Uncover the Ultimate Chicken and Wine Pairings: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Enhancing Your Culinary Experience

Chicken is a versatile and delicious kitchen staple. It can be prepared in so many different ways and complements a range of flavors, from spicy to sweet and savory. However, not every wine works with every dish.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best wines for pairing with chicken dishes.

Let’s start with a favorite dish.

Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is a classic dish that everyone should know how to make. It is easy to prepare and can be served with a variety of side dishes. Roasted chicken is delicious, especially when paired with wine.

The best wine for roasted chicken is a dry white wine. Dry whites are crisp and clean, with a hint of acidity that cuts through the richness of the dish. They also pair well with most vegetables and herbs.

If you are making roasted chicken at home, try pairing it with a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc from California or France.

Recommended Chardonnays:

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

This vineyard is located in California, and it’s a great place to start your search for a good Chardonnay with crab legs. This wine is made from grapes grown in the Sonoma Valley, where the climate is ideal for growing them. Fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels for richness, toastiness, and complexity.

J. Lohr Chardonnay

This California winery has been making award-winning wines for over 30 years, and this Chardonnay is no exception. They use grapes from their own vineyards in Monterey County, which means that you can be sure the quality is always high. This wine has a rich golden color with notes of citrus and vanilla on the nose.

Ladera Vineyards Chardonnay

This Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands, which is a cool climate area. It’s aged in French oak barrels for about 15 months before being bottled and has notes of vanilla and toasted hazelnuts on the nose.

Sauvignon Blanc is another great option for roasted chicken. Try one of these, and you won’t go wrong.

Recommended Sauvignon Blanc

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest and hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes followed by a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to what you taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

Chicken in a Creamy Sauce

White wine is a classic pairing for chicken in a creamy sauce. Chicken with white wine is the most popular pairing choice for many people, and it’s easy to see why. White wines are light and refreshing, which makes them ideal for hot summer days.

The best wines for chicken dishes with creamy sauces are dry white wines. You can drink them on their own or with food, and they pair well with a variety of dishes.

If you’re looking for a specific pairing, though, try Riesling. This wine is low in alcohol and high in acidity, which makes it an excellent choice for chicken dishes with creamy sauces. It also has fruity flavors that will complement the creaminess of your dish without overpowering it.

Recommended Rieslings

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

This Kabinett is a fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Spätlese Riesling is richer and more intense in flavor than Kabinett. It comes with a lively minerality that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit you’ll find here. Worth seeking out.

Ransom Sunnyside Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley of Oregon)

From the vineyard themselves, “This single vineyard, old vine bottling from the South Salem Hills is a classic, terroir-revealing Riesling. Opening with fresh fruit aromas of key lime and pineapple, the palate offers vivid acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon zest and candied ginger wrapped around a mineral vein. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with a beguiling note of honeysuckle blossom. A delight to drink now, but also exceedingly age-worthy.” 

Chicken with Garlic

If you’re eating chicken with garlic, white wine is your best bet. A high-acidity level is good for pairing with garlicky dishes, so choose wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Viognier. Chardonnay works well with garlic because the wine has a high acidity level that helps to balance out the garlic’s flavor.

Sauvignon blanc and Viognier both have fruity notes that will complement the chicken. Viognier works with chicken and garlic because it has a high level of acidity that balances out the garlic’s flavor. The wine also has fruity notes that will complement the chicken.

Recommended Viognier

Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon

Critic tasting note: (2002 vintage) “An exotic, perfumed wine, with aromas of violets and rosewater. To taste, this exoticism goes through to ripe, but elegant fruit. Along with all this, there is a freshness and fruitiness which makes the wine light, fragrant and vibrant.” – 92/100Wine Enthusiast

E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane

Critic tasting note: (2017 vintage) “Classic in style, this exuberant, perfumed Viognier fills the air with aromas of orange blossom, peach, and honey. While weighty and textured, it’s lifted by a vein of tangerine acidity and lingering notes of bitternut skins and vanilla. This lovely wine should drink well through 2027. Anna Lee C. Iijima” – 94/100Wine Enthusiast

Francois Villard Condrieu Villa Pontciana

Critic tasting note: (2016 vintage) “The nose of this wine is delicate but perfumed, wafting of orange blossom, apricot and honeycomb. Full-bodied and glycerol on the palate, it offers layers of tangerine and stone-fruit flavors edged by a pleasant ring of bitters. This powerful yet pretty wine will be best enjoyed now through 2026. Anna Lee C. Iijima” – 94/100Wine Enthusiast

Incidentally, I found an excellent recipe for Garlic Chicken by Amanda Formaro on amandascookin.com. This recipe is tasty and super-quick to prepare, ready in just 15 minutes.

