Fried Chicken Wine Pairing Guide - Our 7 Favorite Pairings!

wine pairing fried chicken

Do you love fried chicken? So do we! What could be better than enjoying a delicious, greasy, crispy, and juicy fried chicken dinner?

Pairing it with a glass of wine! 

In this blog post, we will discuss the best fried chicken wine pairings. We will explore pairing options for sparkling, red, and white wines, and we will provide some tips on how to find the perfect wine pairing for you!

Table of Contents

What is Fried Chicken?

fried chicken wine pairing buffalo wings hot oil

There’s really no need to explain what fried chicken is — after all, it’s a classic dish that most of us love or at least are familiar with. A better question would probably be who makes the best fried chicken? Or what is your favorite fried chicken chain?

  • Popeyes
  • KFC
  • Church’s
  • Raising Cane
  • Jollibee

Or what type of fried chicken is best?

  • Korean Fried Chicken
  • Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
  • Nashville Hot Chicken
  • Southern Fried Chicken

Even though nothing beats a friendly chat around what our favorite type of fried chicken is, or who makes the best version, let’s take a step back and explore which wines are the ideal pairings with this delicious comfort food. Regardless of your go-to style of fried chicken, these pairings will surely elevate it!

What are the Best Fried Chicken Wine Pairings?

sparkling wine sparkling wine and fried chicken pairing wine

Combining fried chicken and Champagne may sound like an unlikely pairing, but their flavors actually work together in harmony. In fact, Champagne is a classic pairing for fried chicken and many fried food dishes.

The sparkling wine has toasty and nutty flavors that will enhance the delicious fried coating on the juicy chicken. Additionally, the effervescence and vibrant acidity of Champagne cuts through the fatty and greasy chicken for a mouth-watering balance. And lastly, the sparkling wine refreshes your palate in preparation for each succulent bite.

Sparkling Rosé best sparkling wine equivalent other sparkling wines

Another great fried chicken wine pairing is a Sparkling Rosé. This sparkling wine can be bone dry to slightly sweet, and it has a bright acidity with notes of red berries that make it the perfect companion to fried chicken. And the crisp acidity of this sparkling wine can help break up some of the fried chicken’s greasiness.

Additionally, the crispness of the Rosé balances out the fatty flavor of the fried chicken and compliments lighter dishes like salads or slaws.

pair with fried chicken sweet tea stone fruit

Chablis is a French white wine made from Chardonnay grapes and grown in the Burgundy region. It’s a dry, crisp and acidic style of white with notes of green apple and mineral flavors that pair perfectly with fried chicken.

Chablis is a perfect accompaniment to fried chicken due to its higher acidity, which brilliantly cuts through the richness of the dish. And the refreshing notes of citrus and apple provide a pleasant contrast to the salty, crispy texture of fried chicken skin.

oaked chardonnay vs unoaked chardonnay is chardonnay sweet

Chardonnay is a rich and full-bodied white wine with subtle flavors of apple, pear, butterscotch, vanilla, and oak. When it comes to pairing fried chicken, Chardonnay’s natural buttery character tends to work well because its creamy texture helps to accentuate the chicken’s fried crust flavors.

Riesling Aromas: green apple, pineapple, pear, lemon, minerals, honey, petrol, jasmine

Riesling is a crisp and slightly sweet white wine that works especially well with fried chicken dishes.

And if you’re serving fried chicken with a spicy kick to it, like Korean Fried Chicken or Nashville Hot Chicken, a Riesling would be an especially great pairing option. The sweetness in the wine helps to balance out the spiciness of these fried chicken dishes, while its light acidity refreshes your palate for each salty and spicy bite.

albarino tasting notes

Albariño is an incredibly dry, light and refreshing white wine that pairs perfectly with seafood. Not surprisingly, it also deliciously complements a fried chicken dish!

I found this fried chicken pairing to be absolutely delightful – the wine’s high acidity felt like a perfect complement to my fried chicken, as well as the garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw and gravy. The acidity of the wine served to cut through all the greasiness from these dishes!

best zinfandel tasting notes

Zinfandel is a bold and full-bodied red wine with notes of tart cherry and raspberry. The structure, complexity, and robust flavors make it the perfect match for fried chicken.

The juicy texture of this red pairs perfectly with fried chicken due to its ripe blackberry and spicy pepper notes that can stand up to the fried coating’s crunch. Furthermore, the peppery notes of Zinfandel will also help to compliment any spicy fried chicken.


What kind of wine goes with fried chicken?

Champagne, or any type of sparkling wine, can pair well with fried chicken due to its acidity, effervescence, and lightness. The bubbles and acidity of champagne can help cut through the richness and greasiness of the fried chicken, providing a refreshing contrast and palate cleanser between bites. 

Additionally, the lightness of the wine can complement the crispy texture of the chicken without overpowering it. The fruity and floral notes of some champagnes can also complement the herbs and spices used in the seasoning of the chicken.

What do you drink with fried chicken?

  1. Beer: A cold beer, such as a light lager or a crisp pilsner, can be a refreshing and classic pairing for fried chicken.

  2. Iced Tea: Sweet or unsweetened iced tea can provide a refreshing and complementary contrast to the greasy texture of fried chicken.

  3. Lemonade: Freshly squeezed lemonade can provide a tangy and slightly sweet contrast to the savory flavors of fried chicken.

  4. Soda: A cold soda, such as cola or ginger ale, can provide a sweet and bubbly contrast to the salty and crispy texture of fried chicken.

  5. And Wine!!!

What red wine goes with fried chicken?

Zinfandel is a medium-bodied red wine that can pair well with fried chicken due to its fruity and spicy flavors, as well as its tannin structure.

Additionally, the spicy notes of some Zinfandels can complement the herbs and spices used in the seasoning of the chicken, providing a harmonious flavor profile.

Lastly, the acidity of Zinfandel can also provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the dish, while its tannins can help balance out the texture.

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