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Win With Chicket: Red or White?


Chicken can be served so many different ways you might wonder which type of wine makes the best pairing. The truth is there’s no single answer – it depends on your own personal taste and the way it’s cooked – but here’s a simple guide:

Given that chicken is a light meat, it won’t surprise you to learn that white wine is generally a more flexible match with smooth dry whites like chardonnay happily partnering a great many chicken dishes. But there are recipes I’d definitely pair with a red . . .

When to drink white wine with chicken

Go for a lightly oaked Chardonnay or other smooth dry white like oaked Chenin Blanc orViognier with:

Chicken in a creamy sauce, especially with mushrooms or creamy chicken pies

Creamy or cheesy pasta dishes like chicken tetrazzini

Chicken caesar salad

Mild chicken curries like kormas

Aromatic whites like medium-dry Riesling and Pinot Gris match well with spicy chicken dishes such as

Thai green chicken curry

Stir-fries with chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Chicken tikka masala

Asian-style noodle dishes

crisp dry white like a Pinot Grigio, Picpoul or Sauvignon Blanc is good with

Fried chicken dishes or Mexican-style dishes with guac and sour cream like chicken enchiladas

When to drink red wine with chicken

With tomato- and pepper-based sauces – try a medium-bodied southern French or Spanish red like a Côtes du Roussillon – or aMerlot

Chicken with a barbeque sauce can take a more full-bodied red with a touch of sweetness like a Shiraz, Grenache or Zinfandel.(Not too big or oaky though. Chicken isn’t steak!)

With chicken in a red wine sauce like coq au vin drink a similar wine to the one you use for the recipe. Burgundy is traditional but I’d probably go for a red from the Rhône or Languedoc

When either red or white would do

Simply roast chicken. Either an oaked Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir will be great but if you’ve got a dark savoury gravy with it I’d go for a medium-bodied red like a Côtes du Rhône.

Grilled chicken with herbs. You could go for a crisp dry white as above or a light red such as a Beaujolais or other gamay

There are, of course, many other possibilities – fruity rosés also work well with spicy chicken dishes, sparkling wines with fried chicken and cider is generally a great all-rounder but if you want to keep it simple, this is a start!


By: Fiona Beckett

***Grabbed from: