Photo: Randy Mayor
A LIGHT, JUICY RED
A fruity red adds a burst of berry acidity and complements the chicken's delicate flavor.
RECOMMENDED With just enough heft to match a well-seasoned chicken, a red from France's Beaujolais region offers succulent fruit and a hint of tartness with little mouth-puckering tannin. Serve the wine slightly chilled to keep it zippy and fresh.
Shown: Maison Louis Tête, Beaujolais-Villages "Le Pot," 2010 ($10) Or: Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils, Beaujolais, 2010 ($12)
A SPICY AND EARTHY RED
A deep red boldly contrasts the milder chicken while beautifully mirroring the flavors of herbs and vegetables.
RECOMMENDED Consider a syrah from California's Central Coast, where the wine develops juicy blackberry and violet notes to accompany the varietal's peppery overtones. These savory reds provide a lip-smacking foil to the roast chicken and lend a cozy heartiness to the entire meal.
A PLUMP AND FRUITY WHITE
A weighty white, with hints of citrus and butter, is rich enough to handle a roasted bird.
RECOMMENDED Try a traditional chardonnay. Mellow fruit complements chicken's subtle flavor, while oak-barrel aging adds a touch of toast and smoke to match the bird's crisp, golden skin. Fresh citrus flavors add a little zing to enliven the roasted vegetables.
OOPS! Avoid heavy, tannic reds, such as cabernet sauvignon. Big-bodied wines like these will overpower the chicken's light, savory flavors.