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Chicken Wine Pairing Exercise

Below is a roasted chicken wine pairing exercise for you to play with at home. You can download a pdf of this guide, by clicking the read button below.

Make sure you scroll to the end of this post. I share 3 recipes for you to prepare at home (roasted chicken, fresh chimichurri sauce and a rich butter sauce).

But first… you’ll have to purchase 2 – 4 wines from the list below.

Have fun!


The following are the 3 Wine Pairing Rules I’d like you to think about whilst you sip and savour the roast chicken and 2 different sauces and wine.

If you’d like to read more about wine and food pairing you can read our post on the 6 Easy Steps to Become a Wine Pairing Guru.

3 Wine Pairing Rules to think about...

#1 how to find the right wine course for you
Match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food.

Just like cream feels heavier in your mouth than skim milk. Wine and food may feel lighter or heavier in your mouth.

For example, a fresh chimichurri sauce is lighter than a buerre blanc butter sauce. A Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy is lighter than an oaky Chardonnay from California.

By matching the lighter bodied wine with the lighter sauce, you’ll still be able to taste the food after sipping the wine. By matching the heavier wine (the oaky Chardonnay) with the richer sauce (the beurre blanc), you’ll still be able to taste the wine after tasting the food.

Most wines will go reasonably well with most foods.

Most wines will go reasonably well with most foods.

Therefore, food and wine pairing shouldn’t cause you stress (even if the big boss if over for dinner!)

Relax and enjoy the journey.

learn taking wine class

It’s often more important to pair the wine with the sauce, then it is to pair the wine with the protein.

Many simple food and wine pairing guides will skip this rule.

This exercise will have you taste wine with roast chicken and chimichurri sauce and then with roast chicken with beurre blanc butter sauce. It will show you how this #3 rule applies.

It’s often more important to pair the wine with the sauce, then it is to pair the wine with the protein.

Here's the wine and food pairing exercise...


Roast Chicken with Orange Juice and Thyme

lemon chx

This roast chicken is a super fast, easy AND delicious way to prepare roast chicken.

If you don’t have time to make the Chimichurri Sauce (below), you can use this recipe and substitute lemons instead of the orange. Make the sauces while the chicken is roasting.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • One 3 1/2-pound whole chicken, patted dry
  • 1 lemon or 1 orange, quartered


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Celcius.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Squeeze the lemon wedges or orange wedges all over the chicken, including the inner cavity. Set the wedges to the side.

Sprinkle the dried thyme, salt and pepper all over the chicken including the inner cavity.

Take the wedges and place them inside the cavity of the chicken.

Place the chicken breast side up and put it in the pre-heated oven.

Set the chicken breast side up in a large cast-iron skillet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 160°. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is an Argentinian and Uruguayan condiment you put on any grilled meat or fresh seafood. Use fresh parsley, fresh cilantro and fresh squeezed lemon juice for best results. This is my favourite version of this recipe and its from Cooking Classy.


  • 1 1/2 cups well packed (42g) fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup well packed (20g) fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (9g) fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 1/4 small red onion or one small shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, more or less to taste)
  • 3/4 cup cold-pressed Ostro Organics Poppy Seed Oil, Ostro-Organics Raw Sesame Oil, or Sunflower Oil


Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop everything finely with a knife and combine in a bowl.

Chef John's Beurre Blanc

Have all the ingredients together and measured because this sauce comes together quickly. The original recipe is posted on my favourite recipe site called All Recipes.



Place wine, lemon juice, cream, shallots, and cream in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium, and let simmer until liquid is reduced by about 75%, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to the lowest setting and whisk in about 2 cubes of butter. Keep butter moving until it melts. When melted, add a few more cubes, whisking continuously so butter emulsifies into the wine/lemon juice mixture.

Continue to add butter, a few cubes at a time until all of it has been incorporated and the sauce has a thick, luxurious texture, 4 to 6 minutes.

Remove from heat. Taste for seasonings and add a pinch of salt and cayenne, if desired. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

If you’re making the Beurre Blanc sauce ahead of time, it must be kept warm. If it cools and you try to reheat it, the emulsification of the sauce will break.

Tell me what food you would like a wine pairing suggestion for in the comments below!

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