Grilled Chicken & Salsa with a Portuguese White

The chicken, despite the grilling, remains relatively bland but juicy. The salsa is both fruity and sharp and it is this sharpness that is the challenge for the wine. The dish is a perfect summer one, it is fresh and light and does not demand piles of carbohydrate.

I chose a Monte Velho Branco 2008 which came from the Wine Society at a mere £4.95 at the time. It is a Portuguese blend of grapes recommended for fish in Mediterranean style. Though described as ‘bone dry’ it is also quite aromatic and fruity – ‘dryness’ is an elusive concept – while this chicken recipe is so light, even when using pieces of big and healthy free-range chickens, that I thought it worth risking the pairing.

If I say it myself, it was a success. The aromatic and fruity character of the wine was the essential complement to the salsa and salad, and there wasn’t enough acidity to clash with the juicy chicken. Recommended and very good value.

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