Challenging Wine Pairing: Jerked Chicken



By LaGayle ~ July 13th, 2011.

This month’s challenging wine pairing was a special treat. Our friends Darren and Mardee invited us over for jerked chicken, and we did our challenging pairing with their fabulous meal. What a beautiful evening in Seattle, out on their deck, eating delicious food, drinking great wine, and spending time with wonderful friends!

Jerk is a Jamaican cooking style where the meats are either dry rubbed or wet marinated with a number of ingredients including a mixture of spices such as allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon (just to name a few), garlic, and hot peppers. Today, the usual process is to prepare a hot spicy rub and cook the meat on the grill.

The full menu for this meal included the jerked chicken topped with sour cream and roasted raspberry chipotle sauce, tri-color cheese tortellini salad, pineapple beach bread, and key lime pie for dessert.

After referring to my favorite guide for pairing food and wine, What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, we decided to go with a rosé and a sparkling wine. We enjoyed the 2010 Trust Cellars Cabernet Franc Rosé from the Columbia Valley in Washington State and the 2007 Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Both wines were excellent; however, the rosé was the consensus favorite with the meal while the sparkling wine was the favorite prior to having it with the food.

We’d love for you to share in the comments what 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 Trust Cellars Cabernet Franc Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): Medium salmon-pink in color. Very aromatic with cherry, strawberry, and raspberry on the nose. More cherry as well as watermelon and pear come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with lively acidity. Well-balanced and very refreshing with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine World Warehouse (Seattle, Washington), $15.99; Available elsewhere, $17

2007 Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine (Willamette Valley, Oregon): 63% Chardonnay and 37% Pinot Noir. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Small, fast bead of bubbles. Nice nose with banana and apple aromas. Apple, pear, and a hint of pineapple come through on the palate. Dry, medium-bodied and crisp. Well-balanced with a long finish. An excellent bubbly.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $21.99; Available elsewhere, $19 to $29


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Oregon Wine, Rose Wine, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. ONX Wine | July 13th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    You definitely need some crisp whites to cool your tongue from the jerk.

  2. Kori | July 13th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    ONX,
    True. I’m sure that there are some whites that would pair well too. The rosé was crisp and refreshing which helped cool our tongues. :) Cheers!

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