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This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

The Best Wine Pairings for Every Type of Takeout

written by CHRISTINA HERBST

This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

takeout and wine"
takeout and wine
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace

When Saturday night rolls around, it usually looks something like this: My fiancé and I search around for a new restaurant to try and quickly book reservations before they’re all filled up for the night. As we’re rushing around trying to get ready, we both give a glance and smile knowing exactly what’s about to happen next. Reservations are canceled, we’re putting on our comfiest and most oversized clothes, and we’re ordering takeout for the 1,000th time because date night in is practically our love language.

While we live for sitting crossed-legged on the floor, laughing over trash TV, and pouring whatever wine we have in our bar cart in a glass, we’re looking to upgrade our nights in to start making them feel even more special. That’s why I reached out to a professional chef to get the low-down on the best wine pairings for our favorite takeout dishes to help romanticize our usually casual date night. Who says takeout can’t be fancy and romantic?

Meet the expert
Meet the Expert
Chef Tracey Shepos-Cenami
After years working as an executive chef, Tracey Shepos Cenami was drawn to the wine industry, which she found to be a natural transition. Tracey has played a pivotal role in developing the culinary program at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, including introducing a VIP wine and cheese pairing experience – a lesson in the fundamentals of wine and cheese pairing which expertly pairs local artisan cheeses with La Crema wines. Her recipes have been published in magazines and newspapers, and she is a three-time winner of Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games.

Italian Takeout + Chardonnay

Italian food is known for its rich dishes like layered lasagna, bolognese, and homemade pizza. To complement these tomato-heavy dishes, Chef Tracey recommends pairing them with Chardonnay. She says that “the acidity of the wine is very much like most tomato-based sauces,” making the La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay or Kelli Ann Chardonnay perfect choices. Their Sonoma Coast Chardonnay also works well with buttery, creamy sauces that are commonly served with seafood, roasted chicken, and risotto.

Up your at-home dining experience by throwing on some soft Italian music in the background and lighting some candles. Spruce up your takeout dishes with fresh ingredients like basil and grated Parmesan cheese to add to the vibe you’re trying to set. Once you’re done eating, have a personal wine tasting with just the two of you and pretend you’re roaming the Italian countryside.

wine pairings
La Crema
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
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wine pairings
La Crema
Kelli Ann Chardonnay
Use code LCEVERYGIRL for 15% + free shipping when you buy four or more bottles!
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takeout and wine

Chinese Takeout + Pinot Gris

Fried rice, crab rangoon, and orange chicken are in frequent rotation in our household. To give our meal a little more oompf, Chef Tracey suggests pouring a few glasses of La Crema’s Monetery Pinot Gris. “An off-dry version will pair well whether the dish is spicy, sweet, salty, or sour,” she explains. Plus, the flavor notes of citrus blossom, lemon, and Gala apple will enhance the flavors and textures of your meal.

While eating out of bento boxes is fun, try elevating your Chinese food spread by plating your meal on your finest dinnerware. If you’re really feeling fancy, snag these reusable wooden chopsticks to use instead of the utensils you usually grab. And don’t forget to haul out these wine essentials to help elevate your pour.

la crema
La Crema
Monterey Pinot Gris
Use code LCEVERYGIRL for 15% + free shipping when you buy four or more bottles!
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Japanese Takeout + White Wine

Japanese takeout—like sushi and ramen—is a match made in heaven with most white wines. Chef Tracey gave us the dish on this duo: “White wines work best for this type of cuisine. These wines work together with the food to enhance the unique flavor. They also provide an extra layer of texture but they don’t overpower with strong tannins. Have a bottle of La Crema’s Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc or Monterey Chardonnay on hand.”

Spark deep conversation over dinner inspired by the Japanese word “ikagai,” which means where what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for meet. In simpler terms, it’s what your life’s purpose is. Ask your partner what they think their ikagai is and share yours. Asking this question will open your night up to other meaningful topics over a glass of fine wine.

la crema
La Crema
Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
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wine pairings
La Crema
Monterey Chardonnay
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
Shop now

American Takeout + Pinot Noir or Chardonnay

America is the melting pot of the world and our dishes prove it. Since there are so many flavor profiles to accommodate traditional American dishes, Chef Tracey recommends food-friendly wines, like La Crema’s Pinot Noir (if you and your partner prefer reds) or Chardonnay (if you prefer whites). Bonus: They are both a great accompaniment to after-dinner desserts. La Crema’s rec? Key lime pie with a tall glass of Chardonnay and creamy chocolate mousse while sipping on their Pinot Noir.

Bring dinner and a movie to your home by throwing on a nostalgic flick—whatever that means to you. It’ll be a fun trip down memory lane picking the movie you watched on repeat as a kid. You’ll catch yourself stopping each other the entire night reminiscing and saying, “OMG I love this part!”

wine pairings
La Crema
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
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wine pairings
La Crema
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
Shop now

takeout and wine

Mexican Takeout + Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc

Mexican food’s trademark flavors can be described as spicy, hearty, and bold. So when you’re looking for a wine to sip on the side, you’ll want to choose one that can withstand the heat. “For one of the most spice and herb-centered cuisines, there are some things to consider but good practices to keep in mind. The spicier the food, the colder and sweeter the wine should be. Pair white meat-based dishes with white wine, and likewise for red meat with red wine. Lastly, lots of herbs beg for higher acidic wines. Reach for Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc to cover all the bases,” she explains.

Keep the heat going from dinner by starting a game night between the two of you. Try games like Never Have I Ever, Truth or Dare, or Two Truths and a Lie to learn something new about your partner and have a little fun. Or try your hand at some competitive card games like Poker or War.

wine pairings
La Crema
Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose
Use code LCEVERYGIRL for 15% + free shipping when you buy four or more bottles!
Shop now
la crema
La Crema
Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
Shop now

takeout and wine

Indian Takeout + Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling

There’s something about ordering Aloo Gobi and a side of garlic naan that just hits the spot. Trade the mango lassis for a wine that complements your favorite spicy and flavorful dish. Chef Tracey recommends La Crema’s Sauvignon Blanc or Late Harvest Riesling for your Indian takeout order: “Like other cuisines where spice-forward dishes are mainstays, you’ll want to tone down the heat with a chilled white wine that can offer a touch of sweetness or fruit to offset.”

For this date night idea, try swapping your cozy matching set for a nice outfit that you’d wear to a dinner date out. Taking the little extra effort to get dressed up makes the night that much more special. Look to these chic fall date outfit ideas if you’re stumped on what to pull from your closet.

la crema
La Crema
Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Can't wait? Order on InstaCart to get it to your door today!
Shop now
wine pairings
La Crema
Late Harvest Riesling
Use code LCEVERYGIRL for 15% + free shipping when you buy four or more bottles!
Shop now

This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.