If you grew up in the Southern United States, it will come as no surprise to you that fried chicken and champagne are one of the very best food and alcohol pairings out there. Southern Living crowned them “Summer’s Power Couple” and Grubstreet says “they are perfect together.” True, an iced cold beer goes pretty well with our Finger Lickin’ Good Original Recipe Chicken too, but there’s just something about champagne’s light effervescence that WORKS. This led us to two questions: 1) Why? and 2) What other wines should we be drinking to complement our KFC meals? So, I decided to ask the awesome staff at Trova Wine + Market in Dallas, Texas, for standout wine pairings for a few of our most popular items and details about why they go well together. Check out their recommendations and explanations below! Cheers!
The refreshing acidity, zesty bubbles, and complementary flavors of bread and yeast will highlight both sides of this pairing. By cutting through the (delicious) salty fattiness of the fried chicken, a nice cold glass of bubbly will refresh and cleanse your palate with every bite. Bit, sip, repeat!
A medium-dry Chenin Blanc, with its fruity, floral character, and delicate sweetness offset by crisp acidity is a great complement to our Zinger line up and any spicy chicken dishes. “Wines with lower alcohol content and a little bit of residual sugar are a perfect way to tame the flame and quench your thirst,” explains Michelle Bonds, owner of Trova.
Full disclosure, it’s honestly hard to pass on champagne and other sparkling wines as the perfect pairing for your fries because the acidity and bubbles cut through the delicious, salty carbs so well. But, since we’re looking for some variety here (and if you’re going to dip them in some ketchup), consider a Sangiovese. This medium-bodied red wine showcases high tannin and acidity and partners well with rich carbohydrates and tomato sauces.
This versatile, food-friendly, and generally medium-bodied red wine is great with creamy sauces. Pinot Noir (preferably from Burgundy in this case) and its splash of acidity, light tannins, and aromas and flavors of red fruits will really accentuate the earthy flavors in the gravy.
You’ll definitely want a wine with some sweetness alongside your dessert! If you take a dry wine and pair it with a sweet dish, the wine starts to taste bitter and astringent. Sauternes, which is a French sweet wine, will balance the sweetness of vanilla ice cream well and also bring out the creamy texture of the dish. Common flavor notes in Sauternes include apricots, honey, and peaches. As Michelle correctly tell us, “I think we can all agree, those items alongside some classic ice cream = heavenly!”