The Best Type Of Wine To Pair With Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is a classic chicken recipe everyone should know how to make. But what's best to sip on while you enjoy it? The perfect wine can complement your meal to bring out the food's best flavors, and while many of us think of beef, pork, or fish when considering wine-and-meat pairings, chicken dishes have ideal wine pairings, too. Where chicken Marsala is concerned, it's important to remember that a light wine is sometimes the best pairing for a heavy meal.

Chicken Marsala, which gets its name from its signature Marsala wine sauce, is made with pan-fried chicken and mushrooms. Since this dish already contains wine in its sauce, you might expect that drinking that same wine would provide the best pairing. In this case, though, a very different wine than what's already in the dish makes for a better combination. Marsala wine is more frequently used for cooking than it is for drinking. When served on its own, it's typically thought of as a dessert wine since it's sweet and has low acidity. Rather than enjoying chicken Marsala with an equally sweet, bold red wine, a lighter, fruitier, and more acidic option can bring out the dish's unique flavors without overwhelming your tastebuds.

Chardonnay and pinot noir are ideal picks

Because of chicken Marsala's savory flavors and earthy mushrooms, light wines with acidity — not sweetness — are the ideal pairing. Balancing all the dish's flavors is key to bringing them out in the best way. Luckily, for this particular dish, it doesn't matter if you prefer red or white wine; you can find something in either variety to complement your meal. If you want a red wine, pinot noir is a great choice because of its fruity undertones. If you prefer a white wine, opt for chardonnay or pinot grigio, both of which are crisp and will play up the creaminess and nuttiness of the dish.

Chicken Marsala is often served with pasta, rice, or roasted potatoes. If you're also serving your chicken Marsala with a starchy side, it's particularly important to sip on something light and refreshing rather than thick or overwhelming in flavor. This makes for a meal that feels well-balanced from start to finish.