Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings Paired with Batasiolo Gavi, Piedmont, Italy.


Gavi and chicken wings….a match made in….ermmmmmm…..some alternate universe….where people do those kinds of pairings…

Always one to defy convention, these fancy-schmancy chicken wings are perfect as a quick and easy meal, or for a party. The orange may sound kind of unusual….but trust me on this one! They’re pretty awesome!


If you’re attempting this recipe (because you should, as it’s one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever posted), don’t be tempted to just buy orange juice and forgo the grated orange zest. It’ll probably sound weird, but the zest was actually what made this dish! In combination with the brown sugar, it  caramelized on the grill and added a nice alternative to the usual BBQ sauce from a bottle.


You know when you get home from work and you can’t be bothered cooking? Well, that’s when I reach for the chicken wings. I personally always have a pack or three in my freezer on standby.
I have to admit that I never really ate wings in England. It’s just not really “a thing” over there. “How did you survive!?!?” you ask. Well, it was a tough life, but I’m making up for it now! To this end, my wife and I used to dedicate a meal each week to the humble chicken wing (usually a Thursday) and named it: “Lord of the Wings.”
We’re strange like that.


I’m sure if you’re the same as me, your usual method for cooking chicken wings is to simply grill them off. I’ve tried oven-baking them before, but the flavor just isn’t the same. Oven-baking would work really well with this recipe, but I think the best course-of-action is to gently remove the wings from the marinade (with tongs), gently lay them close to each other on the grill and then use a turkey baster to baste the liquid and orange peel back onto them.


Gavi. It’s like Pinot Grigio, but not.


What? You wanted more info than that? Ok…<sigh>……pay attention then….

There’s a lot of crappy Gavi out there (in the same way there’s a lot of crappy Pinot Grigio out there). The story seems to be the same throughout a lot of the Italian wine regions, namely; a great number of wineries for the longest time were able to get away with churning-out nondescript and flavorless grape water. No-one really cared either.
Over the last 10 years people have slowly started getting a little more discerning. Luckily a younger generation of winemakers came along and started to implement new techniques with a stronger focus on quality. Now Gavi is undergoing an underground resurgence in the wine world.

That’s what we have right here with the Batasiolo Gavi. The wine is 100% Cortese [kohr-TAY-zee] from Piedmont, Italy. Most Gavi is meant to be consumed in its youth. The Batasiolo was 2009, which is probably at the outer reaches of the drinking threshold. Treat anything with over 4 years of age with caution. Gavi is supposed to be crisp, aromatic, and refreshing. All those attributes will gradually fade with age.

The Batasiolo Gavi showed plenty of pear, lemon sorbet, tangerine, sherbet, and mineral. Clean and crisp on the finish, with an almost “Vinho Verde-like” effervescence. The wine actually worked very well with the wings, really picking up on the orange flavor and providing a suitable refreshment pairing. In a similar pairing situation, I could have also maybe reached for: Gewurztraminer, Austrian Gruner Veltliner, dry Riesling or Pinot Gris.

The Batasiolo is available for around $12.

Wine in GlassBatasiolo-Cork

Recipe for Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins


– 2 tablespoons grated orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
– 1.5 cups fresh orange juice (or whatever the juice is from your 3 oranges)
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/3 cup soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
– 2 pounds chicken wings


1. Fire up your grill. In a large bowl, mix the orange juice, orange zest, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add the chicken wings and mix to coat. (I marinated mine for 3 hours, but it’s up to you).

2. Remove the wings from the marinade and place them on the grill (closely to each other). Baste the orange mixture over the wings. Turn the wings over and baste them with the reserved orange mixture. Cook until done (I like mine ever-so-slightly burnt).


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