The Wine That Pairs Best With BBQ Chicken Wings

Chicken wings with red wine
Chicken wings with red wine - Lunov Mykola/Shutterstock

Whether you're relaxing poolside or inside watching baseball, chicken wings are a summertime staple. They're the perfect shareable snacks to throw on the grill, and the array of spicy, smoky, and sweet flavors pair nicely with just about any side. Wings have a signature tanginess that requires a good dipping sauce, and beverage choice is just as important. You could opt for something non-alcoholic, but alcoholic drinks add an extra bite that's hard to beat. Typically, the malty taste of a cold glass of beer is the go-to, but what if you're more of a wine person?

It all comes down to which notes in the wine enhance the flavor of your wings. For BBQ wings, Zinfandel is a light choice that balances smoky and sweet flavors well. It's a fruity red wine that's not overpowering, thanks to its low tannin (the element that determines astringency) content. Zinfandel is not super dry, so it can easily intensify subtler BBQ wings that lack heat. It has hints of blackberry and plum, coupled with unique touches of cayenne and tobacco, making it an ideal option to bring out the sweet smokiness of a simple BBQ sauce.

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Rosés And Reds For The Win

plate of wings with wine
plate of wings with wine - Finist4/Shutterstock

You can also grab a bottle of rosé for a similar effect. Despite its reputation as a daytime wine (famous for accompanying brunches), it's a versatile option for just about any style of chicken wing. When it comes to wings packing heat, it's a better choice than Zinfandel. If your BBQ sauce is on the spicier side, a dry rosé can help break up some of that spice. On the other hand, a fruitier rosé functions much the same as Zinfandel. It can extract sweet smokiness from wings doused in honey or mesquite BBQ sauce.

The bubblier the wine, the better. Soda is often paired with chicken wings, so a sparkling rosé makes sense. You can even keep the wine in the fridge for a closer match to cracking open a frosty can of cola. Often, red wine is best served chilled, and rosé is no different. Plus, the coolness will help settle any unexpected heat from the wings.

No matter your wine selection, the bottom line is that wine can complement chicken wings quite well — if you know what to look for. BBQ wings encapsulate many common flavors from across the chicken wing spectrum, so you can seamlessly apply the same logic to others. As long as you're well-acquainted with the flavors, you'll have more than just the wine aficionados at your pool party reaching for a bottle when your next chicken wing recipe comes off the grill.

Read the original article on Mashed