Odd Pair: Chicken Spaghetti and Zinfandel

Categories: Wine Time

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There is pleasure in life... and then there is guilty pleasure. You know the kind. The type of indulgence that you are embarrassed to admit to your friends and colleagues... certain forms of gratification best enjoyed -- ahem, how shall I put this? -- whilst alone.

For me one such delight is chicken spaghetti, a dish that I had never had before moving to the south three years ago and a dish that breaks every rule of the holy canon of Italian gastronomy (where I have been known to pray): overcooked Ronzoni long noodles layered with chunks of boiled chicken, drowned in fatty stock and then topped with Velveeta before being baked until slightly crunchy and browned.

What wine did I reach for to quench the thirst inspired by the sinful, delightful mass of savory goo?

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I had picked up the 2008 Sonoma Zinfandel by Wine Guerrilla at my local wine merchant for less than $20, and I couldn't think of any better grape to pair with my decadent meal: It was clean and fresh, grapey, juicy, and fruity (think raspberry and red berry fruit), and it had very little tannin -- ideal for the soggy, mushy, savory flavors of the casserole.

Like "Napa Cab" or the Merlot so despised by Miles in the movie Sideways, California Zinfandel has received a bad rap in recent years as being passé or unsophisticated. I believe the reputation is more the result of market saturation than it is an indication of the overarching quality of these wines from the west, which tend to be earnest, plump, easy-to-drink, reasonably priced quaffers.

And after all, however much of a wine snob I may be, who am I to put pearls before wine?



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11 comments
Alfonso Cevola
Alfonso Cevola

Jeremy-I believe in these parts the correct pronunciation is "chikken 'sgetti"

IJS

Adrienne Byard
Adrienne Byard

Chicken Spaghetti is my favorite "white trash" meal. Unfortunately, your picture makes it look like what's left on the steps of Grand Prize in the morning.

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

 FFB, that's amazing that there are so many different interpretations!

Danielle, I'll have to hit a Luby's on one of my next road trips (still haven't been to one!). Do they BYOB? 

SirRon and TQro, aw shux and thanks so much for the kind words. It means so much to me that folks are enjoying it. Odd Pairs has been a lot of fun and it let's me take a walk on my wild side! :)

SirRon
SirRon

Odd pair is now one of the best written and most interesting serials on this blog

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

FFB, I've only ever had it homemade. Would someone make a dish like that in a restaurant these days? 

Bruce R, I've been trying to have fun with the Odd Pairs category but also stay real. Wine can be "applied" in all kinds of different ways, no? Thanks for keeping up with the posts! :) 

Bruce R
Bruce R

Jeremy, clearly you are a man of extremes.  First, you showed a picture of Carne Asada Tampiquena from Fonda San Miguel. That meal looked absolutely wonderful.  Then, on the other end of the spectrum, you show us your chicken spaghetti.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

So where do you get good chicken spaghetti?  I had a good BBQ spaghetti in Memphis and I always like trying different variations of any staple.

TQro
TQro

 Yes Sir, was just thinking the exact same thing. Good job Jeremy. 

Dylanee
Dylanee

 "Good chicken spaghetti"? Where to go to get it?A tasteless and worthless quest. What's wrong with you?

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