Sponsored by: Bottles Beverage Superstore
If you think the only thing that pairs nicely with a platter of Southern fried chicken is a glass of sweet tea, think again. Wheat beers and off-dry wines are the perfect complement to fried chicken – whether served at an upscale restaurant or a backyard family picnic.
Here are 7 beverages that will bring out all the flavors of grandma’s classic fried chicken recipe courtesy of Mike van Beyrer at Bottles Beverage Superstore in Mount Pleasant.
1. To match the breaded, crunchy coating of fried chicken, select a wheat beer like Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen. This is a traditional German wheat beer brewed by Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world.
"That's the go-to beer for me," van Beyrer says. "They actually have some of the yeast sediment in the bottle itself, so it’s kind of bready with some tropical fruit notes like bananas."
2. Palmetto Island Wit is local Palmetto Brewery's new seasonal beer. It's an American-style white ale with lemon tartness and a subtle fruitiness. Palmetto also brews in freshly ground coriander, Seville orange zest and its own blend of spices.
3. On the wine front, go sparkling, recommends van Beyrer. He suggests a simple prosecco like Villa Sandhi Prosecco. "It's clean, crisp and those bubbles really enhance the crunchy texture of the fried chicken," he says.
4. Who says champagne and fried chicken don’t pair well? Go for the classic Piper-Heidsieck Champagne for its bubbles, acidity to cut the fried chicken grease and a drier profile.
5. An off-dry wine tones down any spice in the fried chicken. You can't go wrong with Leitz "Dragonstone" Riesling, a German Riesling.
6. Have some fun and go red. Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Amabile is an off-dry, sparkling red wine from Italy. "It has a slightly sweet element that just enhances the mouthfeel with that crunchy texture of the fried chicken," van Beyrer says.
7. Don't leave cocktails out of this mix. "Fried food in general needs a boozy cocktail," van Beyrer says. His suggestion? A Negroni Slushy. Mix Campari, gin and sweet vermouth with a few ice cubes in the blender and you have a refreshing summer cocktail.
Even if you're eating your fried chicken off a paper plate, you'll enjoy it all the more with one of these beverages. Plus, it will be fun to see your friends' faces when you hand out the champagne glasses.