Friday, June 1, 2012

How-To: Pair Wine and Fried Chicken

Like many quintessential American foods, wine with Fried Chicken isn't most people's first thought. But a well crafted leg of fried chicken presents a challenging opportunity to find the perfect wine to complement it.

Most chicken dishes tend to be light. Chicken by itself is a simple flavor, augmented in a wide variety of ways with spices and sauces. The common recommendation is a lighter white wine, to avoid overpowering a simple chicken dish. With a richer sauce, some lighter red wines wine work well.

Fried chicken adds a different sort of flavor to the dish. With the oil used to fry the chicken, it always ends up greasy and rich, and the best fried chicken adds a funky flavor from the history of past chicken fried in the same grease. A heavier white wine, with a crisp edge to cut through the grease, and a funk of its own to stand up to the flavor is what we would recommend, like a Sauvignon Blanc, or a Rose of Montepulciano (Montepulciano seems to us to be a "funky" grape). Other good options might include a rich, oaky Chardonnay, to add some smokiness and add butter to complement the chicken's fattiness, or even a light red Syrah to play with the chicken's spiciness.

As you can see, there are a lot of options and choices, even with everyday food.

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