Chicken is a versatile dish. In a wine lover’s world, every meal needs a glass of wine. However, you cannot pick up the first bottle of wine you see and try to pair it with chicken.
Wine pairings and chicken are complex and intricate processes. If you pair the wrong wine with chicken, it could ruin the entire dish.
So, let’s learn how to choose the perfect wine for chicken.
What Wine Pairs With Chicken?
Chicken wine pairings depend on how the chicken is cooked and the ingredients used to prepare it. There are many ways to cook chicken. So, you need a wine for each cooking method.
Fried chicken is well-seasoned, moist, and extremely crispy. The perfect fried chicken wine pairing is a wine with the right balance of sweetness and acidity.
Champagne is the perfect wine for fried chicken. Champagne’s acidity cuts through the greasy fried chicken.
Make sure you select Champagne with citrus notes to take your fried chicken to the next level.
Typically, roasted chicken features many herbs. Other common ingredients for roasted chicken include butter, oil, garlic, and lemon. to
Chardonnay is the perfect pairing for roasted chicken. However, any old Chardonnay will not do.
Choose a Chardonnay with a strong fruity profile or an oaked Chardonnay.
These wines have a flavor that cleanses the palate from the robust flavor of the herbs and other strongly flavored ingredients like garlic.
Roast lemon herb chicken can also pair well with Rose or Gruner Veltliner. As long as the wine is acidic, it will lift the heavy flavors of the roasted chicken from your palette and elevate the meal.
Cream-based Chicken Dishes
Chardonnay is famous for its buttery flavor and smooth viscosity. The rich citrus profile draws you in as soon as you get a whiff of the wine.
The smooth viscosity of Chardonnay pairs well with rich, dense, and creamy chicken dishes such as chicken alfredo. The acidic flavor helps cut through the rich, creamy sauce.
Chicken Marsala is savory and earthy because of the mushrooms. However, heavy cream gives chicken marsala a rich, creamy texture. Lighter reds and full-bodied white wines are your best friends regarding chicken Marsala.
For example, red wines such as Pinot Noir and Malbec and white wines such as Riesling and Chardonnay are great pairings for chicken marsala.
The acidity of full-bodied white wines cuts through the dish’s richness, while the fruitiness of lighter-bodied reds enhances the meal’s flavor.
BBQ chicken pairs best with fruity red wines. Fruity red wines usually have lower levels of tannins, so they are less acidic and complement the flavor of the sweet BBQ sauce.
There are a few options for BBQ chicken, including Zinfandel, Dolcetto, and Barbera wine.
Zinfandel is a popular pairing. The fruity flavors complement the sweet sticky barbeque sauce perfectly.
Barbecue sauce can have brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, or tomato paste, so the cherry licorice flavors blend perfectly together.
Dolcetto is a fruit-flavored red wine bursting with flavors of blackberry and plum. These fruity flavors enhance the smoky flavor of barbecued chicken.
Barbera is also an excellent pairing for BBQ chicken. The dominant cherry and berry flavors enhance the barbecue sauce’s naturally sweet and slightly tangy flavor.
However, Barbera also has an acidity that balances out the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
Coq Au Vin And Chicken Casseroles
Red wine and chicken casseroles are a match made in heaven. Pinot Noir is the perfect pairing for chicken casseroles.
Pinot Noir has a moderate amount of tannins, so it has a little acidity which cleanses the palette.
The cherry flavors also complement the savory flavor of the chicken casserole or Coq Av Vin. However, Pinot Noir is not the only red wine that goes with this type of chicken dish.
Gamay and Grenache also pair well with chicken casseroles or Coq Av Vin.
White wine is best for chicken piccata. Chicken piccata features fresh parsley, lemon, salt, and black pepper. All of these ingredients need room to shine, so it’s best to avoid tannic wines.
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Blanc are the best wines for chicken piccata. Chardonnay has a texture that is as smooth as butter.
The subtle hints of vanilla and fruit allow the chicken piccata flavor to shine.
Sauvignon Blanc has subtle fruity flavors of peach, pear, grapefruit, and lime. These fruity flavors complement the zesty lemon and grassy parsley.
Pinot Blanc has notes of citrus, apple, pear, and a slight minerality. The aroma is filled with notes of almonds, fruit, and subtle hints of baking spice.
The citrus of the wine compliments the chicken piccata, and the fruity notes enhance its flavor.
Spicy Chicken Dishes
When it comes to spicy chicken dishes, sweet wines are best. Heat and sweetness go hand in hand, so wines such as rose or a medium bodies-dry white wine like Riesling works perfectly.
The rose will help balance out the spiciness of the dish. In contrast, the acidity of a dry Riesling will cleanse the palette, while the subtle sweetness balances out the chicken’s spicy flavor.
Chicken parmesan is savory, cheesy, rich, and salty, so it needs a wine to help balance out the flavors of the dish and cleanse the palette.
Light-bodied and medium-bodied red wines such as Pinot Noir and Merlot pair well with the complex flavor of chicken parmesan.
Pinot Noir has flavors of spice, cherry, and herbs. This flavor profile balances out the rich flavor of the cheese, the sweet flavor of the tomato sauce, and the savory chicken.
In contrast, Merlot has a smooth viscosity. It has a moderate amount of tannins and flavors of cocoa and raspberry. Overall, Merlot enhances the flavor of the chicken parmesan.