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After a long hard week, many of us like to treat ourselves to a cheeky wee takeaway on a Friday – but are there wines that match up well with dishes like Chinese delights, curries and fish and chips? Wine connoisseur Tom Cannavan thinks so, and he’s on a mission to prove his point.
Indian, Chinese food and pizza are officially the most popular takeaways, though classic fish and chips are still pretty popular too.
And while its true that many other drinks, such as beer with Indian food or jasmine tea with Chinese dishes go very well, there is a place for wine too. The trick is knowing what type to go for.
So Tom Cannavan has picked three different bottles of wine that each complement three different takeaways well.
1. Fish and chips: Spar, Chilean Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Spar, £5.59
Believe it or not, Champagne goes very well with a fish supper. Working on the same principle that a squeeze of fresh lemon goes great with fish, choosing a wine that has a lovely lemony freshness and a bit of bite always works brilliantly – especially if it has a few bubbles!
This bottle of Sauvignon Blanc has lovely lemon and lime flavours, and certainly won’t break the bank and might just be the perfect finishing touch to your dinner tonight.
2. Chinese food: Viñas del Vero, Gewürztraminer 2009, Spain, Majestic, £5.99
The first Chinese restaurant in Scotland was opened by Jimmy Yih in the 1940s, and in the decades since, Chinese food has gone on to compete with Indian and Pizza as our most popular takeway.
Of course Chinese food ranges over a variety of styles, but the best is fragrant and aromatic, with a little bit of spice and often a hint of sweetness to some of the sauces.
Big red wines can work surprisingly well, but best match of all has got to be the exotic and spicy white wine, Gewürztraminer:
This selection from Tom has lovely flavours of rose petals and fresh lychees.
2. Pizza: Ortonese, Sangiovese Merlot 2009, Italy, WoodWinters, £6
Pizza has its origins in the flat breads of the Middle East, but found fame as a popular dish from Naples in the south of Italy.
Pizza has soared to the top of the Friday night league table and wine choice depends on the topping of course: from a rich, tomato sauce with pungent anchovies and capers, to 'pizza bianca' made without tomato sauce and perhaps with milder ingredients like ricotta, rocket and artichokes.
We've picked a gluggable red from Abruzzo with wide appeal, which has tasty, fresh flavours of plums and fresh herbs such as oregano.