Chicken parmesan has its roots in Italian cuisine, but has been adopted wholeheartedly by the United States. It’s essentially a variation of eggplant parmesan, but with chicken breasts covered in breadcrumbs and a delicious coating of grated parmesan. It’s also frequently served with mozzarella, tomato sauce and some carbohydrates, such as pasta. To keep your visit to the wine aisle as expedient as possible, we’re going to recommend you some particular grapes and regions that will be an excellent match for chicken parm’ – many are Italian, but there are some great options from the US too.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Chicken Parmesan
|Tannins||Smooth to Medium|
|Tasting Notes||Juicy, medium-bodied wines, with notes of red berries, citrus, white-fleshed fruits or hints of butter.|
Chicken Parmesan is a “medium-bodied” kind of dish, so to match that and the flavors that come with chicken parmesan, it’s best to stick to medium-bodied wines with a high amount of acidity. Reds and whites are both viable options. So is something in-between red and white – by which we mean rosé. A wine with a rich, juicy mouthfeel matches wonderfully with the texture of chicken and chewy bites of mozzarella, so it’s worth keeping that in mind too.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parmesan is often served with a red sauce such as marinara, so the red berries and notes of herbaceousness in red wine are very desirable with this dish. Wines with heavy tannins may clash with the acidic tomato, so they are best avoided. If you keep things light, fruity and friendly, it’s difficult to go wrong.
Packed with notes of Italian herbs, balsamic vinegar and intense red fruits, a Sangiovese wine is perfect for enhancing your chicken parmesan. This grape is very widespread, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find either. In particular, we recommend looking for Chianti or Chianti Classico. Chianti holds an advantage over the likes of Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino, simply because it tends to be medium-bodied and has all of those classic, Italian Sangiovese flavors.
Pinot Noir is extremely versatile for pairing with food, so it is almost always worth a mention. It’s acidic enough to stand up to both parmesan and mozzarella and boasts layers of delicious fruit flavors, which will be perfect with the tomato sauce. If you want to keep your entire meal US-based, Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Washington has gained quite a reputation in recent years.
This is another classic Italian option – Montepulciano is the quintessential “juicy” red wine, perfect for pairing with a succulent piece of chicken, or anything loaded with cheese. This is a very reliable choice – Montepulciano is always medium-bodied, stuffed with red fruits, and excellent with anything Italian-related, be it pizza, spaghetti with meatballs, or rich chicken parmesan.
Best White Wine To Drink With Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parmesan is full of flavor, but it’s not the kind of dish that would overpower a medium-bodied white wine – so white is a great choice. Additionally, there are some beautiful buttery/nutty notes that you can find in oaked whites that will pair beautifully with the breaded chicken.
Chardonnay is a terrific choice for any chicken-based dish. In this case, we would like to specifically recommend an oaked Chardonnay, because it comes with an extra smooth, oaky, buttery dimension that will be wonderful with this dish. Chardonnay is a high-acid grape, so it will have no issues with the layers of flavor, carbohydrates and creamy mozzarella in chicken parmesan. You can opt for a Chardonnay from pretty much anywhere – Californian, Australian or French are all fantastic.
For something a bit more lively, we recommend going with a sparkling rosé. Champagne and fried chicken is a shockingly good pairing, and sparkling wine with chicken coated in breadcrumbs and parmesan is no different. The red fruit aspect of rosé will also combine with the tomato sauce perfectly. Above all, sparkling rosé is a fun drink and it’s almost impossible to go wrong with it. For a fancy dinner, you could go for a rosé from Champagne, but anywhere in the world will do.
Best Wine To Drink With Chicken Parmesan
Medium-bodied, acidic, fruity and friendly are all words you should keep in mind when looking for a wine pairing for chicken parmesan. The rest is up to you, and your personal taste. These are some solid options that we found for you:
- Chianti/Chianti Classico
- Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
- Sparkling Rosé
- Pinot Noir