FOOD AND WINE: Spicy chicken takes thought, a lighter white

Often when people ask me what to pair with what they are having for dinner, they name the main meat of the meal – and not how it is prepared or what spices or sauces may be used. Pairing a wine with a meat can be quite simple; pairing it to a recipe can be a bit more difficult. Chicken would have a list of wines that can go with it, but add a spicy recipe to the mix and you have a whole different list of wines. I would normally pair Riesling with spicy Asian foods, sauvignon blanc with spicy Mexican foods. But spicy chicken? That took some thought. In the end I felt that this meal required a lighter white, but not as light as the ones above, to hold up the chicken dish, and found Viognier to be a fantastic match!

  • Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:08pm
  • Life

Leesa Kofmehl All Things Wine pairings

Often when people ask me what to pair with what they are having for dinner, they name the main meat of the meal – and not how it is prepared or what spices or sauces may be used. Pairing a wine with a meat can be quite simple; pairing it to a recipe can be a bit more difficult. Chicken would have a list of wines that can go with it, but add a spicy recipe to the mix and you have a whole different list of wines. I would normally pair Riesling with spicy Asian foods, sauvignon blanc with spicy Mexican foods. But spicy chicken? That took some thought. In the end I felt that this meal required a lighter white, but not as light as the ones above, to hold up the chicken dish, and found Viognier to be a fantastic match!

Zaca Mesa Viognier, $15.99

For great flavor without testing the pocket book, I recommend Zaca Mesa Viognier from California. For $15.99 a bottle this is a great “entertaining” wine. On the nose, aromas of honeysuckle and white peach hint at the sweetness needed for a bit of spice. However, this wine is dry on the palate with notes of ripe apricot, lemon-lime and melon pairing nicely with the honey, lime and cilantro in the recipe. The lingering finish will enhance each bite of this meal.

Alexandria Nicole’s Estate Viognier Reserve, $29.99

For a little more excitement in a

wine, I recommend Alexandria Nicole’s Estate Viognier Reserve at

has a most impressive rich, liquorous $29.99 a bottle. Viognier at its best … clean, crisp and full of life. The Viognier grapes were hand-picked, gently whole-cluster pressed and barrel-fermented in neutral oak barrels, using a combination of three yeasts. The wine was then aged seven months sur-lees to create a wine full of character. It expresses layers of ripe green apple and pear with hints of citrus, melons and tropical notes that linger to a rewardingly clean crisp finish. The complexity in this wine will pair nicely with the complexity of the dish.

Yves Cuilleron Condrieu, $50.99

For a little more a bottle I recommend the Yves Cuilleron Condrieu for $50.99. The grapes are hand-picked, then sorted and left to settle in the cellar. A pale yellow appearance belies the richness this wine possesses. The nose is intensely aromatic, with floral, lychee and sweet tangerine notes, which will enhance the citrus and cilantro of the recipe. A peachy, apricot and pine nut palate follows and has a most impressive rich, liquorous and delicious mouthfeel which has a tremendous lingering length. This one can be aged.

All Things Wine specializes in smaller boutique wineries and fine wines. The shop is located at 4605 N.E. Fourth St., Renton. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, go to www.allthingswineonline.com.


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