What wine with KFC?
Here’s the deal. You’ve had a wonderful week in Devon, eating wonderful local produce partnered with plenty of excellent wine (I’ll be telling you all about it very soon!)… What do you do when you get home? In our house, after the unpacking, several loads of washing, sorting through the post/bills and reacquainting with the TV, it has to be the most guilty of guilty pleasures… KFC.
I consider myself a fan of top quality food but I just love the stuff… The Fish loves it even more, so even when I put on my disapproving face, I don’t stand a chance! But what do you drink with it? Spicy, greasy, flavoursome…
Chicken is generally a pretty easy match – its a fairly neutral flavour. But when its seasoned with a secret blend of spices (!!) and deep fried then things get a bit more complicated.
I decided there were 3 things I needed:
Acid – to cut through the grease
Fruit – I wanted plenty if vibrancy to allow me taste the wine with the chicken
Weight – some texture and richness to match the spicing
I immediately discounted red wine as I thought the spiciness would heighten any tannin. A Beaujolais could work (sorry, not a fan) or a young Barbera or Dolcetto but I think we’re better going with a white (rose maybe in the summer but lets not complicate things).
Acid is the most important thing so my mind went to Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. I also put out a call to Twitter (@winegeekconfess if you’re interested!) and there were many calls for Champagne or Cava. I can really see this working – its my favourite match for fish & chips – but I was in the mood for a still wine so lets go through the options.
Riesling – lots of fruit and lots of acid, maybe a bit too much that would overpower the chicken?
Chenin Blanc – my mind immediately went to the off-dry wines of Vouvray in the Loire Valley. Lots of fruit, razor sharp acidity and a bit of sweetness… A real contender.
Sauvignon Blanc – I would be more inclined to go to the Loire again for a Sancerre or a Pouilly Fume; or even out to Cheverny, which has about 20% Chardonnay fora bit more body.
Chardonnay – has to be unoaked or very young. There are some lovely Aussie and North American examples out there, but I was drawn to Macon in Burgundy. Lots of freshness, plenty of body and rapier like acidity. My winner!
This was a spur if the moment thing and I had to make a single choice – one day I’ll do this properly with a few mates and all of the options available to taste to make a 100% fair assessment!
Maison Louis Latour St Veran 2011 (Costco £8.99)
Bags of fruit with melon, peach and lemon on the nose with just a touch of toasty nuttiness. Lovely weight on the palate and searing acidity. It’s not a long finish but there just enough there to match the intensity of the spices. 89 points