Chicken Spaghetti … Paired with a Croatian Red

Pairing: Chicken Spaghetti Paired with a 2010 Bibich Riserva 6 Red (from North Dalmatia in Croatia)

Food:  Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook, published in 1975 was a must-have resource to many of us cutting our culinary teeth during that time period. Not only is it filled with fabulous recipes, but also with wonderful stories and anecdotes. The recipe for Chicken Spaghetti comes from childhood memories growing up in rural Mississippi where his Dad raised chickens which they ate at most every dinner. This recipe for a non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner, simply called My Mother’s Chicken Spaghetti, which we adapted for this meal. You can see his recipe if you click on the link. A bit complex, but well worth the time. We shortened the time considerably using previously cooked stock, meat and mushrooms, but still important to have it sit 4 hours. Heavenly.

Chicken Spaghetti

Wine:  It’s so much fun and rewarding to sample wines from lesser known regions of the world … in this case from Croatia. The Bibich Winery is located in Skradin in the Northern Dalmatia region of the country. It is made from equal amounts of three grape varieties all indigenous to this part of Croatia, namely Babíc, Lasin, and Plavina. All of these grapes are genetically related to Zinfandel (Crljenak Kastelanski) which explains the familiarity in the flavor of the Riserva 6 being quite comparable to a California Zinfandel.


Dalmatian R6 Red

Tasting Notes:   A deep maroon color. Enticing nose of sweet black cherry and blackberry with fragrant whiffs of cinnamon in the background. A wonderful flavor of dark fruit jam (mostly cherry and blackberry, but hints of other dark berries) with lovely cinnamon and black pepper lingering on the finish. Goes beautifully with the chicken, pork, beef, and mushrooms in the dish. A splendid pairing wine in all respects, but also nice as a sipping wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken Spaghetti:  Zinfandel (California), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Côte du Rhône (France), Garnacha (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Croatian Red Wine: Roast Chicken, Roast Pork, Seared Tuna, Braised Rabbit

Views and Maps of the North Dalmatian Region:  north dalmatian wine region

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Croatian Wine with Fish Cakes

Pairing:  Homemade Fish Cakes with 2009 Coronica Gran Malvasia Istria Croatia

Food: These fish cakes are from a recipe in The Legal Sea Foods Cookbook. Here is a link to the recipe. For those readers who may not know, Legal Seafoods is a highly regarded Boston institution that started as a fish market in the early 1050’s, then a restaurant in the mid 60’s. There are now dozens of branches all over the Boston area and elsewhere. We encourage you to eat there if you are in the area. They also have a terrific wine list. One of our favorite things to have with the fish cakes (or indeed with any white fish) is pickled beets. My wife puts up several jars of them every summer. Relishes of most any sort are also wonderful with the fish cakes.


Wine: The Istrian Peninsula is located due east across the Mediterranean Sea from Venice. The peninsula is actually part of three countries — Italy (just south of the city of Trieste), Slovenia, and Croatia. The Coronica winery is located in the sparsely populated, beautiful hilly countryside of the Croatian part of Istria near Umag. Many different varieties of the Malvasia grape are grown throughout the Mediterranean from Greece to Portugal. The local clone of Malvasia grown by Coronica is Malvazija Istarska.


Tasting: This is a very special wine. A lovely golden color. Apple blossoms and honeysuckle on the nose. A very delicate sweetness is present, but is still very much a dry white wine. Tastes on the palate are mostly ripe melon notably cantaloupe, with blended tropical fruits on the flavor landscape. And, a touch of pepper and allspice on the finish. A delightful wine from a beautiful part of the world.

Other Wines that Pair Well with This Food: Albarino (Spain), Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner (Austria), Vouvray (Loire, France), Soave (Italy)

Other Food that Pairs Well with this Wine: White Fish, Shellfish, Pasta with Light Cream Sauce

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