Roast chicken. Possibly everyone’s favourite Sunday roast. Certainly the childrens’ though they’re not going to be wondering which wine to pair with it.( I hope! I can recommend apple juice for non-drinkers.)
It can take a red or a white wine so the key thing to focus on is what flavourings - or stuffing - you put with it and what kind of a sauce or gravy and vegetables you serve with it. If you’re serving it simply with its own roasting juices I’d incline towards a white or light red. Cook it British-style with gravy and loads of vegetables and I’d go for a more substantial red such as a Côtes-du Rhône - though not a full-bodied one like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz unless you’re dealing with some sweetness and spice in the seasoning - as with this honey-roast chicken recipe
White burgundy or other good quality oaked chardonnay
A blissful match with a simply roast chicken without much done to it - or accompanied by mushrooms or truffles as Lucy Bridgers reports here. Also a good choice if you’re seasoning it with tarragon or serving it with a creamy sauce.
This rich white is a good choice when you have a slightly spicy stuffing or one with fruit like apricots in it.
Red burgundy or other good quality pinot noir
Again, a good choice for a simply roast chicken served with its own juices or with truffles as above.
If you’re serving the chicken at room temperature with a salad or seasoning it with lemon a good Beaujolais Villages or cru Beaujolais like a Brouilly is a good choice for spring or summer drinking
The generous sweetness of a grenache-based Côtes-du-Rhône Villages is perfect If you’re making a more traditional, meaty gravy or are serving more strongly flavoured vegetables. Look out for specific villages such as Cairanne and Vacqueyras
Chicken and cider is a marriage made in heaven and that particularly applies to roast chicken. Use cider in the gravy too.
Golden or blonde ales
The beer world’s equivalent of Chardonnay: smooth, slightly sweet and just delicious with chicken. Roast chicken is also one of the staples of the Oktoberfest where they serve it with a light Helles lager but you could also enjoy it with a more full-bodied one like Budweiser Budvar or Brooklyn.
It might seem extravagant but if you’re in the mood to splash out, a full bodied champagne like Bollinger or Louis Roederer is terrific with a roast chook - it’s the umami taste of the chicken skin that does it!
Photograph © laurent dambies - Fotolia.com