Text Search

Pairing wine with chicken wings

Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley

Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley

Jennifer is passionate about getting rare and beautiful, small production wines, into the UK market to be enjoyed.

Share Post:

Could wine and wings be a thing? Chicken wings means beer, right? Rebellion, Bud Light, Adnams, Coors?  I say bring the wine with the wings and all the lovely sauces that they are smothered in.  The lovely crispy skins and unctuous fat combined with a sweet or spicy sauce can be the ultimate combination for all things wings…and wine.

By all accounts there is great confusion about the wing, what the heck even is a chicken wing? It is small, chickens really don’t fly, and why are we eating so many of them? Well, it is in fact the wing, cut into, well “wings”.  And like all things wings, there is lovely fat and white meat that is nothing but delicious and worth tenderizing and slapping on the sauce.

Unlike the Sunday Roast chicken, the wing is meant for sauce, all of them and much of it.  Dry, wet, hot, creamy there is a sauce and a wing that are meant for each other.  So let’s work through the sauces and the wines that really make the wing shine.

No way rosé, I just don’t see it.  Whites, let’s go acid, lean lovely fruit.  Let’s go bubbles, but Champagne or super dry, low dosage….and then reds? Tough, working with the sauce and the fat of the chicken, I am leaning towards a light Trousseau or Gamay Noir, I would error on the side of light.

Wings can be quite the best thing on a barbecue and barbecue season it is! 

Below are a few recommendations to complement your perfectly grilled wings.

Seabold Grenache Blanc from the meticulous and fascinating winemaker Chris Miller.  This gem from Arroyo Seco is to be exalted for its acidity and structure combined with the lovely white fruit and floral notes of classic Grenache Blanc.  Nothing flabby, all fit in this wine.  

Kiona Chenin Blanc ripe apple and pear combined with a hint of almond and beautiful acidity.  With a garlic butter sauce or mustard there is a great pairing to be had. 

Dunites Moy Mell the wild and beguiling white wine made from Albarino, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from San Luis Obispo, something for every wine, sticky, spicy, creamy or straight up.

Syncline Gamay Noir think Beaujolais and beautiful light red fruit with nice structured acidity to bring the BBQ sauce into it’s own.  Sauce on the sticky side is a lovely complement to this medium bodied yet dry red with hints of pomegranate and blackberry combined with damson. 

Fine Disregard Mataro  is a wonderful expression of sloes, tea and spice that is light and energetic.  Perhaps for any Six Nations or Rugby Internationals wings tailgate, this wine delivers power with elegant restraint. 


Sauce Recipes

Buffalo Wings

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 4 tbsp pepper sauce (we used Frank’s hot sauce) 


Sticky Sweet Wings

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp sundried tomato paste
  • pinch dried chilli flakes, to taste


Garlic Butter


Rated Wing Shops in the UK

Randy’s Wings Bar

Best Chicken Wings in England

Festivals Celebrating Wings

Wings Fest 

buy wine on line illustrative vine yards with mountains
buy wine on line Californian beach scheme in deep orange and blue

Tasting Room and Curation Space

The Oxford Union, Frewin Court, Oxford, OX1 3JB

Join us at the 67 York Street
14th to 17th September

Cool Places. Cool Wines.