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What Wine Will You Have With Chicken?

If you said "A white wine" you are partially correct. But here is a more complete answer.

The basic rule for food pairing is "white wine for white meats and red wines for red meats."

This rule is fine as far as it goes, but there are many different styles of white wine as well as many different ways to cook chicken. So the simple answer is not always the most informative.

It isn't always even correct. The classic French dish of Coq au Vin uses red wine as a key ingredient and in fact is best accompanied by red wine. You can of course make Coq au Vin Blanc, in which case you would use a full bodied white wine.

Another classic French dish is Poulle a Bonne Femme. Here the chicken is poached in a broth made with herbs, vegetables and white wine. A dry Chenin blanc or a Viognier might be called for.

To get the most out of food pairing you need to match your wine selection with the whole dish, not just the main ingredient. For example Thai Chicken in Green Curry could be paired with a crisp Gewurztraminer which would complement the spiciness.

Other Asian chicken dishes might be best with crisp dry whites, but you need to consider the dominant flavour of the dish; it is often not chicken.

Some dishes with heavy sauces require full bodied wines. You might try an oaked Chardonnay or a Viognier with Roast Stuffed Chicken.

Deep Fried Chicken is an occasion for a young crisp wine such as an Australian Verdelho or perhaps a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend.

If you are serving Barbecued or Grilled Chicken it might be an occasion to use red wine, especially if you are using a spicy BBQ sauce.

Italian or Provencal Chicken dishes with tomato and garlic sauces call for a rose or light Italian red wine, say a Sangiovese or an Barbera.

In summary you need to consider the total dish are there any dominant flavours? Then choose your wine, or perhaps you like to choose your wine first then start browsing for recipes.

Submitted by:

Darby Higgs

Darby Higgs is the compiler of the Albarino to Zinfandel guide at http://www.albzin.com where you will find many food pairing ideas and recipes for varietal wines.


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