellada, proprietor of Naveran, with organic vineyards situated near Barcelona. This cava is bright with crisp orchard fruit and busily effervescent—the perfect foil to Shy Bird’s crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Dish: Fried Chicken Sandwich (Shy Bird)
Pairing: 2016 Bodegas Naveran “Brut Cava,” Alt-Penedès

Spicy Noodles + Tiki Cocktails, Blossom Bar
Support your local noodle spot and order something spicy to pique your palate. The flavors found in Szechuan, dan dan, Thai curry, or mee goreng noodles pair perfectly with tiki cocktails. Blossom Bar is now selling cocktail mixers and has transformed the Brookline restaurant into a full-blown takeaway fulfillment center complete with branded glassware and garnishes. Sip on the Gloria—with passion fruit, cinnamon, and mascarpone—to offset the heat from the Dan Dan Noodles. Add your favorite spirit to complete the takeaway treat; I like tequila reposado.

Dish: Dan Dan Noodles (Blossom Bar)
Pairing: Gloria Craft Blossom Mixer with tequila

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