Chicken takes to any number of wines, both red and white. But once you add other ingredients with distinct flavors, specific wine types and styles emerge as natural partners.

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3 Pairing Rules:

1. Spicy dishes, such as Curried Chicken and Rice, need the balance of a round, aromatic and fruity wine.

2. Tart flavors, such as Chicken Thighs with Malt Vinegar, call for an equally tart and intense clean-tasting wine.

3. Rich cream sauces point to smooth-textured, full-bodied Chardonnays, but a slightly tart or tannic light red—say, a young Pinot Noir—would provide a pleasing contrast.