Fast-casual wine guide


Editor’s Note: This weekly column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

With our busy schedules, fast casual dining is a great option to bring home for yourself or family. With numerous local and national chains making better food with better local ingredients, there’s no reason why fast casual meals at home can’t be enjoyed with a good glass of wine or beer.

Here’s a short guide to that will help you pair a fast casual cuisine with an inexpensive white wine, red wine or cold beer.

This Peruvian chicken would go nicely with a pale ale or Chilean  ChardonnayPeruvian Chicken

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a juicy, charbroiled, spiced to perfection piece of Peruvian chicken.

We all crave for it and we all have our own favorite place. We argue with friends which Peruvian chicken restaurant is the best (El Pollo Rico is our favorite, Crisp and Juicy is a close second). There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it with a glass of your favorite libation.

If you’re a white wine drinker, go with a Chilean Chardonnay. The fullness of Chardonnay will match up well with the spices and the creamy Peruvian sauces that most chicken places provide. For red wine drinkers, try a Portuguese red wine from Douro. These lighter style reds have great value and won’t overpower the light spices from the chicken. For beer drinkers, a great citrusy summer seasonal pale ale would be perfect.


Five Guys, Smashburger, BGR are just a few and there’s no shortage of great burger spots in the D.C. area. Many of these places don’t have wine or beer on the menu.

These burger joints offer a variety of toppings on the burgers. But one thing stays the same: Juicy ground beef. For white wine drinkers, you cannot go wrong with a glass California Chardonnay. Californian buttery characteristics of California Chardonnays can cut through a fatty burger, making it a perfect combo.

For red wine drinkers, I would stick with California but move to a Red Zinfandel. A burger classic, Zinfandel is big and juicy and begs for grilled meat. I would recommend an Old Vine style of Zinfandel that is more full bodied and contains richer fruits.

For beer drinkers, it’s pretty simple, American burger = American beer. Let’s not complicate things. Drink your favorite IPA, lager, pale ale, stout or porter and enjoy.


Chop’t, Sweetgreen, The Brown Bag and Cava Mezze offer people in Bethesda great salad options and these places are usually packed for lunch and just after work. For white wine drinkers, I would recommend a French Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. The minerality and acidity will pair well with fresh greens, vegetable toppings and lightly flavored proteins. For red wine drinkers, go with an Oregon Pinot Noir. Oregon Pinots are known for their earthy flavored qualities that go just right with greens. The lightness of Pinot also matches the weight of the salad, making it a great combo.

For beer drinkers, I would recommend a nice German lager. German lagers are known for their light and crisp qualities, making them refreshing and easy to drink — perfect for salads.

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