The best wines to have with chicken and poultry

Is there anything more satisfying, and indeed delicious, than sitting down to a glorious roast dinner on a Sunday with the family? And we’d say it’s even more enjoyable when you can sit back and relax with a nice glass of wine in hand, but which wine do you choose

The good news is that regardless of which poultry you’re enjoying, it can actually pair perfectly with both red and white wine. That takes the pressure of a little, right? But what’s actually key when it comes to poultry and wine pairings is the flavourings of the wine and the side dishes that sit alongside the main course.

White wines

First of all, let’s take a look at whites that will go well with your dish.

If your sauce is a little on the rich and creamy side, then we’d recommend pairing it with an oaked Chardonnay. Wines that originate from Italy, South Australia, Southern France, Argentina, California and Chile are perfect. If you’d rather not opt for a Chardonnay, a White Côtes du Rhône also matches well with creamy sauces.

For roasted poultry that has been cooked with strong green herbs, opt for a Sauvignon Blanc. As a general rule of thumb, the warmer the climate region where the grapes were grown, the more meaty a dish can be.

For dishes with a little more zest to them, perhaps if you’ve been cooking with lemon or are eating something lighter such as a turkey-avocado sandwich or chicken salad (posh lunch leftovers, anyone?), opt for either a Colombar or Ugni Blanc for something light, airy and crisp to cut through the fat.

If you’re eating duck or another kind of darker meat, a sweeter wine like a Riesling goes surprisingly well.

Rose wine

Most people tend to opt for rose wine when eating poultry. If you do, try and pair your meal with a dry wine unless the sauce is sweet. However, you can’t really go wrong when choosing a rose wine to go with your poultry dish, so if in doubt, you know what to do!

Our expert chefs would recommend pairing a fruity rose with a spicy chicken dish to offset some of the heat. It also goes well if you’re enjoying a Spanish-style dish with chicken and rice.

Red wine

While most people would associate red wine with red meats, it can actually go incredibly well with white meat too. You just have to pick the right one.

If the sauce you’re eating is pepper or tomato-based, try pairing it with a medium-bodied red from Spain or Southern France. Two of our favourite options are a classic Merlot or a Côtes du Roussillon.

For poultry with a barbecue sauce, or something that has a little sweetness or tang to it, you can get away with a full-bodied red that mimics the sweetness. This could be a Zinfandel, Grenache or a Shiraz, but be sure to steer clear or anything too oaky as this goes better with steak.

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