11 Best Things to Drink with Southern Food

Here, the best things to drink with fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and more classic Southern dishes.

Donald Link: Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo

In today's Chefs in Conversation video, Hugh Acheson and Marcus Samuelsson reveal the secrets to perfect fried chicken—from what kind of chicken to buy to the oil temperature. But they left out one thing: What to drink with it. Here, the best things to drink with fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and more classic Southern dishes.

Dish: Fried Chicken
Pairing: There are a ton of options for fried chicken, but the best pairing is something fizzy to cut through the buttery, crispy coating. Try a minerally brut Champagne.

Dish: Fried Green Tomatoes
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc’s tangy flavors are great with tart green tomatoes.

Dish: Baby Back Ribs
Pairing: Match the rich and sweet barbecue sauce with a juicy, berry-rich Zinfandel.

Dish: Chicken Fried Steak with Red Eye Gravy
Pairing: Spicy, coffee-scented Argentinian Syrah will enhance the flavors in the gravy.

Dish: Hush Puppies
Pairing: Crisp pale ale that has a good balance of malt and hops is perfect with crispy hush puppies.

Dish: Shrimp and Grits
Pairing: Rich cheese grits need a wine with some substance, but one that isn’t so tannic and massive that it will overwhelm the sweet shrimp—in other words, Pinot Noir.

Dish: Carolina Pulled Pork
Pairing: Smoky, ripe Santa Barbara Syrah is delicious with a tangy, vinegar-based barbecue sauce.

Dish: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Pairing: The somewhat vegetal flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are right at home with spicy Jambalaya—especially a full-bodied bottle from the US.

Dish: Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo
Pairing: Drink like a local when eating gumbo. Try a full-flavored beer like Abita’s Turbodog.

Dish: Catfish Po’Boys with Pickle Remoulade
Pairing: The crispy fried fish sandwiches are terrific with a zippy Pinot Grigio.

Dish: Chicken and Biscuits
Pairing: A fragrant, full-bodied California white like a Chardonnay or a blend will complete this comforting meal.

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