What wine to drink with Roast Chicken?

With roast beef and roast lamb chalked off the list, we wanted to bring you the perfect wine pairings with that other Great British Sunday lunch staple; roast chicken. As ever, we have sought out the wisdom of a few carefully selected experts to assist us in our mission to provide the perfect matches for to enjoy with your delicious Sunday roast…
What wine to drink with Roast Beef?
What wine to drink with Roast Lamb?

The Experts

Glen Duckett is the owner of the Eagle and Child pub. Overlooking the former market town of Ramsbottom in the West Pennines, the Eagle & Child won the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2013 Best Sunday Lunch.
Andrea Briccarello is Head Sommelier for the Galvin Group, which includes the award-winning Galvin La Chapelle. The Spitalfields based restaurant was one of four eateries highlighted at the Observer Food Monthly Awards for serving the best Sunday lunch in London.
Becca Goodall is the wine buyer for Hawksmoor, which was listed in Esquire Magazine’s Best Restaurants for Sunday Roast’. It was also cited as one of London’s best Sunday Roasts by the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Vincent Gasnier is a Master Sommelier and wine consultant for the award-winningTom's Kitchen, which was listed in the UK’s Top 50 restaurants for Sunday Lunch, by The Independent.

Roast Chicken

The default option for many but also the ultimate in comforting Sunday lunch food, roast chicken is also very biddable when applying a scrumptious bottle of wine. According to Hugh Johnson, the revered critic, “virtually any wine,” is a happy buddy with roast chicken and although it may depend on how you are going to cook the bird, this Sunday lunch staple provides a pliable platform for wine pairing. If we take the tried and trusted route of a lot of garlic cloves, half a lemon and plenty of seasoning then an abundantly creamy Chardonnay is absolutely on the money. Whether it’s a classically Burgundian Chardonnay or a slightly buttery version from the New World, both will bring out the tender succulence of warm chicken meat. Equally, a bone dry Riesling (see pages XXX) will have enough acidity to slice through any marinade, while a fresh, zingy Sauvignon Blanc will enliven any poultry based dish. Viognier is also a fantastic partner with roast chicken and also, coincidentally, guinea fowl. While many tend to drink white wine with chicken, a light red such as a Valpolicella will enhance flavours of thyme, a bouncy, fruity Pinot Noir from New Zealand, or a cherry-red Pinot from Burgundy will provide an enveloping blanket on a frosty Sunday afternoon.

Glen: “Cotes de Rhône or Chablis both work great with chicken depending upon preference and chicken garnish. Cotes de Rhône has lighter fruit flavours which pair well with chicken, especially with a rich sauce or gravy. Chardonnay grapes have a more rounded and fuller flavour with buttery tones that will work nicely with lemon and sage chicken.”

Andrea: “Chicken is the lightest of meats, so I would choose either a light and fragrant Pinot from Alsace (Domaine Bruno Sorg) or a delicious Dolcetto from Piedmont in the north west of Italy (G.D.Vajra) packed with lots of cherries and violets yet soft and round on the palate.”

Becca: “Seasoning and sauces steer my wine choice when it comes to chicken as the meat itself is delicious with both red and white. Gravy and root vegetables are a classic accompaniment with British roasts and really open up the options for pairings with chicken and red wine. Red wines with an earthy spice are wonderful with roast chicken and gravy; Cru Beaujolais like a Morgon or Brouilly offer this by the ton. Light bodied with red fruit, cinnamon like spice and a root vegetable earthiness is perfect for warmer days. With the whites, an oldie but a goodie; delicately oaked Chardonnay is my absolute perfect match with chicken. Bourgogne Blanc’s crisp citrus with subtle buttery character is brought out by even the most simply roasted chicken. A more restrained Californian or South African oaked Chardonnay would add extra texture and ripe stone fruit to stand up to heavier sauces.”
Five delicious wines to enjoy with roast chicken
Rare Vineyards Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2013 £8.99
France | Languedoc-Roussillon

The Rare Vineyards range have endeavoured, entirely successfully, to breathe new life into the Languedoc-Roussillon region by championing indigenous grape varietals and this abundantly fruity and effortlessly drinkable Carignan does just that.

Bethany g6 Old Vine Grenache 2011 £13.99
Australia | Barossa Valley

A medium-bodied wine with light tannins, the grapes are handpicked from some of Barossa Valley’s oldest vines and this boasts plenty of delicious raspberry flavours and a hint of mocha on the finish. This is very meat friendly and could just as easily go with roast lamb, beef or pork.

Costanza di Mineo San Luca Chardonnay 2013 £12.99
Italy | Sicily

A stunningly unique expression of a hugely popular international varietal, this is an elegant Chardonnay that begins with subtle lemon aromas and buttery hint, and builds to classy citrus fruits of peach and melon. One doesn’t immediately associate Chardonnay with Sicily’s aridly wild environment but this is a beautifully nuanced example of a much-loved wine.

Ata Rangi 'Crimson' Pinot Noir 2012 [£20.99] £17.59
New Zealand | Martinborough

An iconic wine, from an iconic producer made in an iconic region, this complex wine is the yardstick by which New World Pinot Noir is measured. Regularly achieving high ninety scores from worldly critics; this will surpass your expectations and become the focal point of your exuberant Sunday roast.

Jean-Claude Boisset Santenay 2010 [£22.99] £19.49
France | Burgundy

Classic Old Word Pinot Noir grown near the premier cru sites of the village of Santenay and made by Jean-Claude Boisset, an iconic name within the wine trade. Beautiful balance between ripe fruit and a hint of spice, there is an earthy savouriness and warming embrace to this delectable Pinot that is enhanced by a long and mellow finish. This is red wine heaven.

Article first appeared in Under the Skin Magazine, Autumn Edition 2014. CellarVie Wines' quarterly print publication accompanies all orders on www.cellarviewines.com 


Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 


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