Chicken salad is an all-time favorite meal, and for good reason!
It’s a light yet flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as part of a casual lunch or dressed up for an upscale dinner.
But the only thing better than eating a delicious chicken salad?
Pairing it with the perfect wine.
That’s right – you don’t need to be a sommelier to enjoy some delicious wines with your chicken salads.
And while there are countless great options out there, we want to help narrow down your list so you can find just the right one.
So, what wine goes with chicken salad?
When pairing wine with chicken salad, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are excellent choices. Both of these white wines have a crisp acidity that will balance the creamy dressing in the chicken salad. Alternatively, you can also try a light-bodied red such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.
So if you’re looking for the best wines to pair with your chicken salads, look no further!
In this article, we provide our top picks for the ideal wine pairing based on flavor profiles and recommend varietals from both red and white categories.
Read on – it’s time to get creative (and thirsty!)
3 Reasons You Should Consider Serving Wine With Chicken Salad
You may not have considered it before, but chicken salads are surprisingly great when paired with wine!
Wine can go beyond just adding some flavor to your salad – by understanding the different tastes of wines, you can make that salad into a truly delicious and memorable meal.
Here are 3 reasons why you should be trying out wine pairings for your next chicken salad:
- Variety: A good bottle of wine adds complexity to the flavors in the dish. There is such an incredible variety of types and styles of wines out there – from light and refreshing white wines to rich and bold reds – that finding one to match with your favorite type of chicken salad will be no problem at all!
- Balance: Chicken salads typically involve a combination of ingredients that can bring together sweet, savory, and sometimes even tangy flavors. With the right kind of wine pairing, these disparate tastes achieve harmony on your plate as well as in your glass.
- Enjoyment: When it comes down to it, having a glass alongside a great meal just makes it more enjoyable! Whether you’re having lunch alone or dining with friends or family, having something special like a perfectly matched bottle will take any occasion up another notch or two!
The Best Red Wines For Chicken Salads
Red wines can be a great addition to any chicken salad dish, as they offer a bold flavor and rich color.
When selecting red wine for your chicken salad, think of the ingredients you’re using in the dish.
If you’re making a creamy mayonnaise-based salad or one that includes cheese, opt for an unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Noir with its acidity helping to cut through the underlying fat in these dishes.
For those salads that are more savory-sweet (think honey mustard with crunchy greens) try something fuller-bodied like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon which will complement the sweetness without overpowering it.
And finally, if you’re going for spice like smoky chipotle chili pepper oil, look for Zinfandel which has enough tannins to balance out the heat from these flavorful ingredients.
The Best White Wines For Chicken Salads
White wines have a lighter body, and they are a great option to pair with chicken salads as they won’t overpower the flavors of the dish.
Pinot Grigio is one of the best white wines for chicken salads because it has a nice acidity that complements the creamy texture of some dressings. Sauvignon Blanc is also an excellent option with its citrusy notes, which will add an extra zing to your salad.
Chardonnay is another classic choice when pairing wine with chicken salads thanks to its buttery notes, which balance out cuts like poached or grilled chicken that may have been cooked in herbs and oils.
Riesling is also good for pairing with salad dishes as it brings out herbal flavors from fresh ingredients like basil and mint.
The Best Rosé Wines For Chicken Salads
Rosé wines are a great choice for pairing with chicken salads.
They have enough body and structure to hold up to the salad, but also provide a lightness that can help refresh your palette between bites.
Look for rosé wines with light fruit flavors such as strawberry and cherry, and even hints of citrus or melon. These wines tend to be slightly sweet, which is perfect for balancing out some of the more savory elements in the dish.
Some good options include Grenache-based rosés from France’s Rhone Valley, Spanish Cava rose sparkling wine, dry Italian Rosatos made from Sangiovese grapes or Italian Pinot Grigio rose.
You could even try a dry Rose of Zinfandel if you want something with a bit more body and flavor intensity than other roses offer.
Other Wines To Pair With Chicken Salads
If you are looking for a unique chicken salad wine pairing, consider trying some other wines.
Sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava, and Champagne can provide the perfect balance of acidity to the richer components of chicken salads.
For a more savory option, try an off-dry Riesling – its sweetness is balanced by a streak of mineral acidity that will cut through the richness of a creamy chicken salad.
If your salad has sweet components, try pairing it with a dry Muscat or Moscato d’Asti.
These delicate sweet and aromatic white wines have just enough body and complexity to stand up to heartier salads and they also pair nicely with fruit-based dressings.
Other lighter-bodied reds such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir also work well as they have enough structure to stand up to heavier dishes like chicken salad but still maintain lightness on the palate.
3 Chicken Salad And Wine Serving Ideas
Here are a few delicious chicken salad and wine serving ideas that you can use to make the perfect pairing.
- First, serve your chicken salad with a fruity white or rosé wine such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio. These types of wines will pair well with the creamy and citrusy flavors found in most chicken salads. For an extra special treat, try making a summer berry-stuffed version of your favorite dish!
- Second, if you’re looking for something more earthy or savory to pair with your meal, opt for a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Rich herbal flavors from things like thyme and oregano will be complemented by these bolder wines.
- Finally, if you want to add some sweetness into your chicken salad pairing experience, consider trying out some sparkling wines like Moscato d’Asti or Prosecco – these are perfect when paired with lighter dressings such as vinaigrettes and creamsicles!
Serving Temperature And Glassware
Serving temperature and glassware type play an important role when you’re pairing your wine with chicken salads.
You want to make sure that the temperature of the wine is just right for bringing out its flavors.
For white wines, it’s best to serve them at about 10-12 degrees Celsius, for red wines a slightly warmer 13-15 degrees Celsius is ideal, and rosé should be served between 12-14 degrees Celsius.
When it comes to glassware, you also want to make sure that you’re using something suitable for the type of wine that you’re serving.
Red wines are best served in wider glasses like a Cabernet Sauvignon glass while Pinot Noir works nicely in more narrow glasses like Burgundy or Bordeaux glasses.
White wines can be enjoyed from Burgundy or Chardonnay glasses and Rosé looks beautiful in a champagne flute.
Chicken salads are a great way to bring people together and serve something that is both delicious and healthy. Paired with the perfect wine, chicken salads can become your new go-to meal for when you have guests over or just want an easy dinner.
So, what wine pairs well with chicken salad?
When choosing a wine to pair with chicken salad, try a crisp white such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc is another great option that pairs well with the light flavors of chicken salad. For a refreshing finish, opt for an off-dry Riesling or a slightly sweet Moscato.
Whichever type of wine you choose, make sure you keep track of serving temperature and glassware so that everyone can enjoy their meals.
With this guide in hand, all that’s left is to get creative in the kitchen! Bon Appetit!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.