What Wines Go With Chicken: A Complete Guide by Chefs

Due to their flexibility and mouth-watering flavors, chicken dishes are a popular choice for lunch or dinner. Your meal can be improved by understanding what wine pairs well with chicken. 

This article will explain the characteristics of different wines and show you what wines go with chicken. Follow our guide for the perfect chicken and wine meal. 

1. Which Wine Go With Chicken: Red Or White?

What Wines Go With Chicken
Red and white wines go well with chicken. (Source: Internet)

Both white and red wines pair well with chicken. It depends on your wine preferences and the way you cook your chicken.

In principle, white meats, including chicken breast, match perfectly with light-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

On the other hand, dark meats, including duck, pair well with red wines like Pinot Noir.

The overall goal of wine matching is to strike a balance between the tastes of the wine and the food. For instance, a dish with bold, herbaceous tastes can go with a wine that is a bit stronger. The meal’s lighter structure frees up space on the tongue for more tastes. A light-bodied wine should be paired with a creamy dish or a spicy meal. 

2. White Wine Pairings With Chicken 

White wine is usually paired with light fare and white meat. It’s important to balance the creamy texture of the dish’s ingredients with the intensity of the wine. 

Check out the recommended white wines and matching meals below to help you set up your menu.

2.1. Chardonnay and Chicken With Creamy Sauce

The flavor of Chardonnay is described as buttery and smooth. It fills your palate with smoothness while maintaining an intense citrus flavor. With creamy chicken recipes like fettuccine alfredo and chicken pot pie, its richness matches wonderfully. Oaked Chardonnay is suggested for creamy chicken dishes. You can consider white wines coming from Italy, France, Australia, and Argentina. 

2.2. Sauvignon Blanc and Chicken With Herbaceous

Sauvignon Blanc is known for its intense citrus notes. It may enhance the zingy flavor of chicken that has been marinated in lemon, garlic, and herbs. Sauvignon Blanc won’t overpower the subtle herbaceous seasoning on the chicken, and the wine’s crisp finish will make your chicken taste flavorful.

2.3. Sweet White Wines and Spicy Chicken

Sweet white wines like Riesling or Moscato can pair well with spicy chicken meals like hot wings or chicken tacos. These wine choices can aid in palate cooling thanks to their sweetness. Sweet wines can tame the strong, spicy flavors of sriracha and chili sauces and calm your tastes. If you’re planning a spicy meal, go with sweet white wines from Germany and California.  

3. Red Wine Pairings With Chicken 

Red wine lovers will be happy to find that it goes well with chicken recipes. Your best options would be light- to medium-bodied red wines. Wines with a mild tannic structure go better with chicken dishes with rich sauces. 

What Wines Go With Chicken
Red wine lovers will be happy to find that it goes well with chicken recipes. (Source: Internet)

3.1. Pinot Noir and Chicken Cooked With Tomatoes 

Pinot Noir has low tannins and flavors of cherries, raspberries, cranberries, and cloves. Pinot Noir pairs well with Spanish cuisines such as Pollo con Tomate as well as Italian ones. The tartness of the tomato works beautifully with this tangy, light-bodied wine.

3.2. Pinot Noir and Roasted Chicken 

We recommend that you choose simple red wines so as not to overwhelm the flavor of the roasted chicken. A glass of flavorful, light- to medium-bodied red wine can pair with this delicious chicken dish. Pinot Noir would be a perfect choice. In addition, you can also consider oaked Chardonnay wines. 

3.3. Zinfandel, Grenache and Chicken Barbeque

Red wines with mild tannins and fruit notes can pair well with this grilled chicken. The sweet tomato sauce in the barbeque works perfectly with the Zinfandel wine’s licorice, jam, and cherry tastes. Add this delectable option to your weekend picnics. 

3.4. Merlot and Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is a famous French dish using mushrooms, garlic, shallots, and Burgundy wine. The rich taste of this culinary marvel might be enhanced with Merlot wine due to the low tannin content in this red wine. Its powerful, spicy tastes go nicely with the richness of Coq Au Vin.

4. Sparkling Wine Pairings With Chicken

Sparkling wine is another interesting option you can try with chicken. The subtle sweetness of the wine can overwhelm the greasy chicken dishes and make for a great meal. 

