There’s nothing a glass of wine can’t solve; am I right? Better yet, a red solo cup filled with the best cheap wine you can find paired with today’s takeout. These pairings are the perfect solution to a late Saturday night or just a fun twist on your run-of-the-mill takeout meal.

So whip out those plastic cups, your $2 wine openers, and your thin, college wallets – it’s time for the best cheap takeout and wine pairings out there. We’re sorry in advance about your hangover.

#SpoonNote: Prices may vary around the country.

Classic Tacos & Spanish Lurra Garnacha, $7.95

Torchy’s: Damn Good Tacos and a Secret Menu

Photo by Christin Urso

First on the list: A taco stuffed with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped crisp lettuce, salsa and sour cream in a warm, flour tortilla.

Whether you’re picking this Mexican favorite up from Taco Bell or Chipotle, I would recommend grabbing a Spanish Lurra Garnacha to go with it. This full-bodied red wine matches that thick sour cream, cheddar cheese, and beef.

But don’t worry, this strong combo won’t feel like it’s filling you up too much. This Garnacha has a great, sweet, fruity taste to balance out the heaviness and the spiciness of the salsa and zesty flavors of the seasoned ground beef.

For some other amazing wine and taco pairings, check out these tips.

Photo by Mikaela Kearns

General Tso’s Chicken & 2011 Washington Hills Riesling, $11.99

Photo courtesy of jeffreyw on Flickr

General Tso’s Chicken – such a go-to Chinese take-out classic. The mild spice of this dish adds a zing to each bite that a 2011 Washington Hills Riesling is a great pair for.

The rich, sweet taste of this white wine has enough acidity to keep the strong flavors of a good takeout meal balanced while also working to tame the spiciness of General Tso’s Chicken. What’s more, the Riesling has a strong fruity flavor that gives it enough to be able to stand on its own, for when you finish the Chinese food and figure you might as well top off the bottle, too.

If this combo has you ordering way too much takeout for your own good, try this homemade Chinese dinner next time.

wine pairings

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California Roll & Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc, $9.99

What Sushi Roll Are You?

Photo by Megan Tang

A classic takeout go-to – sushi. You can’t go wrong. To pair with sushi in general, crisp white wines are the way to go. I recommend a Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc. The fruity notes in the wine are sharp enough to cut through the hot wasabi and powerful ginger flavors while being subtle enough as to not overpower the crab meat and avocado center.

For an even classier wine and sushi meal, brush up on your sushi etiquette with these tips.

Photo by Steven Baboun

Cheeseburger & Australian Shiraz, $10.00

wine pairings

Photo by Avid Khorramian

When your ultimate cheat day brings you to the takeout window at McDonald’s (or Five Guys or Shake Shack or whatever), you may as well make your next stop the liquor store to pick up an Australian Shiraz wine. A nice bottle of fruity yet full Shiraz will keep up with the hearty burger while complementing it with its sweeter notes. So, go ahead and treat yo self.

To spice up this meal, check out these creative burgers.

wine pairings

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Mac ‘n Cheese & Torresella Prosecco DOC Extra Dry, $16

The Best Mac and Cheese in Evanston

Photo by Kirby Barth

From Panera or your campus’ own dining hall, there’s nothing like a bowl of thick and creamy mac ‘n cheese.

To pair with this, I recommend a Torresella Prosecco DOC Extra Dry. This dry, light sparkling white wine has an acidity so vibrant it will cut down the thickness of the savory melted cheese. Typically a wine paired with fine cheeses, it will keep up just fine with your rich mac ‘n cheese takeout.

If you’re trying to make this meal a little healthier, check out this recipe.


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Cinnamon Swirl Brioche French Toast & Cream Sherry, $9.99

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For all you sweet-tooths out there: iHop’s own satisfying thick brioche covered in vanilla batter, grilled, smothered in cinnamon roll filling, and topped with a cream cheese drizzle is next on the list.

Pair this delicious French toast with a cream sherry for a late Saturday brunch or post-night out combo. A cream sherry is a succulent, dark red wine that would be the Ying to the Yang of the sweet French toast, especially that cinnamon coating. You can thank me later.

If you want to make your own french toast to go with your cream sherry, check out this recipe.

wine pairings

Photo courtesy of @flyawaymj on Instagram

Steak and White Cheddar Panini & 2013 Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon, $8.99

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If the thought of a Panera panini makes your mouth water, this particular steak and white cheddar one goes great with a 2013 Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon.

The tannins in this particular red Cabernet vino pair oh-so-nicely with the warm red-meat steak and melted cheese. Basically, the smooth, strong body of the wine matches the character of the meal while the dryness refreshes after each bite. It is the perfect combo for a satisfying, filling fast-food meal with a classy-ass wine.

If this panini gets you craving more, get cooking with these killer recipes.

wine pairings

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