Take-Out Food Pairings

Whether it’s a Friday night or you’re too busy to cook after work on a Wednesday, take-out is a quick fix. If you’ve been getting more into the art of food and wine pairing, know that you can still enjoy your favorite glass of red or white with the take-out meal of your choice.

Wine with Take-Out? Is That a Thing?

Sure. Fast food isn’t the healthiest option out there, but everything in moderation, right?

Perhaps you and your partner feel like having a big ol’ burger and Netflix kind of Friday night, or after a hectic day at the office, you don’t feel like cooking, so you pick up a dish from your local Thai restaurant.

Either way, one thing is certain — Americans love take-out, and they love wine. In 2020 alone, hungry consumers spent $486 billion on take-out, and the same year, California wine hit $40 billion in sales.

So, naturally, wine and take-out pairings are a thing.

Let’s jump right in!


The beauty of burgers is that they pair with many wines, especially because the topping combinations are endless. 

For example, if you pick up a grilled bacon burger from your local mom-and-pop diner, you have several options, but two safe bets are a glass of Zinfandel or Syrah. For example, Sweet Oaks 2019 Zinfandel pairs perfectly with barbecued dishes. The bold, jammy notes you get from this wine stand up well to grilled beef and bacon. 

For vegetarians, veggie patties often pair best with white wine, like Chardonnay, which still offers body and texture. For portobello mushroom burgers, you can’t beat a glass of Pinot Noir. The bright fruit and earthy tones you get from a Pinot Noir make mushroom burgers sing.

Asian Food

Once again, Asian take-out, like Chinese food, is one of those options where the sky is the limit because there are so many dishes. 

If you’re a vegetable lo mein fan, Sauvignon Blanc will do the trick, and Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with Peking duck. 

If you have a bottle of Viognier at home you’re dying to open, opt for some spicy Asian dishes. The natural sweetness of Viognier pairs well with noodles or chicken with plenty of red chilis — Pad Thai, anyone?

Tacos and Burritos

If you go the Mexican route, opting for classic beef tacos or a burrito, go for red wine. In California and Temecula Valley, there’s no shortage of stunning reds. Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, or Malbec are all great choices. For a night-in like this, you can’t beat this ZombiVino selection — a 2017 Pinot Noir, 2017 Merlot, and 2017 Malbec. 

For fish tacos, you have options. Although citrusy whites tend to be best, a red can work, depending on the taco. For example, a California Pinot Noir is a great choice with grilled fish, especially salmon. If you’re eating grilled char or trout, a wine that offers a hint of oak is a nice treat. For white, flaky fishes, go for white wines with tropical or citrus flavors. White wines with high acidity can also act like a spritz of lime. 


With pizza, you have to consider the toppings. A classic tomato-based pizza, such as a Margherita pizza, pairs well with a rosé — a Grenache is a winner! While enjoying white pizzas, which are void of tomato and topped with plenty of white cheese, you can’t go wrong with a Pinot Grigio. 

For a mushroom pizza, reach for a Pinot Noir or a complex wine like Chianti, and if in doubt, go for bubbles. A sparkling rosé will cut through the richness of the pizza and act as a palate cleanser. 


When ordering Indian, the wine you choose will depend on the sauce and the dish’s spiciness. For spicy tomato-based dishes, like a Vindaloo, Jalfrezi, or Masala, super fruity, medium-bodied reds are ideal. The same goes for cream-based sauces — so a Zinfandel or Sangiovese. Again, a sparking rosé works well.

Green sauces made with slow-cooked greens, onions, spices, and cream, pair well with a Sauvignon Blanc, dry Chenin Blanc, or Riesling. When in doubt, a sparkling rosé, Riesling (sweet or dry), or Gamay tends to pair exceptionally well with Indian. 

For spiciness, a mild dish pairs well with dry wine; for medium spiciness, go for an off-dry, and spicy dishes pair best with sweet wines. 


Sushi is a fan favorite, which always goes well with sake, a Japanese rice wine. However, it also pairs well with a long list of wines commonly found in the United States and even California. Riesling or Pinot Noir are good options. 

  • When eating tempura, go for a light-bodied white wine.
  • For light fish dishes, a Pinot Grigio or unoaked Chardonnay is ideal.
  • With tuna or salmon, reach for Pinot Noir.
  • Vegetarian rolls, like avocado or crunchy cucumber roll, pair well with a light-bodied dry rosé.

Try Sweet Oaks Wine 

There you have it. You’re all set for your big night in. Browse the wine collection offered by Sweet Oaks to find the perfect pairing.

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