Wine and Beer Guide

Whether you are raising your glass for a toast, or pouring it into a stock pot, wine and beer are equally great for cooking and enjoying.

What Wines to Pair with Roast Chicken

We have three wine strategies that pair perfectly with roast chicken.

Delicate Wine Pairings for Roast Chicken

Photo: Randy Mayor

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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.

Shown: Andrew Murray, "Tous les Jours" Syrah, California, 2010 ($13) Or: Hahn, Syrah, California, 2010 ($12)

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.

Shown: Joseph Drouhin, Laforêt Bourgogne Chardonnay, France, 2011 ($10) Or: Heron, Chardonnay, California, 2010 ($10)

OOPS!  Avoid heavy, tannic reds, such as cabernet sauvignon. Big-bodied wines like these will overpower the chicken's light, savory flavors.

View Recipe: Classic Roast Chicken

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