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What kind of wine goes well with chicken?

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Identifying the right wine pairing to serve with chicken can be tricky if you are a wine connoisseur. Even though the types of wine to pair with chicken seems like a pretty straightforward question, you might need a bit of help from a professional.

However, this is more than a one word answer due to the extreme versatility of chicken, what part are you eating and how is it being served. The wine you serve with chicken depends on the cut of meat, preparation style, seasoning and marinades or sauces used, because roasted chicken will have slightly different pairings. 

What kinds of wine goes well with chicken? In general, chicken goes well with Beaujolais, aged Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Merlot, Oregon or other New World Pinot Noir. For lighter chicken dishes, Riesling pairs well with chicken. 

Typically, white wine forms a perfect duo with chicken or turkey, while red wine blends well with dark meat poultry such as duck or goose. 

In this article, we are going to dive into wine pairing with chicken. Answered below are frequently asked questions about serving wine with chicken that has been baked, fried, grilled, herbed, jerked, roasted, and more. 

Let’s read through to find out more about wines that go well with chicken.

Why is white wine served with chicken?  

Most people pair chicken with white wine since it’s a more flexible choice with higher acidity than red wine. It complements the chicken and brightens the meal, just as a squirt of lemon juice would do. 

On the other hand, red wine is high in tannins, making it a perfect complement to the fattiness and richness of dark or red meats. 

The essence of accompanying a meal with wine contrasts the different textures, weights and flavors of the meat. Typically, the wine selection depends on whether you are eating white meat versus dark meat. Therefore, white wine plays this part perfectly when paired with chicken.

Does Pinot Grigio go with chicken?

Yes, Pinot Grigio pairs perfectly with chicken. In fact, this wine pairs well with light and fresh flavors, but avoid heavy and cream sauces because the flavors get easily overwhelmed. 

In addition, it pairs perfectly with fried chicken, chicken enchiladas and Mexican-style dishes. Not only is it fragrant, but the wine also has some acidity that keeps things crisp and clean. 

This white wine itself has refreshing and dryness that has popular varieties grown in United States, France and Italy.

Is red wine ok with chicken?

Yes, some red wines pair perfectly with chicken. However, red wine is a more ideal pairing when chicken is served with earthy ingredients such as root vegetables, tomato sauce or mushrooms. 

Avoid choosing dark and black red wines since they’ll overpower the chicken taste. The best red wine to pair with chicken is pinot noir because it adds a tangy flavor to the chicken.

Additionally, how the chicken is prepared can be determination of the taste with red wine. A roast chicken pairs beautifully with a full-flavored red, medium-bodied Rosé, or Pinot Noir.

Best wine to pair with chicken

Selecting the best wine to pair with chicken ultimately depends on how the chicken is prepared. From fried, to grilled, roasted, baked and braised, there are so many ways to enjoy chicken.

Here are chef-approved wine pairing that taste best with chicken:

  • Baked: full-bodied Chardonnay, Barbera
  • Barbecued: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, German Riesling, Syrah, Zinfandel
  • Fried: Champagne, Chardonnay, light-bodied Chianti, dry rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling wine
  • Grilled: Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz or Syrah, Zinfandel
  • Poached: white Burgundy, Russian River Pinot Noir, Riesling
  • Roasted: Barbera, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, red or white Burgundy, Chianto, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Rioja
  • Sautéed: Chianti, Montepulciano
  • Stewed: white wine, full-bodied
  • Stir-fried: Gewürztraminer, Riesling

Furthermore, the ingredients and sauces that are served with the chicken can also impact its wine selection.

  • Cream sauce: no or light oak Chardonnay, Viognier
  • Curry sauce: Champagne, Chardonnay
  • With garlic: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Herbed: Bandol, Beaujolais, rosé, Sauvignon Blanc
  • With lemon or lime: Champagne, California or unbaked Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
  • With tomato sauce: Chianti, Montepulciano
  • Sweet and sour: off-dry Riesling
  • With tarragon: white Bordeaux or Burgundy
Best wine for chicken

Wine With Chicken: Conclusion

No matter how chicken is prepared, a good wine pairing is the best beverage to serve with chicken. Pairing chicken and wine strikes a harmonious balance that enhances flavor in both the food and drink. 

When selecting the type of wine to pair with chicken, consider how the chicken has been cooked and also what ingredients or condiments are added to the dish. As a result, it is vital to match up the complete flavor of the meal with that of the wine. 

A general rule of thumb is white meat and white wine, red meat with red wine. As a result, typically chicken breast pairs well with white wine due to its mild and refreshing taste, while chicken leg or thigh can stand up better to red wine. 

In addition, how they are prepared can change the wine pairing altogether. Some red wine can taste great with chicken, especially with roasted chicken or when served with root vegetables, tomato sauce or mushrooms.

In general, chicken pairs well with Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. But, the cooking technique and overall flavor of the dish plays a large role in determining the wine option. 

If you are preparing chicken for dinner tonight, review the wine choices based on how the chicken is prepared in order to pair with the correct varietal. The main ingredient you are combining with the chicken usually helps to make the right decision in the end.

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