Real wine, real food #2 - KFC

March 15, 2018

Real wine, real food #2 - KFC

Have you ever tried Kentucky Fried Chicken? Apparently, this is the first question police ask people when giving them a lie detector test. To work out whether they are telling the truth. According to statistics 78% of the population have tried a KFC, but 98% of people deny it when questioned publicly about it. So, you can see why it is such an effective first question on a lie detector test.

Oh alright then. They don’t do that. But they should. Much better than starting off with what is your name.

Why the embarassment?

Still I do find it strange that people are not embarrassed about admitting they eat fish and chips on a regular basis, but will tell massive porky pies to avoid any hint that they may possibly have consumed some of the Colonel’s secret recipe chucks. I mean, it can’t be any worse than fish dipped in batter and deep fried surely?

Well thank goodness for the internet!

Thanks to Sir Tim Berners Lee, at the flick of a mouse, I can tell you that a KFC Bargain Bucket is 3660 calories. So a quarter bucket (normal portion) is around 915 calories. A large portion of Fish and Chips is around 1300 calories. A chicken korma, by comparison, with rice and naan bread is around 1300.

Healthy option?

Doesn’t take a genius to work out that by comparison KFC is virtually a paragon of healthiness - unless of course you chuck extra fries, coleslaw and a bucket load more chicken into the mix.

However, given recent events with KFC it is possible that people lie about eating it because they don’t want to be stuck in the same category as all those idiots that phoned the police asking why they couldn’t get their favourite fried chicken fix. Now that is something worth lying about…Oh and the fact that the orange faced loon of a president across the water, the Dumpster, eats it too... that has really put me off.

Still, the simple fact is, fried chicken -  whether in a bucket from KFC, or presented on a slate with coriander in a fancy restaurant – tastes bloody nice. It’s a guilty pleasure that lots of us partake of frequently. The challenge is, what wine to drink with it?

Fight the fat, fight the spice...

Well, you’ve got two challenges essentially.

The first, is fat. It’s pretty darn greasy, in all the loveliest of ways. But greasy nevertheless.

The second is spiciness. Good fried chicken, whether it’s the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices, or just a good ol’ bit of chilli, has a kick to it.

So grease and spice – two natural born wine killers.

Well, what you need is a wine that’s got lots of fresh vibrant fruit, combined with a big whack of acidity. These two factors help override the grease and the spice, and most importantly leave your mouth feeling lipsmackingly fresh and clean. Bit like a wine version of toothpaste.

So ultimately, you want to go for relatively high acid whites with very upfront fruity flavours, and racy, mid weight reds that have extra juiciness and a bit of zip and zing to their finish. Here’s our top 5 recommended styles and wines:

Top five matches for KFC:

#1. Fizz – well, fizz is always a great staple for anything involving grease and flavour, but you want one that has a very citrussy character and lots of vibrant, fresh acidity. Our Davenport Auxerrois Brut NV is perfect with it’s deliciously creamy, lemony fruit flavours, but a wonderful zing that will knock any residual fatty and spicy flavours into touch.

#2. Albarinho or Albarino – this is an Iberian grape variety found in both Portugal and Spain. It’s like a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and unoaked Chardonnay with fresh vibrant apple fruit flavours and a very racy, zingy finish. Again perfect for combatting the fatty element, but also a great way of dousing the fire from any chilli spice element. Our Inmortal is an excellent version.

#3. Chenin Blanc - I always prefer Chenin Blanc to Sauvignon Blanc, because I think it has more appealing fruit flavours, and less of the grassy herbal side. Which is exactly why it works here. You want a version with good acidity, but also those fresh crunchy apple and unripe pear flavours that the best Chenin shows. Our Block Head Chenin Blanc from South Africa is a perfect example.

#4. Grenache – lovely grape that produces some of the most luscious, sweet, oh-so fruity and fresh mid weight reds around. Lovely ripe cherry and redcurrant fruit flavours, all with a bit of zing and bite on the finish. Perfect for countering the Colonels hard work in the kitchen. Our Pasquiers Grenache Noir, with its deliciously robust, juicy fresh strawberry and raspberry fruit flavours is ideal.

#5. Malbec – you want a mid-weight Malbec, not a super heavy weight. Something with a touch of lightness to its fruit. Our perfect pairing would be our organic, Vegetarian friendly El Abasto Mablec-Bonarda. Super juicy, and perfect chilled just a little bit in summer, giving it even more sizzle to match your spicy fried chicken.

So there you have it. Our top five matches with the world’s most shunned (and loved) of fast foods. Although bear in mind that the man who bought the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise to the UK has given up eating KFC – on the basis that it is too unhealthy. #alittlebittoolateforthatashorsehasbolted methinks.





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