Ahh, a couple of nights ago I had longing for Chicken Normandy. It’s one of those autumn comfort foods — warm, creamy, full of appley goodness and quick to prepare melt-in-your-mouth chicken breasts. Even better with mashed potatoes. Of course, most anything is better with mashed potatoes! And yes, I do occasionally make dinner at home for my husband and myself.
In anticipation, we skipped to the wine rack and plucked a wonderful bottle of Viognier — a fruity, semi-dry white, nice body with crisp apple overtones. Don’t get me wrong, it is a truly lovely wine. And the Chicken Normandy was nice too, but we MISSED THE MARK! Our choice of wine did not complement the entrÃ©e. Neither fell completely flat, but there was no ZING! There was no OOOO-OOO-OO! this is great. I use this as a ruler for great food and wine pairs — when they’re right, it is truly a match made in heaven. When the match doesn’t quite make it, neither the food nor the wine show well, as we soon learned with this choice. We focused on the fruitiness and crispness of the wine, but the food needed more. The sauce needed a richer, full-bodied wine, with buttery notes.
Next time, I will pair my Chicken Normandy with a richer, buttery, slightly fruity white that can showcase the richness of the sauce and the intense flavors of the apples. I have already set aside a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay — and I suspect it will be magic.