It’s amazing how a simple salsa can take a meal from good to great. This Grilled Chicken with Mango & Avocado Salsa recipe from Erin Chase at $5 Dinners is one of those. It looks beautiful, tastes great, and best of all, is quick and easy to prepare. Enjoy it even more when you pair it with one of the following wines.
Grilled Chicken with Mango & Avocado Salsa Wine Pairing
Chicken is a blank canvas when it comes to wine pairings. It takes on the flavors of what you cook with it or add to it. In this case the meat is simply prepared with salt and pepper and grilled. It’s the toppings we look to for the wine pairing – a salsa that is sweet, creamy, and tangy.
Albarino: Bodegas Paso Robles Galicia ~$19
Albariño is a versatile wine when it comes to finding a food to match. This one has a nice amount of fresh pear, apricot, and peach fruit up front followed by crisp grapefruit flavors and a touch of sweetness on the finish.
The juicy fruit aromas and flavors balanced by the crisp grapefruit and sweetness all mimic the elements you will get in the meal and will make for an excellent, balanced, pairing.
Bordeaux White Blend: Chateau Olivier Blanc ~$25
For something elegant turn to this lovely aromatic white Bordeaux made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Nice tropical pineapple fruit aromas, citrus, and rich honey will meld well with the aromatics of the salsa.
Medium bodied, this wine is layered with lemon, lime, and melon, with crisp acidity and a clean finish. If you’re looking for something complex, medium bodied, and clean, this is a nice choice and will compliment all aspects of the dish.
Gewurztraminer: Chateau Ste. Michele ~$10
I’m constantly reading recommendations that suggest Gewürztraminer with Thai food (only), but it’s so much more versatile that that. Yes it does pair well with Thai, but there’s a world of other options for this aromatic wine. This chicken dish is one of them.
The floral and spicy clove notes on this wine will provide a nice contrast to the sweet fruit in the salsa, but the sweet kick at the finish of this wine will balance it all out. If you like your salsa with a touch of heat, I recommend adding a bit of diced jalapeño, then the sweet touch from the wine will cool your palate from any heat.
Grüner Veltliner: Laurenz V “Singing” ~$14
Grüner Veltliner is another very versatile food wine. This one has a nice concentration of apple, peach, lemon and lime citrus flavors finishing with a bit of typical Grüner Veltliner spice and lingering minerality. The fresh citrus makes it a nice match for the creamy avocado, and the spicy white pepper notes will work well with the grilled meat. Crisp, and fresh, just like the flavors of the dish.
Merlot: 14 Hands ~$10
You certainly don’t have to pair this dish with white wine. Red wine fans won’t be disappointed by this pairing. This is a lush and smooth Merlot with blackberry and dark cherry flavors, along with a touch of mocha and spice. The wine is smooth and soft with mild tannins and very little spicy oak influence so you don’t need to worry about those flavors clashing with the light elements of the dish.
This wine is especially recommended if you grill your meat on an outside grill leaving it with nice char marks. The smoky element will work well with the lush fruit in the wine. I do, however, recommend avoiding adding a vinegar based dressing to the salsa, as any vinegar flavors may clash with the wine. Choose a sweet dressing over vinegar based and you’ll be set.