A family recipe, rather cheap and tasty, Basque chicken can also be a little headache when it comes to marrying it with a wine. White meat often calls for a white wine, but in this recipe the chicken is associated with strong-tasting vegetables such as onion, garlic, peppers, which in turn call for a red wine. Who will win? Which wine to pair with Basque chicken?
Let's not embark on a great sommelier lesson. Here is a little secret that will save you when you have a doubt about the harmony of a wine with a dish according to its origin. A regional dish generally goes very well with the wine (or even the drink) that is produced in the same region.
What could be more natural than to go and look for wines from the South-West! And the red wines of the South-West go very well as long as these wines are not too woody but remain on aromas and beautiful notes of red and black fruits.
Regional red wines recommended with Basque chicken: Irouleguy, Madiran or Saint-Mont. Also a Béarn or a Côtes-de-Duras.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find an Irouléguy or a Madiran! So we offer you a slightly wider selection of wines from the South-West of France which, with their beautiful tannic structure, will also go very well with the Basque sauce.
Bordeaux wines are made with a high proportion of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety (traditionally from the "Left Bank"), which gives them notes of red fruits and noble peppers, which will echo the sauce.
Red wines from the South-West of France recommended with Basque chicken: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Moulis, Listrac-Médoc, Pessac-Léognan, Gaillac, Fronton.
And if you prefer Loire wines, the pepper notes of the Cabernet Franc will go quite well with the dish provided you choose a rather warm vintage to find a certain structure and noble tannins in the wine.
Red wines from the Loire Valley recommended with Basque chicken: Chinon, Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil.
The original recipe for Basque chicken contains - apparently - no olives. But if you decide to add some in your chicken, it will give the dish an extra southern accent (in addition to garlic, onions, thyme ...) which makes it a good match with a wine with more "garrigue" notes than red fruits. The Grenache grape variety planted on terroirs where it expresses this side of candied fruits, spices and herbs of the maquis. If you choose a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Bandol, we recommend a wine that is about ten years old so that the tannins have melted.
Southern red wines recommended with Basque chicken: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Bandol, Pic-Saint-Loup, Fitou.
Why not? After all the white will bring freshness and it goes well with white meat. We started with red wines because the sauce lends itself very well to it but if we look well, we can find some tasty and surprising white wine and basque chicken matches! For that, one will go on the side of the white Rhone, to find the fat, the floral richness but also these southern notes which will not slice with the sauce.
White wines to try with Basque chicken: Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, Saint-Joseph white
Enjoy your meal and have a good tasting!