Fried chicken and Champagne? Really? Yep, you read that right. Kevin Bratt, Wine Director of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Ryan Arnold, Wine Director of Aba, Ēma, il Porcellino, Beatrix, Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra Pizzeria guide us through styles of Champagne and sparkling wine for the ultimate highbrow-lowbrow pairing.
Top Champagne & Sparkling Wines
Picking the perfect wine is always daunting, so we’ve pulled in our experts to help you out. A quick word from the pros:
“When looking for Champagne to pair alongside fried chicken, look for a dry style which is lower in sugar content and lends a better palate for the dish,” says Ryan.
“If rosé is more your style, look for one that’s fresh and boasts strawberry or raspberry notes, which help balance the savory notes of your perfectly seasoned bird,” says Kevin.
Diebolt Vallois Blanc de Blanc NV | Chardonnay
Medium body with aromas of freshly baked bread and lemon rind
Henriet-Bazin Sélection de Parcelles Premiere Cru Brut NV | Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Rich texture, crisp, refreshing and zesty with aromas of hazelnut, brioche and pear
J. Lassalle Brut Rose | Pinot Noir, Meunier, Chardonnay
Dry and rich with notes of fresh raspberry and strawberry
Krug Grand Cuvee | Pinot Noir, Meunier, Chardonnay
Fresh acidity with notes of freshly baked bread and seasonal flowers
Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny Premier Cru | Pinot Meunier
Made of 40-year-old vines boasts a bright and expressive palate
Patrick Piuze Val de Mer Rosé | Pinot Noir
Bone dry and mineral-driven with notes of tart red fruits: cherry and pomegranate
Giuliana Prosecco | Prosecco
Tropical fruits: honeydew and pear
Our Best Fried Chicken
Now that you’re versed in Champagne and sparkling wines, here are some of our top fried chicken dishes to pair it with. If you’re in the mood for fried chicken sammies instead, we’ve got some of that goodness too – check it out.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Joe’s Fried Chicken – features a half chicken dredged in seasoned flour and a secret cracker meal coating (this has been known to be one of the best in the city, FYI!). Make a reservation: Chicago, DC and Las Vegas.
Big City Chicken offers crispy, golden brown fried chicken three ways: Chicken Strips, available in Original or Spicy, in a Sandwich, with options of Original Crispy, Hot & Spicy or Crispy BBQ, or with all of the above options By-The-Piece!
Chesapeake Fried Chicken featuring Miller’s Farm chicken, double battered and fried with coleslaw and fries
Bub City’s Southern Fried Chicken is dipped in buttermilk and secret spices, fried and offered in Original, Buffalo or Nashville Hot. It’s also available atop a waffle with bacon-jalapeno honey and country gravy during weekend brunch. Make a reservation: River North and Rosemont.
Hand-breaded Crispy Chicken Strips, served with a choice of dips (ranch, tangy mayo, our sauce, BBQ or Buffalo)
Southern Fried Chicken with coleslaw, redskin mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, a homemade biscuit and grade “A” honey. Make a reservation: Chicago, Eden Prairie, Glenview, Lincolnshire, Mclean, Oak Brook and Schaumburg.
Three-Piece Fried Chicken and two sides.
Fried Chicken, prepared by a half or whole chicken
*Only available on Sundays and Mondays for dine-in or carryout