Spicy Chicken

Pairing wine with spicy chicken dishes is tricky. The first thing you should know is that the wine will not overpower the heat of spicy food. In fact, it is more likely that the spice will overpower your wine. That’s why it’s important to choose a wine with some acidity and structure.

A glass of Beaujolais or Gamay from France will work well because of their high acidity levels (4-6% ABV).

I recommend Gamay with spicy chicken dishes. It’s a pretty neat pairing.

Recommended Gamay

Georges Descombes Morgon (Beaujolais, France)

A simply outstanding Beaujolais with a floral bouquet and aromas of red berry fruits. The flavors are similarly of red berries with a floral undertone. Light to medium in body, the acidity is high in this very drinkable wine.

Scar of The Sea Topotero Vineyard Gamay, (San Luis Obispo, California)

From the winery,Think blood orange, peppercorn, and fresh strawberry”.

Critic tasting note: (2020 vintage) “Transparent in the glass, this herby display of Gamay from a very coastal vineyard fascinates with aromatic layers of tarragon, forest floor, uncracked peppercorn and pine needle trampled into muddy soil on the nose. Tart berry and plum flavors pop on the sip, where green sage and wild earth elements carry into the finish. Matt Kettmann” – 94/100Wine Enthusiast

Adroit Gamay (San Benito County)

Another great Gamay from California and exceptional value too.

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “Freshly smashed strawberry and lively hibiscus aromas meet with white pepper, pine needle, and light soil on the nose of this bottling. The palate’s texture is extremely taut, releasing red-currant, white-peppercorn, and tart red-plum flavors in waves of expression. Matt Kettmann” – 94/100Wine Enthusiast

Fried Chicken

When you’re starting with fried chicken, it’s best to pick a white wine that can stand up to the robust flavors of your dish.

If you want something on the lighter side, try a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. These wines work with fried chicken because they’re not overpowering, and they can provide a nice balance between salty batter and juicy chicken meat.

Pinot Grigio with fried chicken is a great pairing because it’s fresh and light, which can stand up to all of the buttery goodness. Pinot Grigio also has a crisp acidity that balances out all of the fried chicken’s richness.

Recommended Pinot Grigio

2021 St. Michael-Eppan San Michele Appiano Pinot Grigio Sudtirol – Alto Adige

This wine has grown in popularity and is appreciated for its freshness, nice acidity, and pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Well worth seeking out.

2021 Pradio Priara Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

From the Pradio Italian family estate, this Pinot Grigio presents as pale yellow in color. Notes are blended wildflowers and ripe fruit (apple, pear, banana). This wine has a long finish that is fresh and lingering on the palate.

2021 Cantina Zaccagnini Terre di Chieti IGT Pinot Gris

The color is straw yellow with a very pleasant aroma. It has clear fruity notes of pear and green apple, as well as slight hints of aromatic herbs. The taste is dominated by freshness and savoriness; it’s light enough for crisp white fruit but still flavorful enough to appeal to those who prefer something on the sweeter side.

Chicken with Lemon

Chicken dishes with lemon are full of flavor. Of course, the lemon tends to dominate, so you need a wine that works with that. As with fried chicken (see above), Pinot Grigio is a perfect match. Its crisp, fruitiness cuts through the acidity of the lemon and lets you taste it to the fullest. The wine also has some sweetness to balance out the tartness of the lemon.

Check out my article on the Best Wine with Chicken Piccata. This is a great example of a lemon chicken dish and the wines that pair with it.

Conclusion

When you’re looking to pair a wine with chicken, white wines are the best compliment. Their lower alcohol content and fruitier flavors are a good match for the milder, more delicate characteristics of chicken. Plus, they usually don’t overpower the flavor of your meal.

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