A friend called last week wanting to know my recommendations for the best wine to serve with chicken.
When it comes to chicken, there is no easy one-wine-fitsall answer.
Chicken can be prepared using a wide variety of techniques and flavors and can be as complex or simple as the cook chooses.
We grill, roast, bake and fry it — all while adding an array of flavors ranging from delicate herbs, such as rosemary, to robust sauces, like hearty barbecue.
That’s a lot to ask of just one wine.
The only cautious advice: Consider chicken a light meat and therefore easily overwhelmed by full-bodied wines. But, as always when it comes to food and wine, there are many opportunities for the perfect match. The easiest place to start is with the cooking method and dominant flavors.
Smoky, barbecued or grilled: malbec, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon
- 2006 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California (about $12 retail)
- 2006 Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel, California (about $22 retail)
Plain roasted or grilled: chardonnay or pinot noir
- 2007 Yalumba Oxford Landing Chardonnay, Australia (about $9 retail)
- 2006 Martin Ray Angeline Pinot Noir, California (about $20 retail)
Sweet-and-sour flavors: semillon, Riesling, chardonnay, merlot
- 2007 Montes Classic Merlot, Chile (about $11 retail)
- 2003 San Simeon Monterey Chardonnay, California (about $25 retail)
Asian stir–fries or with coriander, cilantro and lime: Riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc
- 2007 Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Chardonnay, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2007 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $22 retail)
Fried chicken: sauvignon blanc, merlot, gamay or Valpolicella
- 2007 Lindeman’s Bin 40 Merlot, Australia (about $8 retail)
- 2006 Beringer Founders’ Estate Merlot, California (about $11 retail)
Mediterranean dishes with tomatoes and garlic: French blends, syrah/shiraz
- 2006 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz, Australia (about $12 retail)
- 2006 Greg Norman Shiraz, Australia (about $22 retail)