Oh chicken, you versatile, delicious bird, you. Some think chicken is sad and bland but they’re not doing it right. With a protein like chicken, the options are actually endless. It’s open to all of the possibilities in the world, capable of being flavored with sweet, spicy, salty, or any combination of the three, which means its wine pairings are limitless as well. If you’re going to do right by your chicken, give it some fabulous wine to go with it.
Herbs and Garlic: Dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is meant to go with anything herbaceous, it’s just a natural pairing. If you’re going for a Riesling, try something drier and not so sweet. Something late harvest will be too rich and will overpower the gentle flavor of the herbs but something crisp and citrusy will have enough impact to counter the sharpness of the garlic.
Spicy: Albarino, Gruner Veltliner
Whether buffalo wings or fiery fajitas, the key here is low alcohol content but high in fruit flavor. Spice needs something to cool it which is why these lusciously sweet wines are a perfect match. There’s also the idea that these wines are best served ice cold, and cool beverages are an excellent weapon against spicy things.
Grilled or Blackened: California Pinot Noir
Some may not think red wines are good in the summer but paired with a nice piece of smoky grilled chicken, there’s nothing better. That quality char you get from grilling or blackening chicken needs something equally smoky or zesty, like a perfectly balanced California Pinot Noir. You’ll get just enough fruit to counteract the big intense flavors of the grill.
Breaded and Fried: Sparkling Wine
Bubbly is the only answer when eating something fried. That good, fatty but crispy quality of a hot piece of fried chicken can be a mouthful (in the best way) so you don’t want to add any additional flavors on top of it. Therefore, go simple and delightful like a lovely Prosecco, which won’t overwhelm with flavor but has a fantastic level of sparkle to perfectly complement your bird.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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