In Vino Valentines

Pair Champagne with your takeout menu

We're all for romantic dinners out. Just not tonight. Oh, please, not tonight.

The pressure. The dining rooms full of nervous lovers. The special menu up-sell.

Respectfully: No.

Better to stay home, order in and open up a bottle of quality bubbles. Happily, sparkling wines make a great match with our favorite takeout. Great wine, no crowds: It's a love connection–even if you've just got a hot date with a House of Cards marathon.


Pizza Lambrusco

Dry, fizzy Lambrusco–like this bottle from Podere Giardino–goes great with charcuterie. So why not pepperoni? "Lambrusco works with foods that have a little bit of fat, so pick a pizza that's meat-driven," says Jeff Kellogg, wine director at NYC's Maialino. "The acidity of the tomato sauce helps the pairing, too."

Thai Demi Sec Champagne

"One of my go-to, off-dry Champagnes is the A. Margaine Demi Sec," says David Speer of Ambonnay wine bar in Portland, Oregon. "It isn't terribly sweet, so it works well with lightly spiced Thai dishes, like pad thai or Massaman curry." (The richness of the curry, adds Speer, flirts with the off-dry style.)

Tacos Rosé

Wine with tacos can be tricky depending on what's inside the tortilla, says Lucas Playa, wine director at José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup. Sparkling is a sure bet. "The crunchiness of a taco with bubbles is a great combination." He pours Schramsberg's Mirabelle Brut Rosé with Oyamel's beef tongue tacos. For tacos al pastor, Jill Gubesch, of Chicago's Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, likes toasty Gruet Blanc de Noirs, which mellows out the taco's bright pineapple flavors.