Grilled Chicken Recipes

Grilled Chicken Recipes
Photo by Photo by: Tina Rupp

 

As with any grilled dish, grilled chicken picks up the flavors of smoke and char that a grill imparts. In general, both contribute bitter flavors to the finished dish. As with fried chicken, it is good to have a wine that can offer up some contrast to this bitter element. In this case, a wine with a touch of sweetness will make a good match. You can flavor grilled chicken with just about anything, and there’s always the question of saucing the chicken, which is common in dishes described as barbecue chicken. We’ll ignore the saucier dishes since very few wines have what it takes to stand up to typical barbecue sauces, though two wines that do have a chance are off-dry Lambrusco and sparkling Shiraz. Both bubbly wines help cut through the heavy sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

When pairing wines with grilled chicken, you can take advantage of residual sugar as a way to add that needed sweetness or you can opt for a wine that is perceived as sweet because of its overt fruitiness. One of my all time favorite food and wine pairings is Jerk Chicken and young, fruity Petite Sirah. It’s idiosyncratic, but the sweetly spicy wine pairs well with the smoky, spicy chicken. Two easy to find pairings for grilled chicken include off-dry Riesling for white wine and a nice, fruity Grenache for red.

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