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Don’t be chicken to pair wine with chicken.

Often when people come to do their winemaking they ask about what wines pair with chicken.  Here are a few ideas.

Chicken lends itself to many different types of sauces and spices, which means that many different types of wines pair well depending on the sauce or spice. Generally speaking, chicken pairs better with whites because whites don’t overpower the taste of the chicken.

But keep the sauce in mind, and be ready to break the rules. If you are making say Chicken Parmesan with a bold tomato sauce, the sauce won’t match with the delicate flavors of a white. You need a hearty red, like a Merlot. Fruity and jammy reds go great with spicy sauces and barbecue chicken. If you are making a delicate chicken dish or a chicken kiev, a nice white would pair nicely.

Here are a few pairings –
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  • Chardonnay (W), due to its buttery flavor works best with creamy chicken dishes.
  • Sauvignon Blanc (W) works well with dishes using green spices like rosemary and thyme, or citrus dishes
  • Pinot Noir (R) would be great with chicken dishes that are salty
  • Riesling and Gewurztraminer (W) because if there sweetness, work well with spicy chicken dishes
  • Merlot (R) is a jammy wine so drink this with heavy tomato sauce recipes

When it comes to pairing wine and chicken it’s a bit of a blank slate. Chicken can be paired with any number of wines. Which ones work best really depend upon how the chicken is being prepared. See, there’s no reason to be chicken about wine pairing chicken.

We tried not to get too caught up in pairing snootery – at the end of my day any wine goes with any food – it’s all about what tastes good to you!