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Whole Lemon Chicken with Herbs and New Zealand Pinot Noir

chicken food & wine montana rae new zealand pinot noir recipe red wine wine club exclusive Mar 11, 2022

Here’s a dinner solution that will have you looking like a trained chef without spending all day in the kitchen. I promise you’ll agree it’s worth the effort when you experience the crispy skin, juicy flesh, melt in your mouth potatoes, and buttery lemon with fresh rosemary flavors. Combine it with a stellar red wine, and it’s game over. It’s a one-dish preparation that might just become a new staple in your house.

The Wine

I paired this recipe with an incredible Pinot Noir from Burn Cottage Vineyard. The 24-hectare estate is located about a 30-minute drive outside of Queenstown in the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island. The vineyards and winery are certified biodynamic and the cool climate makes a wonderful home for this grape variety. 

The vineyard team (and Mother Nature!) creates meticulously hand-crafted, minimal intervention wines. While the production focuses on Pinot Noir, they also make a delicious, food-friendly Riesling Gruner Veltliner blend that I was lucky enough to taste when I visited the winery back in 2019. 

Food-friendly wines made with such dedication to the earth ought to be paired with fresh, organic ingredients! I used simple, locally sourced ingredients mostly from farms around my home in Denver, Colorado (couldn't get a couple of items but I tried!). The aromas of roasting poultry, herbs, and citrus that fill the kitchen as the bird cooks are truly out of this world.

Why The Pairing Works...

Poultry and Pinot pair pretty well together in general. That said, I didn’t exactly play it safe with this combination. The lemon flavors of the chicken are prominent, as are the acids which help keep the meat moist and tender. A wimpy Pinot would get pretty overwhelmed on this table, but wimpy Burn Cottage is not. Also, it's the addition of butter that rounds out the flavor combination. The fresh rosemary highlights the earthy flavors in the wine and brings harmony to each bite.

Cheers! Montana Rae

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