So much has been written about pairing wine with food. It's one of the most confusing and sometimes downright intimidating wine dilemmas out there. Sure, you know what YOU like to eat. And you know what YOU like to sip. But if you pair them together, will it be a taste disaster? Will your guests have to chug from their water goblets the rest of the evening? Suppose some judgemental old uncle turns up his nose at your choice on Christmas? Or worse, YOUR birthday (for heaven's sake why are you inviting judgemental relatives to your birthday fete?). What if the wine makes your main course taste just plain old icky. Or vice versa. Oh, the horrors!
You could easily solve this problem by never eating and sipping at the same time. But come on, what fun would that be? Plus, if you live a life anything like mine, there are certain holidays where you not only need to sip during the meal, but before and after as well.
There is a wine out there that understands your fear. And it is aptly named Foodies. It's a line made especially for World Market and it is here to take all the angst out of picking wine to go with your chicken, beef or pork. The labels even feature pictures of the appropriate food providing animal, with diagrams of which meat comes from which part of said animal.
I decided that my first bottle of Foodies would be the Chardonnay (13%, 2010, California). It had a cute little green drawing of a (diagrammed) chicken on the label. And thus I decided what we were having for dinner that night.
But I have to admit I did pause for a moment. There are a gazillion kinds of "chicken" you can make. Chicken Parmesan, Coq au Vin (which Julia Child demands you make with copious amounts of red wine), fried chicken, sweet Chicken Marsala, spicy Chicken Mole...what was I to do? In the end, I decided that the simplest approach to this pairing was the best and went with good old roasted chicken and herbs picked fresh from the Winey Family garden. (The label actually recommends pairing the Chardonnay with roasted chicken and garlic smashed potatoes, so I was somewhat comforted by my choice in the end.)
I have to admit, the wine really did go well with the roasted chicken. It has a medium golden color and gives off a bouquet of pear and oak. It tasted of pear and green apple with a hint of a tropical mango. It was smooth and buttery in my mouth and finished crisply of apples and a tiny bit of cinnamon. The mellow taste did very well against the herbs on the chicken. The creamy body got along nicely with the crispiness of the chicken.
This is not to say that you MUST serve Chardonnay with your chicken. If you want a sweeter white with your spicy chicken, or a full bodied red to go with that Coq au Vin, do it. But if you want an inexpensive ($7.99), great tasting sure bet with a really cute label, go with Foodies. Stay tuned for the beef (Cabernet Sauvignon) review. The Winey Hubby has that "I need some red meat" look in his eyes. (Not unusual, trust me.)
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