Take me home tonight

 By: Stacie Hunt – Sommelier
Contributor’s website: Splash Pros 

Tonight, dine on fast food and fine wine.
Take me home tonight. That’s the alluring, subliminal message from hundreds of billboards, radio/TV spots and on just about every corner on your way home. Admit it or not, we’re a fast food nation. We love to heat n’ eat, order in, take home, drive-through and nuke-it.
On top of loving our buckets of chicken and boxes of noodles, we’re also on the fast wine track. After a steady growth in wine consumption during the last decade that has the French and Italians looking over their shoulders, the Wine Market Council reports that less than half (40%) of American lovers of the grape report they think of enjoying wine at home with their take-out.

 It’s curious that we draw a line between a sit-down meal and a brown bag meal when it comes to the enjoyment of wine. This is possibly another throwback to the puritanical founders of our country, who must’ve seen this take-out trend coming the minute they pulled up to Plymouth Rock.
Match your fast food mood with easy to swallow wine values. 
PIZZA & CHEAP WINE:  Tomatoes, cheese, anchovies, sausage, peppers…….all tough matches on their own, but when blended into a pie they play well together. This does require a wine with a combination of acidity and fruit (like a tomato tastes). No surprise, you’ll find what you want in the Italian aisle of your grocery or wine shop.
’09 Regaliali Bianco, Sicily $16.99 (a white wine that can take what a pizza has to offer!)
’07 Rocca della Macie, Chianti Classico $14.99
’07 Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: $9.99
The “go with everything” grape from southern Italy.

BURGERS & REDS:  Whether it’s a sirloin or a round that’s ground, the beef needs some stuffing in the wine.
’09 Wolftrap Syrah/Cinsault/Mourvedre/Viognier Blend $12.99
8 restful months in oak
’09 Carchelo Monastrelle/Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon $12.99
’09 Virgin Vines Shiraz (Sir Richard Branson’s rockin’ wine) $ 9.99

TACOS & TEMPRANILLO:  Tempranillo is the rich and vibrant red wine grape of Spain. It has the right amount of heft and acidity to tame Mexican take-out from Bean Burritos to Fish Tacos. Or try a rosé made from Tempranillo or Grenache–makes amor to the taco!
’06 LAN Rioja Crianza $11.99

’09 Muga Rosé wine $14.99
CHINESE & CHENIN BLANC:  Depending on the region, your take-home box could contain sweet, sour, crunchy or soft delectables. What you’ll need is a wine with fruit, acidity (to clean your palate for the next bite) and some spice.
’09 L.A. Cetto Chenin Blanc (Baja, California)  $10.99
’08 Samur Les Pouches Chenin Blanc (Loire Valley) $12.99
Or, if you’re in an exotic and adventuresome mood:
’08 Sparr Gewurztraminer (Alsace) a spicy, fruity, lichee nut $19.99
SUSHI & SHERRY:  Briny, fresh jewels from the sea and fragrant rice call for a match that will carry forward the freshness in your mouth. You may think you don’t like sherry, but truth or dare on this one!
Savory & James Fino $11.99

Tio Pepe Fino $16.99

La Gitana Hidalgo Manzanilla $13.99

Sake for the purists: Taru Kikusakari $31.99
SUBWAY & SAUVIGNON:  Green peppers, salami, two cheeses, onions, pickles, oil and vinegar and avocado are just some of the combos that you can cram onto the footlongs. This mélange can take anything you want to wash it down with—red or white. But, check out a Cab with its hint of mint and slight green pepper. Or the Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy, herbaceous tastes. A submarine rises from the bottom with this pairing.
’06 De Lyeth Cabernet Sauvignon (red), Sonoma, CA $12.99

’09 Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc, Secreto (white), Chile $10.99
 A BUCKET AND BUBBLES:  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and bubbles! Try a Prosecco or another sparkling wine (or maybe use up that leftover Champagne from last night). The bubbles will do a fine job, getting through the um, oiliness. And, the sheer delight of sipping bubbles with a bucket is just too good not to experience.
NV Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco (crisp, dry) $16.99

NV Montelliana Extra Dry (slightly sweet) $10.99

THAI THIS ON FOR SIZE:  Spicy, minty, sweet, lemony, hot, layers of flavors—you’ll want to go easy now with your wine choice. A low alcohol, dry Riesling from Austria, Alsace or Germany or, “hang on” – try a White Zinfandel. Don’t roll your eyes. The sweetness of this wine will INSTANTLY take the heat out of your mouth, imparting a taste of freshness and fruit. Trust me on this one.
’09 Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling, Mosel, Germany $18.99

’09 Maestracci E Prove Calvi, Corsica $16.99

Sutter Home White Zinfandel (the Mother of all White Zins) $ 5.00
Find these fine wines for your take home dining at: Du Vin Wine & Spirits and for the White Zinfandel:  Vons, Ralphs, Pavillions
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Contributor’s website: Splash Pros

(image credits: photos 1-4 & 7-8: IClipArt, photo 5: Food GPS, photo 6: fourseasonswine.com)

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