Pairing Off: Wilmette Takeout and Wine
Having a few drinks when dining out can really add to your bill. We here at Patch consulted with local wine expert Joe Alter of The Bottle Shop to put together a run down of the best takeout and wine pairings in town.
Joe Alter, co-owner of local wine store The Bottle Shop loves to talk wine. Recently, we asked Joe if he was game for the challenge of matching up bottles of wine with specific takeout (or, in the case of Bluette, BYOB) dishes from local Wilmette favorites. The busy shop owner was more than up to the challenge.
We selected four flavorful meals from around town, and asked for one wine and cigar pairing. Joe Alter shares his expertise below.
Opart Thai - This popular Thai takeout joint is the perfect antidote to a long day. The expertly prepared comfort food hits all the right notes, and deserves a great wine to go with it.
Takeout: Panang curry with tofu, $8
Wine Pairing: Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington State 2009 $13.95
Joe Alter Says: Don't fear the Riesling! Is it sweet? Sure, it is? But so is a ripe green apple. The zip of the acidity and a touch of sweetness are the perfect foil for the heat of Opart's sweet/hot curries.
Chick N Rib Joynt - We traditionally associate barbecue with beer. Can pairing wine with smoked pork change the dining experience for the better? Alter definitely thinks so.
Takeout: Full slab of baby back ribs and fries, $20
Wine Pairing: Allegrini & Renacer Enamore 2007 $25
Joe Alter Says: Primarily Malbec with some Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Bonarda. Enamore is made in the style of Amarone from Italy. The grapes are dried before fermentation which concentrates the flavors and melts away the tannins giving a pillow of dense dark fruit to wash down the sweet and savory melt in your mouth ribs.
Bluette - Wilmette's latest Nu-French bistro offers updated takes on French classics. As good as Bluette can be, the wine alter pairs with our choice of entree makes us want to trade in our plates for another bottle.
BYOB: Butter poached lobster risotto. $24
Wine Pairing: Neely "Holly's Cuvée" Spring Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay $44
You need to fight fire with fire: if you're gonna splurge on Bluette's decadent butter poached risotto, then "pass go" and get Nelly Holly's Cuvée Chardonnay made by Jim and Bob Varner. A dazzling presentation of vanilla bean, sugar-soaked lemon, honey drizzled over yogurt. As rich as it is, it feels almost weightless on the palate.
Takeout: Nikki Special (a burger topped with gyro meat) and fries, $5.95
Wine Pairing: Flaco Tempranillo $6.95
Joe Alter Says: Nothing like a fresh and juicy Spanish tempranillo to wash down a Nikki's special. No oak. Tank fermented old-vine Tempranillo from Madrid. Cheap AND DELICIOUS.
Cigar: An Ashton brand cigar, described as "agreeable to most everyone," by Cigary International owner Robert Ashe, $10
Bodegas Benegas Don Tiburcio 2007 $12.95
Joe Alter Says: I usually think of a scotch or a cognac with a good cigar, but try this smoky little Malbec - Cabernet Franc blend from Argentina instead. The tobacco-scented Cabernet Franc and the charred oak scents from the barrel aging are the perfect foil for a good cigar.