Pair It Up! Chicken Soup for the Cold

Let’s face it, plenty of us are likely to get a cold or two this winter and a little chicken soup will be in order. In fact, I was thinking that the healing power of chicken soup was more of a placebo effect, but according to the New York Times, it can indeed reduce congestion, help you stay hydrated and have other positive benefits. Of course, for many of us, we’re not going to let a little cold get in the way of enjoying a glass or two of wine, right?

So what wine goes with chicken soup?

Now, soup isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to pair with wine, as Jake wrote here last November, but when there’s a will, there’s a way! The key is focusing in on some of your soup’s specific elements. Let’s look at some examples:

The Food Network’s Herb Chicken Soup with Spring Vegetables

The key with this one is the herbs, specifically tarragon, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. I like the idea of going with a wine that has a touch of herbal character to match. In this case, Eau Vivre 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from the Similkameen Valley, B.C., which is a light and lively white with hint of floral notes and plenty of freshness.

Lucky Peach’s Rotisserie Chicken Ramen

This recipe takes some time, but it looks well worth it! With hearty aspects to bump up the goodness like bacon and ginger combined with its bold nature, you can definitely go a bit bigger with your wine choice. I like the idea of East Dell Estates 2012 Black Label Chardonnay Sur Lie from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario. The bold flavours of the wine will have it stepping up to the ginger, while the weight from the lees contact and all ‘round juiciness, will lap up all that chicken-y, bacon-y goodness quite well.

Martha Stewart’s Spicy Indian Chicken Soup

The key word here is “spicy,” brought to you by the addition of mustard seed and serrano chile. Something bright and juicy, with the smallest kiss of sweetness, will keep things nice and balanced. Le Vieux Pin 2014 Vaïla Rosé from the Okanagan Valley, B.C. is made from Pinot Noir, offering red berry fruit, plummy notes and a good squeeze of ruby red grapefruit. It’ll have you feeling better in no time!


Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.