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
If you'd like to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter and be eligible to enter our fabulous prize draws click here
To get regular updates in your inbox click here.