Chicken Marsala Wine Pairing

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Published November 17th, 2022

Chicken Marsala is a very popular Italian-American dish, not only because it’s easy to cook, but also because it’s very flavorful and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients that you don’t already have in your pantry.

In fact, it’s one of my favorite meals to cook during the holidays.

In this article we’ll take a look at Chicken Marsala wine pairing. Does it go better with red or white wine? Which varieties make the best wine pairing for chicken marsala? Without any further ado, let’s get into it.

Chicken Marsala Wine Pairing: The Basics

Chicken Marsala is a rich, meaty, and herbaceous dish. A decadent mushroom and wine sauce layers fried chicken breast for an unparalleled Italian-inspired taste. This delicious recipe transforms pantry staples into a show-stopping meal. The dish gets its name from the fortified Italian wine that is used to give it its signature deep, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor.

Marsala is a brandy-fortified wine from Sicily that can be used to make rich and flavorful sauces, ideal for dipping pan-fried chicken cutlets in, but it can also be served by itself after a meal or paired with dessert. As a result, it's definitely worth stocking up on a bottle or two. In fact, if kept in a cool, dry place, marsala can remain fresh for months.

Chicken breast filets and mushrooms are the main components of the Chicken Marsala dish. The chicken breast filets are sautéed in a little olive oil until golden brown. The sauce is then prepared by combining the Marsala wine, chicken stock, and cream, and the chicken breasts are then added and cooked for a little while. Lighter wines go best with the heavy cream and mushrooms that make up marsala sauce. Chardonnay's acidity or Pinot Noir's fruitiness bring out the richness of the meal's main ingredients.

Subscribe to Wine Bugle!

Get updates on the latest posts and more from Wine Bugle straight to your inbox.

Red or white wine with Chicken Marsala?

A quick research will tell you that red wine is the best pair for Chicken Marsala. However, I don’t necessarily agree with this statement. While there are many great wines that will perfectly accompany the dish, I believe that white wines also deserve a chance. During recent years, especially since New World countries have started becoming more popular and upping their winemaking game, they have created some excellent wines that would be a perfect match for the dish.

The finest wine pairings for chicken marsala are full-bodied white wines or lighter red wines. Your wine decision should be focused on characteristics that go well with chicken marsala because it is by nature salty and creamy.

Best Wine for Chicken Marsala

Best Wine for Chicken Marsala.

Which might be the "best wine" is completely up to each person's personal preferences and palate, but, for me, I'd have to say that there's no better match than a Chardonnay.

The 2017 Wild Oak by St. Francis Chardonnay has prominent scents of kettle corn and lemon meringue as well as citrus blossom and crème brulee flavors balanced by a sharp and lively acidity that can cut through the creaminess of the dish.

White Wine Pairing For Chicken Marsala

Like we mentioned earlier, the best white wines for chicken Marsala are those that are full bodied and crisp enough, in order to be able to complement the tastes of the dish without being overpowered and also be able to cut through the creaminess of the sauce. Some of the best white wines for Chicken Marsala include:


Chardonnay has a neutral flavor with  hints of citrus, apple, and almonds in it. It has a medium body, medium acidity, and high to moderate alcohol content.  It looks appealing due to its light golden hue and dry flavor. Every time you take a sip, a new flavor is experienced.

Because it complements a number of the components used to make the dish, including mushrooms, garlic, and asparagus, chardonnay is a wonderful wine choice to pair with chicken marsala. We recommend the 2019 Bodega Aleanna 'El Enemigo' Chardonnay for a great tasting experience.

Chenin Blanc

White wines made from Chenin Blanc grapes have a distinct fragrance and minerality.  They are versatile wines that pair superbly with the majority of foods.  One of the greatest wines to pair with chicken marsala is Chenin Blanc, a medium-bodied wine with less tannins, moderate alcohol levels, and strong acidity.

