Seared Chicken + Sauvignon Blanc vs. Pinot Noir

Always on the hunt for new ways to make tasty food, I tried out a meal kit service called Home Chef, which breaks a yummy meal into easy steps and sends you all the ingredients you’ll need. On tonight’s menu: Chicken with cilantro butter and veggies!

The meal is easy enough to make, but the tricky part is finding the right wine pairing. Usually, my go-to for chicken is Pinot Noir. But this dish also has a veggie element, and depending on the type of vegetable I’ll usually choose a red like Cab Sauv or white like Sauvignon Blanc.

So for this particular dinner I have two pairing suggestions: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Central California Pinot Noir.

Both wines I opened are excellent; the Sauvignon Blanc has crisp, grassy, green notes that are so refreshing and play off the bell peppers, while the crisp acidity does a nice job of cutting through the creaminess of the sauce (oh yeah, this recipe called for a bunch of sour cream and cheese in the veggies… so, healthy, but not?).

The Pinot Noir is much nicer with the chicken, brightening it up with sharp cherry fruit notes and peppery notes that dance with the seasoning and cilantro.

All in all, it’s hard to say which is the better pairing for the overall meal. I’d lean towards the Pinot Noir, since it balances the chicken so well and can handle the veggies. But you can’t go wrong with either!