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Like most foods, chicken tastes best when paired with a bottle of fine wine. However, when it comes to the type of wine you pair with chicken, there are specific considerations to consider the best wines to match your meal.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a wine pairing for chicken dishes is the cooking method you choose.
As a general rule for pairing wine, dark meat goes best with red wine, and white meat pairs better with white wines.
You can apply this same principle to pairing wine with chicken by choosing aromatic white wines when cooking breast meat or fried chicken, and a darker full-bodied red if you are eating a richer dish such as sweet and sour chicken or a roast chicken.
If you are cooking spicy chicken dishes, an excellent way to compliment the rich flavours of the spice is through an aromatic white wine which will give it a fruity and light aftertaste that is ideal for spicy dishes.
Chardonnay, specifically an unoaked chardonnay, is a much-favoured choice for rich chicken dishes with cream-based sauces.
Sauvignon blanc derives its name from its green-skinned grapes, grown in the Bordeaux region of France.
This crisp and flavoursome white offers an aromatic mix of floral citrus tones and apricot notes and pairs excellently with chicken breasts.
Try: Les Gres Viognier
A Merlot is an ideal red for those who enjoy full and fruity flavours and is the perfect companion for any roast chicken dinner on a cold winters night.
Try: Cortefresca Merlot
Pinot Noirs are very drinkable with a fruit and spice aroma and smooth finish, and due to their lower tannic content and higher acidity, they are perfect for chicken or mushroom meals.
Those who prefer a lighter, fruity wine with refreshing hints of watermelon, cucumber, or lemonade, would be wise to opt for a Grenache Rosé.
These light wines are perfectly matched to chicken curries or kebabs.
A delicate blend of white fruits, peaches and vanilla which is subtle and sublime.
Cava goes perfectly with light appetisers and can be enjoyed at any point where you want a drink that feels special.
If you're cooking chicken with a red wine-based sauce, the best wines to choose are either a medium-bodied red or a full-bodied red with a sweet touch, such as a Cabernet Franc.
Generally, grilled chicken (being darker meat) pairs best with an oaked Chardonnay, as the oak flavours will accentuate the BBQ grilled essences of the chicken.
Cape Heights Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent robust and full-bodied wine that you can pick up for low prices through trusted retailers.