A great weeknight meal, chicken Marsala combines chicken, mushrooms, Marsala wine, and cream into a savory, rich dish that never disappoints. If you're planning on whipping up a batch but struggling to decipher which wine to pair with it, you've come to the right place. Chicken Marsala sits right at the cusp between red and white pairings, so you have options. That means we're going to be looking for a light red or a bold white. As you'll see, we feel a big-bodied white wine is going to be slightly better for the job.
Without doing a deep dive into the role each and every ingredient plays in the flavor profile of chicken Marsala, we can point out that there are two important parts of the dish: the meat and the sauce. Chicken is a white meat that lends itself to a lighter wine. Marsala sauce is luxuriously thick at its best, with subtle but complex notes of spice. Nothing here is pushing us towards something as bold as a cabernet sauvignon, but a pinot grigio isn't going to be able to compete either.
A dry chardonnay is an easy pick and widely available. It's big-bodied with complex flavors that can stand up to the sauce without demanding center stage. If you're more into reds, don't worry, a pinot noir is another easy recommendation. It's the quintessential light red wine, and the meatiness of the mushroom plays to its strengths.
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Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone
If you're reading the chardonnay and pinot noir recommendations and groaning at the banality of these options, you're in good company. There are so many forgotten wines out there that deserve more love but which simply don't have the brand recognition of the more popular grape varietals. The benefit of chardonnay and pinot noir as recommendations is that they are easily recognizable and widely available, but if you're looking to impress someone or just want a breath of fresh air in your glass, we won't leave you disappointed.
A bold white wine is our personal preference for this dish, so we'll start there. Chenin blanc is another great choice thanks to its creamy mouthfeel. If you can find a chenin blanc mixed with sémillon, you're in for a treat. Alheit Vineyards' Cartology wine at 92% chenin blanc and 8% sémillon is an excellent choice here. Alternatively, for a more wallet-friendly option that sacrifices nothing on flavor, Catena's White Clay opts for a 60% sémillon and 40% chenin blanc split.
As for reds, if you still haven't tried lambrusco now's the perfect time. Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine, and who doesn't love bubbles? Although there are sweet options, you should go for a dry lambrusco here. Cleto Chiarli is a fine choice.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.