IntoWine asked a panel of wine experts to suggest a great wine to pair with barbecue chicken: Barbecue chicken can be prepared in a variety of ways, of course. If a sweet barbecue sauce is used, Zin is a reliable pairing. The ripe fruitiness of the Zin is echoed by the sweet fruitiness of the sauce. A good choice for Zin to pair with this style of barbecued chicken would be one of the delicious old vine Zins currently available—from Bedrock, Bucklin, Limerick Lane, Nalle, Robert Biale, Scott Harvey or Vino Noceto. I like barbecue chicken best when it is marinated in herbs, helping to preserve its juiciness. A good match for herbed barbecue chicken is a Côtes du Rhone. Thanks to the terroir—the climate, soils and locations where the grapes for these wines are grown—these typically Grenache-dominated blends tend to show the same sort of “garrigue” or Provençal herb characteristics that are prized in the Rhone’s top southern appellations–Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. These herbal aromas and flavors include lavender, rosemary, bay leaf and licorice. There’s also often a pepper and/or tar component, owing to the Syrah and Mourvèdre in the blend. Some of the best Côtes du Rhône wines are made by producers who make highly regarded wines from the top appellations, names like Auguste Clape, J.L. Chave, and Pierre Usseglio. Others are blended from selected lots by negoçiant merchants, like Chapoutier and Guigal. Richard Jennings, IntoWine.com Featured Contributor and the Founder RJonWine.com.
Food & Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hundreds of Dishes