SavorPairs WithPairs Well With: Classic Fried Chicken 

Pairs Well With: Classic Fried Chicken 

When we started writing this article, we knew it might come as a surprise to people. Fried chicken? Really? Who pairs wine with fried chicken? You’ll be surprised to find out that the perfect pairing with fried chicken is actually Champagne! 

When it comes to wine pairings, Fried Chicken and Champagne create an unexpected delight to anyone’s taste buds. For those who have never had this delectable pairing, it’s time you’ve tried it! It sounds a bit unconventional, we know, but we promise it’s a perfect match! Combine a cheap, fatty, easily accessible food with an elite, special occasion drink, and something amazing happens. This unlikely duo creates a harmonious explosion of flavors that can be enjoyed anywhere from a fancy dinner party to a stay at home movie date. 

pouring a glass of champagne

So why does it work?  

Four Key Factors

  1. The Cleansing Effect: Champagne can have intense acidity and effervescence which acts as a palate cleanser. With every sip of Champagne, your taste buds will crave the next rich and salty bite of fried chicken.
  2. Contrasting Textures: Fried chicken is crunchy, crispy, and it contrasts extremely well with the fine, silky bubbles of champagne, creating an intermingling of textures.  Both champagne and fried chicken have distinctive and expressive textures so when the two mix it’s a whole lot of fun. The salty, savory breading mixes with crisp bubbles giving the mouth an intense feeling. (Think pop rocks)
  3. Complexity and Depth: The intricate and delicate flavor profile of most champagnes have notes of green apple, citrus, and toast, which adds depth and complexity to the overall taste experience of the juicy interior chicken. 
  4. Balance: Fried chicken is rich and heavy, but champagne balances it out with elegance. In this case, it’s a classic case of opposites attract; it’s beauty (champagne) and the beast (fried chicken). 

plate of fried chicken and french fries

Our Favorite Fried Chicken and Champagne Pairings 

Bojangles and Veuve Clicquot

This, in our eyes, is the best fried chicken match. The greasy, fatty goodness of Bojangles paired with the lively notes of Veuve makes for a match that is unbeatable. Veuve Clicquot can be found at most grocery stores/total wine and is moderately priced for champagne. 

Chick-fil A and La Cuveé

There’s something so surreal and elevated about this pairing. It brings the world of junk food into a realm of elegance. The combination of a perfect Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich and the yellow apple, almond, and citrus flavors of La Cuvee makes it a tasty culinary journey worth taking. 

KFC and De Saint- Gall Blanc De Blancs Grand Cru Brut 

For a blend of affordability and luxury, pair a KFC chicken bucket with De Saint-Gall Champagne. This wine displays a concentrated lemon and chalky expression intertwined with fresh popcorn notes that partners well with the classic KFC chicken spices. This pairing is accessible, refined, and an affordable indulgence

Shake Shack and Moёt & Chandon Impérial

Shake Shack’s lightly fried and flaky breading lets this complex champagne shine! It’s a true gem with a slightly smoky attitude and notes of dried pineapple, biscuit, salted almond and white peach. The fried chicken in this pairing takes a backseat while still complementing the racy Champagne. 

Pro tip: Keep in mind that while any style of champagne can work for this pairing, the best are typically a brut or demi-sec. Too much sweetness with this pairing can make the flavors taste unpleasant and oddly balanced, so make sure to get a wine that is on the drier side!

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