Challenging Wine Pairing: Fried Chicken

By LaGayle ~ April 13th, 2011.

A few weeks ago, Kori and Colby went out to dinner with some friends at a popular Seattle restaurant known for its southern cuisine. Several in the group ordered the fried chicken, one of the restaurant’s specialties, and then began discussing what wine they should order to go with it. As they talked, one person suggested that we feature fried chicken in one of our challenging wine pairing dinners. I love fried chicken; however, it’s a meal that I rarely have anymore, so I was delighted to pursue the suggestion! The fact that wine is not the first beverage that comes to mind for many when they think of fried chicken only added to my interest in trying this pairing.

The menu for this pairing consisted of a tomato/cucumber marinated salad, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, and sautéed mustard greens. As with most of our challenging wine pairing dinners, I consulted What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page to determine what wines to pair with the meal.

Since fried chicken is typically an inexpensive meal, I wanted to find wines that would be in the $10 or under price range. We decided on the 2010 Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and the NV Lunetta Prosecco Brut sparkling wine from Italy. Both wines were very good; however, the unanimous choice for the better pairing was the Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity in the Sauvignon Blanc worked especially well with the acidity in the marinated salad and with the fat in the fried chicken.

We’d love for you to share in the comments what wine you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.

Bon Appétit!

2010 Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc  (Marlborough, New Zealand): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Very aromatic with grapefruit, pear, and grassy aromas. Grapefruit, grass, and lime come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with very tart acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish. Very crisp and refreshing.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $9.99; Available elsewhere, $9 to $15

NV Lunetta Prosecco Brut (Trentino, Italy): Italian sparkling wine. Very pale straw yellow. Small, fairly fast bead of bubbles. Aromatic with white peach and apple on the nose; more apple, white peach, and a hint of lemon on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $9.99; Available elsewhere, $10 to $13

Filed under: Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Italian Wine, New Zealand Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Mike Veseth | April 13th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Sounds like a great meal and wine match, LaGayle. I’d suggest the Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese, which is often available at that $10 price point. Dry, with good acidity and good body, too. Always a favorite at our house.

  2. Renee | April 13th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Fried Chicken is a favorite of my husband so I have tried a few pairings. The salad is the kicker to me, I was thinking a Torrontes for something different or a Brut Rose from Italy or Spain. Great post thanks for sharing!

  3. Kori | April 13th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    The Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese is always a favorite of ours too. I bet it would be a good match with the fried chicken as well.

    Thanks for sharing the pairings that have worked for you. We’ll have to try a Torrontes or Brut Rose with our fried chicken in the future.


  4. Martin Redmond | April 13th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed fried chicken with Gruner. It works quite well, and it’s a wine that doesn’t have to be terribly expensive to get a good bottle…

  5. Kori | April 13th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Great suggestion! Gruner is such a food-friendly wine; I bet that would be a great pairing. We’ll have to try it sometime. Cheers!

  6. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy | April 13th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    To be honest, fried foods are not something we eat but fried chicken is the exception during the annual family picnic. Have not thought of having wine then but find your suggestions intriguing. Something to consider for this year’s get together…

  7. Kori | April 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    To be honest, we don’t eat fried foods anymore either. But this was a fun excuse to make an exception. I think bringing some wine to pair with the fried chicken at your annual family picnic would be perfect. As you can see from our post and the comments from others, there are actually many great pairing options. Cheers!