4.1. Champagne and Fried Chicken

We recommended a wine that is easy to drink with a harmony between sweetness and acidity to pair with this juicy, crispy fried chicken. Selecting champagne with citrusy, zingy flavors will give your chicken an appealing taste.

4.2. Prosecco and Lemon-Based Chicken

Prosecco usually goes well with desserts. However, a flavorful lemon-based chicken dish would also work well with this sparkling wine. The acidic tastes of this meal are balanced by the sweet, bubbly champagne. Other chicken delicacies, such as chicken nuggets, can also go well with Prosecco.

4.3. Spanish Sparkling Wine and Chicken Croquettes

As a Spanish sparkling wine, Cava is considered a less expensive alternative to Champagne. This medium-bodied, bubbly wine offers notes of citrus and a dry finish. 

The Spanish Chicken Croquettes will be the ideal food to combine with Cava. The majority of Spanish tapas include these delicious fried delicacies. 

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5. Popular Chicken Dishes Paired With Wine

The way you cook and season your chicken will determine whether you should serve red or white wine with your meal. Below are some popular chicken recipes to enjoy with wine. 

5.1. BBQ Chicken 

Chicken cooked on the grill enhances the smokey taste, making it match well with bold red wines such as Zinfandel, and Dolcetto. 

5.2. Roasted Chicken 

Undoubtedly, roasting is a popular chicken cooking style. Rosé wine, Chardonnay white wine, and lighter-bodied reds like Pinot Noir,  are all ideal pairings for this recipe.

5.3. Fried Chicken

Champagne is undoubtedly the best choice to pair with fried chicken. A glass of slightly acidic champagne will reduce the greasy taste of fried chicken. Sparkling wine is another good choice. 

5.4. Poached Chicken 

The poached chicken will retain the meat’s moisture but mostly eliminate its flavor. As a result, you may pair your chicken meal with a light-bodied white wine, like Chenin Blanc. 

5.5. Chilled Chicken 

Chicken is often chilled after being roasted or poached. Light white wines, including unoaked Chardonnay or Albarino, will go well with this cold chicken.

6. Tips On Pairing Wine With Chicken

Tips On Pairing Wine With Chicken
Finding wines that work well with food flavors will be interesting and enjoyable. (Source: Internet)

It will be interesting and enjoyable to find wines that properly complement the flavors of meals. However, sometimes it can be a challenge for some people. Follow our tips on wine and chicken pairings below to solve your problem. 

  • Balance: Our advice is to pair rich meals with strong wines and light dishes with light wines. 
  • The main flavor: It’s important to keep in mind the dish’s dominant taste and sauces. For instance, although chicken breast is used to make Chicken Parmigiana, tomato-based sauce is the flavor that comes through the most. It indicates that the ideal wine to pair with it is red wine.
  • Mistakes: Chicken and wine pairings are always a challenge. Wine pairings don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. However, it might give you a chance to find interesting matches. 

7. FAQs 

7.1. What wine works well with grilled chicken?

You may choose wines that contain some fresh oak due to the char and smoky notes that the meat imparts, such as Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. 

7.2. What wine goes with chicken and rice?

Your best choice may be light wines like Champagne and Rose wine because rice and chicken both start bland but acquire the flavors of the seasonings used in cooking. 

7.3. What wine pairs with pasta and chicken?

Both Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc make excellent wine pairings with pasta and chicken. The beverages you serve with chicken-pasta dishes should be powerful and medium- to full-bodied to overwhelm the creamy flavor of this food. 

7.4. What wine goes with salmon and chicken?

Merlot, Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir might be great buddies for chicken and salmon, depending on how the food has been cooked.

7.5. Does Cabernet go with chicken?

The most well-known red wine grape type in the world, cabernet, pairs well with chicken. It’s full-bodied, dry, has high tannins, and goes nicely with all meaty dishes. 

7.6. Does Pinot work with chicken?

The answer is Yes. One of the red wines that goes best with food is Pinot Noir. It pairs well with chicken since its flavors are mild enough not to surpass the dish that’s served with it.

8. Conclusion 

What wines go with chicken is always an interesting topic. Check out our suggestions or come up with new pairings yourself. We hope you’ll discover the best selections for your meal.

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