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Aug 29, 2008 09:19 AM

Which White? Chicken/lime/cilantro

I'm having a pool party, Gustav willing, serving Epicurious foolproof grilled chicken, which is a brined chicken tossed in a "vinagrette" of olive oil, fish sauce, lime, mint, cilantro, and the barest hint of red pepper flakes. (note no vinegar, so easy on the wine) Sides are wheat berry salad w/ corn and tomatos, arugula/watermelon/feta/olive salad, multiple breads and spreads.

I need suggestions for a white that won't fight the fairly intense flavors of the chicken. I usually like NZ Sauv Blanc, CA Viognier, love Caymus Condundrum, but can't afford to serve it to this many people (24). Red suggestions are also welcomed if you think they're called actual plan was just to serve the garnacha I have in the basement if people really want red w this chicken.

Specific suggstions (under $15, maybe?) or just an idea of a good choice of varietal would be helpful. Thanks!

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  1. In that price range ($15 or less), I would recommend a Riesling or Gewurztraminer from Trimbach, Pierre Sparr or Dr. Loosen.

    If you like NZ sauvignon blanc, try that as well or (to my palate) a less abrasive style SB from Chile.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vinosnob

      excellent advice from vinosnob. the gewurtz really should be a Trimbach or an other more dry style winemaker, though the rieslings can do with a little residual sugar. Another great combination would be gruner veltliner in a fuller style. these are often labeled 'smaragd', are mention a relatively late harvest month, like november (still dry wine). Domane Wachau Terrassen Smaragd would be nice for example.

      1. re: Willem

        you may be hard pressed to find any stuff at the smaragd level for less than 15 but i agree gruner veltliner would be a good choice..

    2. easy choice: riesling or gewurztraminer.... the lime, the fish sauce, the cilantro, the pepper flakes, not to mention the chicken, these wines are the common denominator.

      the only other thing I could recommend would be a sweetish bubbly like moscato d'asti.

      1. I'd probably do a dry or off-dry Riesling

        1 Reply
        1. re: whiner

          What about Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling? It's around $10 and WAY outperforms its price.

        2. Dana,

          You already like the Conundrum. It has the body to stand up to a fair amount of spice, and enough acid (from the SB) to handle food well. It also has the body, from the Chardonnay, to work with chicken. I'd stick with this one. Now, I liked the recipe better, when there was more Viognier and Musct, but then I loved the "Southern nights" smell of those earlier wines.

          This is our "house white," and, as my wife is a NOLA cook, I find that it holds its own with a lot of her dishes.


          1. Oops, just saw the price range - sorry. Still, Costco in PHX offers the Conudndrum at US$19/btl.. That is one reason that it is our house white. Kick in a few extra $'s and go for it. You will not be disappointed.