You're about to sit down to some island niceness comprised of Jerk Chicken, and you want to know what wine to pair with it? We got you!
When pairing foods with wine, regardless of cuisine, you want to understand the dominant player in your dish and go from there. With Jerk Chicken it is the sweet spice from cinnamon, brown sugar, and crushed peppers that dominate. From this flavour profile, you know you need something to calm the heat of the crushed hot pepper kick from the jerk seasoning and not clash with it. So here we go...
Wine Pairing Recommendations
Alsatian Riesling is a guaranteed winner as a pairing wine with jerk chicken.
In Alsace, this grape benefits from a lengthy amount of sunshine, helping its ripeness, but still retains its acidity from cooler nights. Aromas of bosc pear, golden delicious apple skin, lemon pith, and white flowers. On the palate, lemon rind, green apple, apricot, pear, peach, and honey. You end up with a white wine with crisp acidity, bright fruit on the palate, and great complexity.
Riesling, hands down, is a sure-fire winner for jerk dishes if you want minimal exploration.
This is a grape not to be slept on when it comes to pairing jerk chicken with wine.
Grüner Veltliner produces a dry white wine, is the most planted grape in Austria, and is arguably the most internationally known. From Austrian Grüner Veltliner, you'll find common traits of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and nectarine, and you'll even pick up white pepper, ginger, and honey in more choice expressions.
The fruit on Grüner Veltliner on the palate comes with a perception of ripeness, providing a sense of sweetness that will help cut the jerk's peppery notes. This grape also has thick skin, providing an excellent coating on the tongue to soothe the pepper. Last but not least, Grüner is known for its high acidity, and acidity is a blessing when pairing food and wine!
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain, is a must-have if looking to pair your jerk chicken with wine, plus it's always good to have both red and white wine options for pairings.
Tempranillo is indigenous to Spain, and their expression of this grape in the glass produces a full-bodied red wine that leaves a slight but luscious stain on your glass. Tempranillo is highly aromatic, with blue and black fruit, fig, and subtle rose. As more and more producers are experimenting with aging vessels, the distinct coconut and dill notes from American oak are not constantly prevalent. Some producers are now using French oak, and in some cases, both. When a producer uses both American and French oak, it gives the wine an exceptional edge as that vanilla and dill essence is a killer combination on its own.
Tempranillo's fruit structure applies sweetness right across the palate, and those in balance provide a long finish that will stand up and compliment the seasonings in your jerk sauce.
With these three wine pairing options, and there are more (!!), you know you'll never have to jerk without wine again!