Light reds with lots of acidity, such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Dolcetto and Grenache pair best with Barbecue Chicken. If BBQ sauce accompanies your Barbecued Chicken, you can get away with heavier reds such as Zinfandel and Côtes du Rhône. For white wine, Chardonnay is a great pairing with simple preparations of BBQ Chicken.
Barbecue chicken tastes sweet with its caramelized skin and any BBQ sauce you’ve added. You’ll also find notes of spice, smoke and herbs depending on your marinade and sauce.
Beaujolais Villages is a light red wine from France that is full of bright strawberry, cherry and raspberry flavours. Low in alcohol, Beaujolais Villages is not a bold red wine, which is exactly what you want, as you don’t want to crush those juicy delicate flavours of your chicken.
Beaujolais Villages works best with simple preparations of BBQ chicken where you have the juicy white meat inside, and the crispy charred and caramelized chicken skin on the outside. If you are slathering on a sticky BBQ sauce, you’re going to want something bolder to stand up to the sauce.
The best thing about Beaujolais Villages is its cost. With BBQ Chicken, you could pair it up with Pinot Noir, and it will make for a great pairing, however, you’ll pay twice as much for the experience. Furthermore, given the high cost of Pinot Noir, there are far better food pairings out there for this red wine.
Chardonnay & Barbecued Chicken Pairing
Chardonnay is the perfect white wine for a simple BBQ Chicken. The oak in Chardonnay brings forth flavours of vanilla, toast, smoke, and butter, all which are fantastic with the carnalized skin of your BBQ Chicken. You’ll also find flavours of apple, apricot, peach, pear, and lime which are joyfully refreshing with the tender chicken meat.
Every spring I love to BBQ my chicken and serve it with some green beans steamed in foil, along with some boiled new potatoes and carrots. The buttery flavours of Chardonnay go quite well with this meal, and I look forward to it every year.
Zinfandel & Barbecued Chicken with a Sauce
Zinfandel is a moderately loud red wine that boasts rich flavours of cherry, blackberry, plum and raspberry which will go great with the sticky and sweet BBQ sauce slathered across your chicken. You’ll also find rich flavours of smoke, black pepper, herbs and spices which adore the barbecue flavours of your chicken.
Your going to taste more of the sauce and less of the tender chicken with this pairing, as Zinfandel is quite bold for white meat, however, if you are using a heavy sauce, you wouldn’t have tasted much of the white meat to begin with.
Stick to an inexpensive Zinfandel that hasn’t see a lot of oak. Expensive Zinfandels are high in alcohol and oak flavours – all of which will start to taste like a tire fire if you are using a BBQ sauce that has any sort of moderate heat to it.
Côtes du Rhone & Herb Marinated BBQ Chicken
Côtes du Rhone is a Grenache based red wine that often features herbal characteristics that will pair up will with your BBQ chicken that has been marinated in herbs. The wine will also feature notes of black pepper, spice, smoke and licorice, all of which will love the outer and inner skin of your barbecued chicken.
Côtes du Rhone isn’t all earthy flavours, as you’ll find fruity notes of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry to keep you refreshed and entertained.
Pinot Gris & Barbecued Chicken Pairing
A full-bodied Pinot Gris from Alsace features creamy and rich flavours of honey, peach, pear, spice, smoke, white pepper and vanilla which will go great with the charred flesh of your BBQ Chicken, as well as the tender and savoury white meat.
I wouldn’t pair Pinot Gris with BBQ Chicken that is loaded with a sweet sauce, however, if you are eating plain BBQ chicken, or chicken marinated in herbs, Pinot Gris will make for a delicious pairing.