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What to drink with chili?

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Bold and spicy, no wonder chili is a cold-weather staple for many reasons. It’s easy to make and a hearty, fulfilling meal to serve, but you want to serve the right beverages alongside it, especially when having a large crowd over. 

Chili has unique flavor that complements the sweet, sour, and tangy tastes from any beverage. As always, pairing with the drinks helps to complete the meal to the next level.

What to drink with chili? Chili pairs wonderfully with wine, beer, and non alcoholic beverages. The red and white wines to serve with chili include Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côtes du Rhône, Malbec, Riesling, dry rosé, Shiraz, sparkling wine, fruity or light-bodied Zinfandel.

When it comes to beer selection, lager, pilsner, wheat, stout, American pale ale are perfect flavors to complement a bowl of hearty chili.

For any non alcoholic beverages, consider lemonade, punch, shirley temple, apple cider, ginger beer, fruit juice, iced tea, mocktail or a sparkling drink with muddled fruit.

Whether you want to pair it with some wine, beer or cocktails, there are always drinks that fit perfectly. This article goes into depth on the beers, non-alcoholic drinks, and wines to pair with chili so your palate remains throughly pleased. 

What non-alcoholic drink goes with chili?

To pair a right beverage with chili can be tough due to the spiciness and bold flavors. Therefore, any non-alcoholic drinks that have a hint of sweetness complement well with a bowl of robust chili. 

Consider citrusy fruit such as blending lemon and mint together or a lime mocktail. Lemon and mint are a very classic combination that never fails.

Chili is a dish that requires something bubbly and cold to wash down.

  • lemonade 
  • punch
  • shirley temple
  • apple cider
  • ginger beer
  • fruit juice
  • iced tea
  • mocktail
  • soda
  • sparkling water

What is a good beer for chili?

With the many ways to make chili and the different chili flavor recipes, it can be challenging to decide exactly how to pair the stew with beer. However, we’ve made things easy for you with this list of possible beer and chili pairings:

  • Stout: An American stout beer complements the spice without getting lost in the flavors of chili. Its smoothness and roasted sweetness is all a bowl of red chili needs. In addition, jalapeños are the best fit with stout beers as it balances and contrasts the spicy chili flavor. 
    The best stout beers to serve with chili would be Rogue Chocolate Stout and Dogfish Head Stout.
  • American pale ale: These beers taste piney and citrusy, just like the hops used. They are much lighter than the Indian pale ale’s but have a distinct hop flavor. Light chili peppers are the perfect match for these beers. They add thickness and flavor to the dish without overpowering the other ingredients.
    The best beers to use are the Oskar Blues Dale Pale Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
  • Pilsners: Pilsners are malt-forward and German hop with a hint of sweetness and crisp, short finish. These beers add sweetness and hoppy to any high or medium spice chili. Jalapeños and habaneros are their ideal candidates.
    Try some Victory Prima Pilsner with jalapeños and enjoy an unforgettable culinary experience.
  • Lager: The one beer that can accept all the spice and still holds the variety of ingredients of chili is lager, especially the amber lager.
    The type of lagers that taste good with chili are Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Amber.
  • Wheat: Wheat beer not only works well with Mexican chili, but as well as can be added to the chili recipe to give flavor and texture to the stew.
    Try Widmer Hefeweizen or Blue Moon works well with a hint orange in the background

Other beer types of pairing with chili include:

  • amber ale
  • English pale ale
  • hefeweizen 
  • porter 
  • sours
  • barleywine 
  • American brown ale
  • Mexican or American light lagers
  • Indian pale ale 

What wine goes well with chili?

A creamy and smooth brew with toasted grain and coffee flavors is perfect for spicy chili. Consider giving porter or dry stout a try, and the meal will be more classic and memorable than expected. 

Caramel notes and roasted malt also help to embrace the browned beef and nutty beans while an excellent, creamy texture soothes the fierce heat from the spice. 

Here are classic drink flavor combination that go well with chili:

  • chili + ground turkey + black beans + Riesling
  • chili + ground beef + Saperavi
  • chili + turkey + Syrah
  • chili + vegetarian + Grenache
  • chili + chicken + Pinot Gris

Best red wine pairing with chili

There are multiple wine pairing possibilities for chili, especially if you are a red wine lover. Always go for a red that balances the tannin content and acidity with either medium or full-bodied tones. 

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shiraz
  • Malbec 
  • Tempranillo
  • Zinfandel
  • Grenache
  • Carmenere

Best white wine pairing with chili

For white wine lovers, pair chili with white wine when the chili is made with white meat like chicken or pork. A tomato-based chili may not complement with white wine due to its overpowering flavor. 

Therefore, select dry and chilled white wines to pair with chili:

  • Riesling
  • Viognier
  • Marsanne
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Muscat
  • Semillon
  • Gewurztraminer
What to drink with chili

Drink with Chili: Conclusion 

Consider a red wine, which gives a balance between the tannin and acidity content with a medium to full-bodied richness. Malbec, Shiraz, or Tempranillo are specific full-bodied red wines that can handle traditional chili spice, including chiles and cumin found in a traditional tomato-based chili.

For mild chicken or pork-based stew, white wine is an ultimate selection including Riesling, Viognier, Marsanne, Pinot Grigio, and Muscat.

To make a casual dinner setting, cold craft beers are also a great addition to a chili meal. Stout, American pale ale, pilsner, lager, and wheat beers are excellent options to enhance chili flavor when served.

Chili does not have to only be served with alcoholic beverages, it can be paired with sweet bubbly drinks such as lemonade, punch, shirley temple, apple cider, ginger beer, fruit juice, iced tea, mocktail, soda, and flavored sparkling water. 

People consider chili to be a noble and staple for many reasons; thus, an excellent choice will make the whole eating experience memorable. Select a beverage that every sip complements the chili to wash it down. 

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