Which wines would you serve with chicken pot pie? That was the theme of our annual food and wine pairing event at the Mullis Center, January 9. Five brave souls put their name in the hat to be a part of the cook-off challenge for best chicken pot pie. Their names were drawn and all they had to do, was make the best pot pie at the event. Easy… Right? Hardly. I know that their task was way harder than the challenge I had of finding wines that would pair well with that dish.

All the pot pies were fantastic, and I want to thank those who participated, including our very own Deli at Kings Market. Unfortunately there could only be one winner and the one that came out on top (by a landslide) was the chicken pot pie entered by Roxanne Dunn. Congratulations Roxanne for a job well done. The Deli department pulled out second place with Amy Lopez coming in a close third. Roxanne promises to forward her recipe to me so that I can put on my site…Look for it sometime this month.

Many expressed surprise to see seven red wines lined up along with four whites as choices to match the meal. I knew we were talking home-made chicken pot pies, which meant they would be richer than your average store-bought varieties. I was right, as one of the entries used a big dose of duck fat in their recipe. Spices and flavor abounded in each entry, making them a nice complement to reds being tasted, along with the richer whites.

The whites included a Pinot Gris, Viognier, Chardonnay (Carneros) and a Rhone style white from Alexandria Nicole called Shepherds Mark, a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. The reds that were selected had to be wines with softer tannic structure so as not to over-power the food. I chose a Pinot Noir, Malbec, Cotes-Du-Rhone, Barbera, Syrah, Merlot and Grenache. Although there were a couple of dissenters, most agreed that the wines worked well with the food (you can’t please ’em all).

I know a lot of you like to know which wines were the most popular at the event. Based on what everyone ordered, the Cline Cool Climate Syrah was the favorite of the night. As far as the whites went, the Maryhill Viognier was the hands-down favorite (which I’m sure in both cases had to do with the price-to-quality).
I got a lot of positive comments about the other wines poured too. What surprised me the most was the lack of interest in the Chardonnay that we poured, although it was a very nice match with the food. It could have been the price ($20. a bottle), but I have a feeling that this was an anti-Chardonnay crowd. Look for my review of the wines that we poured coming soon.

It was a great event, and I appreciate all the support that I get for these wine tasting events. You guys are great and very savvy about wine and your own palate. I am looking forward to the next event as we venture into February 2014.

Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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