How to Pair Wine with Chicken Stews

Tomatillo Chicken Stew with Sauvignon Blanc © Kristin Donnelly
By Kristin Donnelly Posted March 22, 2015

Almost any time you’re pairing wine with chicken, you want to start by thinking about the sauce. Here, a few types of wines to try with different types of chicken stew. 

Almost any time you’re pairing wine with chicken, you want to start by thinking about the sauce. Here, a few types of wines to try with different types of chicken stew. 

Rich Chardonnays with creamy chicken stews 
Cream or crème fraîche with fuller-bodied, oaked Chardonnays are an undeniably good match. The wines have just enough acidity to cut through the richness but their own full body to pair with the cream. Look for Chardonnays from Napa Valley or Meursault from Burgundy in France. (Even though they don’t always contain cream, classic chicken potpies are also great with these wines.) 

Sauvignon Blanc with tomatillo chicken stews 
In Mexico, chicken is often stewed with tangy tomatillos as well as cilantro and jalapeños. Those green flavors are terrific with Sauvignon Blanc, which can be grapefruit-tart and wildly herbaceous. Look for inexpensive citrusy styles from Chile or minerally Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France. 

Off-dry Rieslings with spicy coconut milk-based stews 
Coconut milk-based stews are creamy, for sure, but the heat they usually have would clash with a dry Chardonnay. Off-dry Rieslings taste less sweet when paired with heat, which is why they’re a no-brainer match with spicy food. 

Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc with mushroomy, red winey stews 
Your classic coq au vin could be paired with a number of red wines; the dish is fairly flexible. You can’t go wrong with Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Central California or Cabernet Franc from France’s Loire Valley. Both types of wines have a great balance of fruit and acidity that’s terrific with these winey chicken stews. 

Syrah with olive-laden chicken stews 
Some Syrah (aka Shiraz in Australia) tends to lean more toward savory than fruity flavors. You’ll find this meaty style of Syrah in France’s northern Rhône as well as in cooler parts of California and Australia. It’s delicious with anything that has black olives, like a Provençal-style chicken stew.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: Light Stews
Terrific Chicken Recipes
Fast and Healthy Chicken Recipes

The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

Sponsored Stories

powered by ZergNet