Pairing Wine with Your Leftover White Meat

While roast dinners are one of Britain’s most popular and delicious dishes, we often find ourselves with a lot of white meat leftover. Whether chicken or turkey, there are plenty of ways to repurpose them. Each tasty incarnation that your leftover can take has a unique flavour profile and matches well to different wines. With a wide range of dishes being made from leftover white meat, Ideal Wine Company is here to guide you through the perfect wine choice for your meal.

Ideal Wine Company wine and white meat
Ideal Wine Company is here to guide you through the perfect wine choice for your leftover meat.

Curry, Thai and noodles – aromatic and bright wines work well

Though white meats are not usually bold in taste, currying them, whipping up a roast meat Thai dish or adding to noodles will change their flavour completely. Introducing spices is a great change for leftovers and a lighter wine alternative will match this. Zesty flavours of citrus will brighten up your dish.

How you choose to curry your white meat will affect the wine you choose. Should you opt for a korma style creamy sauce, an aromatic white is sure to match well. Try a Viognier for a citrus boost to cut through the creaminess of the curry. If you decide to take a Southeast Asian approach with your curry, such as a Thai green curry, it is advisable to adapt for a lighter sauce. The frequent use of coconut milk and spice makes these dishes harder to pair. A Riesling or Pinot Noir are always good options to balance out these delicate dishes.

It’s worth remembering that strong fruity rosés can handle spice too, with their light zesty flavour uplifting leftover white meat.

Risottos – look for light and crisp

When adding white meat to a risotto, the dish tends to be richer and more savoury. To work with this, it is best to look for a wine that is similarly richer, while also containing some good acidity. Try pairing your risotto with a light creamy Chardonnay, which won’t overwhelm the subtle flavours of the dish but brings enough acidity.

For a bolder pairing, a Pinot Noir also adds a subtle fruitiness to your risotto. This works particularly well if your dish includes truffles or truffle oil.

Salads – acidity is key

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, leftover white meat works well in a salad. With salads, the dressing you choose is most likely to affect your wine choice. With most salad dressings being vinegar based, remember the rule ‘acid with acid’. Pairing a wine too low in acidity to a naturally acidic dressing will cause the wine to be drowned out. Opting for a high-acid variety, such as an Albarino, will provide the perfect balance for your salad.

Sandwiches – youthful or robust reds are perfect

A sandwich is a classic form leftover take. When pairing your sandwich with wine, it’s all about the components that accompany the meat. In its simplest form, a youthful red Burgundy or Beaujolais worth well to bring new life to the meat.

By adding pickles or chutneys, you are introducing a new dominant flavour. With this in mind, try looking for a riper and robustly fruity Pinot Noir. Whether your accompaniment has a sweet, spicy or sharp finish, this fruity option provides a balance that will bring your sandwich flavours together. It’s always a good idea to look for juicy flavours when adding chutney or pickles.

Other options – creamy sauces in pies or simply with the meat – opt for a classic white

Whether your creamy sauce is used in a pie or simply on top of cold meat, its best to stick to a classic pairing for this. As white meats are not a bold tasting, the sauce becomes the key element to match. With cream, you can’t go wrong with a subtly oaked Chardonnay or a Chenin Blanc. These two white wines counteract against the richness of the cream to cleanse the palate and bring a lightness to the dish.

When pairing your wine with your white meat leftovers, the golden rule is to concentrate on what you are adding. Meats like chicken and turkey are adaptable meats and will take on the flavours of whatever is added to it. Let your additions dictate what wine you match with your dish.