It is worth pairing Chicken Marsala with the 2017 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Les Chanteaux. The wine offers tropical flavors and citrus notes, along with a balanced acidity and a fresh aftertaste.


White wine with mostly fruity characteristics, viognier. Depending on the winemaking process, the intensity might range from mild to spritz. It has a full-bodied mouthfeel, fewer tannins, and a moderate alcohol content.

When coupled with a salty chicken marsala meal, the fruity and mild sharpness of Viognier provides the ideal balance. We recommend the 2021 Clonakilla Viognier Nouveau. This wine preserves the youthful character of the Viognier grape. Lots of flavor without being heavy.

Red Wine Pairing With Chicken Marsala

While it’s not really common to pair red wines with chicken based dishes, Chicken Marsala is an exception to this rule. The flavors of the chicken and the mushrooms, along with the creaminess of the Marsala sauce provide a perfect opportunity for some red wines to shine. Let’s see some good red wine options to serve with Chicken Marsala.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir has a dry flavor and a full-bodied mouthfeel, as well as distinctive tastes including fruity, smoky, and earthy aromas. Due to its low tannin content and low acidity, Pinot noir is the ideal wine to pair with chicken marsala because it doesn't dominate the dish's flavorful meatiness.

Try the 2016 William Hill Estate Winery Coastal Collection Pinot Noir. Rated 90/100 in the Wine Enthusiast, this red fruit forward Pinot Noir will definitely leave you satisfied.


Red wine made from grenache grapes has tastes of luscious red fruit with a hint of cinnamon-like spice. It has a thin skin and a profile akin to Pinot Noir's. It has a lot of alcohol and only a little tannin.  A perfect  wine  for chicken marsala due to its medium body, mild tannins, and acidity.

Try the 2018 Orin Swift Department 66 'Others' Grenache.The mouthfeel of this Grenache is wonderfully delicate. It is complex, fruity, and juicy, and despite its richness, it provides an exceptional level of palate satisfaction.


Gamay is renowned for having a light texture, high acidity, and little tannin. Because of its near resemblance to Pinot Noir in terms of body and flavor, this red wine is sometimes known as Gamay Noir. Gamay's light wine body, fruity aromas, and undertones of spice make it a great choice for hearty dishes like chicken marsala.

We recommend pairing the medium-bodied, fruit-flavored and acidic Ridgecrest Old Vine Estate Gamay Noir with Chicken Marsala to create a perfect match.


Frappato is a fruity red wine with moderate tannins. It has the sweetness of fruits as well as spicy notes, making it a delectable choice. It's a refreshing wine with earthy, floral, and fruity flavors. Frappato has a light body and high acidity, which complements and suits the meaty flavor of chicken marsala.

Pair it with the 2020 Valle dell'Acate Il Frappato Vittoria, a fruity wine with notes of cherry, clove, and white pepper, as well as polished tannins and refreshing acidity.

Orange wine to pair with Chicken Marsala

Obviously, we can’t not recommend an orange wine to pair with Chicken Marsala. Orange wines can easily become a perfect match for this meal, due to their mildly tannic character, acidity and robust nutty flavors.

Don’t miss out on trying the Donkey & Goat Ramato Pinot Gris Orange Wine. Made in California, this orange wine has citrus and stone fruit flavors, a medium body, along with a firm mouthfeel, a noticeable acidity and a meaty character, which might sound weird, but believe it or not, it makes a perfect match for chicken based meals.


We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of what wine pairs with Chicken Marsala. We have only mentioned some of our favorite recommendations, so don’t feel required to limit yourself in these options. We welcome you to experiment and find your own favorite wine pairing for Chicken Marsala.

However, we want to remind you not to go for an overly tannic red wine, like a Nebbiolo, because the combination of spices in the dish and the tannins will leave your mouth dry. Also, we don’t suggest choosing a light bodied white, like a Riesling, because the flavors of the meal are going to completely overpower the wine. Hopefully you’re now ready to start your journey on finding the best wine for Chicken Marsala.