What Wine to Pair with Roast Chicken

Roasted Chicken is not as hard as you think. Put a glass of Pinot Noir alongside it and you've got yourself a meal!

Whether you purchased a rotisserie chicken at the store or are cooking one yourself, roast chicken is an easy dish to pair with wine. But which varietal really is best?! Read on to find out!

Roast Chicken is soooo easy to make. Why are people so afraid to cook it? Granted, purchasing a cooked rotisserie chicken at the store is very convenient, but it is much cheaper to just buy a raw chicken yourself and cook it at home. All you need is a few hours of oven time--believe it or not, this dish takes less time working in the kitchen than most of my other recipes! I've also noticed that you get much more meat for your money if you purchase a raw bird rather than a cooked rotisserie. Bonus!

But however which way you want to acquire your roasted chicken, the meal's not complete without a wine, right?!

Roasted Chicken is one of the easiest meals to make, honest! I don't know why people waste their money on overpriced rotisserie chickens when you can get much more meat with your money on a raw one

The Wine Pairing

I think the third or fourth post I made on this website was a beer pairing with roast chicken (don't mind the terrible pictures!). Although I love a good beer with my chicken, I have to admit that wine wins this battle. There's just something about the crispy, slightly greasy chicken skin complementing an acidic, earthy wine.

For any roasted chicken dish, find a good bottle of Pinot Noir to accompany it. This one is an easy pairing--any Pinot Noir should work as there are none I can think of that would overwhelm this chicken. Why does Pinot Noir work so well? Pinot is light, so it won't drown out the natural chicken flavors. The bright, red fruit dominating Pinot Noir's palate will trick your mind into thinking its a sweet sauce to complement the meat. If the wine has any earthiness (think potting soil, cedar, or herbaceous flavors), it will act like a natural seasoning for the crispy roasted chicken. Drool.

I'm a big fan of Oregon Pinot Noir myself, but really, any region will work with this dish. Whether you pick a fruit-bomb Pinot Noir or a cool-climate, restrained example, you won't be disappointed at its match with roasted chicken.

Dani's Regional Pinot Noir Picks for Roasted Chicken:

  • Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
  • Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • Napa Valley Pinot Noir
  • New Zealand Pinot Noir
What Wine Should You Pair with Roasted Chicken? A light, fruity Pinot Noir!

The Recipe

There are lots of recipes out there on how to roast a chicken, but I like to keep it simple. This recipe just uses a few lemons, salt and pepper to bring out the natural flavors of the chicken. Don't forget to use the leftover bones and meat to make your own chicken broth!

Easy Roast Chicken with Lemons

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour 40 mins

Serves: 4-6 servings


  • 1 3-5 pound chicken
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 lemons


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Wash the chicken inside and out with cold water. Let it sit for a few minutes at an angle to drain the excess water, then pat dry with paper towels (also inside and out).
  3. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper, inside and out. Use your fingers to rub the seasonings into the skin.
  4. Roll each lemon with a bit of pressure onto a countertop to soften them up. With a fork, prick each lemon all around to expose the inside juice.
  5. Place the lemons inside the bird's cavity.
  6. With kitchen string, tie the legs together; not too tight, just to hold them in place close to the rest of the bird.
  7. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. No need to add any oil or additional cooking liquid. Place it into the upper third of the preheated oven.
  8. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over carefully so that the breast faces up. Cook for another 30-35 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat of the oven up to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Total, the chicken should cook about 20-25 minutes per pound (so a 4 pound chicken would cook for about 80 minutes).
  10. When the chicken is finished, remove from the oven and carve. No need to remove the lemons from the cavity. Use any juices in the pan to serve over the meat.


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