What is the perfect wine to pair with Chicken Pot Pie? Our suggested pairings are Chardonnay, Champagne, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc and here’s why:
Most Chardonnay wines are made using oak which imparts a toasty buttery flavour profile. Even unwooded Chardonnays that go through MLF Malolactic Fermentation and/or batonnage (stirring of the lees) exhibit a round smooth mouth feel that is creamy and buttery. These characteristics are the perfect pairing for Chicken Pot Pie with its toasty pastry and chicken with creamy buttery sauce. This would be a mirroring effect, where the rich, buttery, creamy, opulent and complex flavours of each compliment one another. Even if you have a Chardonnay with more apple notes, those orchard fruit flavours and aromas pair well with chicken.
Champagne or Traditional Method Sparkling Wine:
Champagne or sparkling wine that has been made using the traditional champagne method develop complex flavours from the extended contact with yeast lees. Going through a secondary fermentation in bottle presents many of the complex “maillard reaction” flavours and aromas. Autolytic characteristics result in toasty, puffed pastry, fresh baked bread and yeasty dough notes. When eating something wrapped in puffed pastry such as chicken pot pie, sparkling wine is always a great match. Another mirroring effect with the buttery, toasty, nutty, creamy, brioche notes, this is a delicious pairing complimenting each other. If there are mushrooms in the chicken pot pie and any Pinot Noir in the sparkling wine blend, this is another complimenting match in the flavour profiles.
Pinot Noir is known for its lighter more delicate silky texture and earthy, mushroom, and savoury character. I make Chicken Pot Pie using mushrooms and that is why Pinot Noir pairs so beautifully. Pinot Noir can offer up red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, cherry, black cherry, and cranberry all which go well with chicken. The savoury notes in the wine compliment any fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage or oregano in the cream sauce. Pinot Noir is not a full-bodied bold red with high tannins, so it is a good match not only for chicken, but chicken done in a savoury buttery cream sauce with mushrooms and veggies. Pinot Noir takes very well to oak and its subtle toasty notes marry nicely with the toasty buttery flavours of the flaky puffed pastry.
Sauvignon Blanc displays vegetal and herbal aromas and flavours, and these will pair well with the savoury herbs in the chicken pot pie. Sauvignon Blanc is a wine with higher acidity so it will set up a contrast with the rich creamy sauce and that can offer some relief to the richness of the dish. Instead of matching the entire profile of the dish, the gooseberry and citrus acidity provides a refreshing contrast overall.
Katherine McEachnie, DipWSET