What Wines Pair Best With Chicken Parmesan? You Might Be Surprised.

What to drink with cheesy, saucy, yummy Chicken Parmesan.

Wines to Pair with Chicken Parm - Simply Parmesan Chicken_15523 _Photo by Traci-in-Cali
Pictured: Simply Parmesan Chicken [Photo by Traci-in-Cali]

With this dish, the chicken is your canvas. You’re painting it with tomato sauce, cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. So for the most part, drink what you’d drink with a delicious cheese pizza. Nothing too fancy.

Try an inexpensive Barbera or Sangiovese (Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, or Rosso di Montalcino, for example) or a Montepulciano.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

Wines to pair with Chicken Parmesan...Simple Chicken Parmesan

Photo by abapplez

The sauce delivers acidity and some sweetness. The cheese brings the fat. Wines like Barbera and Sangiovese can match the acidity and keep tabs on the richness, too.

Chef John’s Chicken Parmesan

Wines to Pair with Chicken Parmesan

Photo by sanzoe

Here, Chef John’s aiming for something a little different. He holds back on the sauce and aims for a crisper crust on the chicken. The crispy crust and de-emphasis on sauce means you could, if you like, branch out into white wine territory. Stay true to the Italian whites, with a Soave, or try an inexpensive sparkling wine (maybe a rosé). Or stick with the Chianti.

My Mom’s Parmesan Chicken

Wines for Chicken Parm - My Mom's Parmesan Chicken

Photo by Dianne

One word. Bubbles. This version is completely sauceless. It’s kind of an Italian-American version of fried chicken…only, you know, it’s baked. And you know what goes great with fried chicken? Sparkling wine. Even if you top it with tomato sauce, you won’t be disappointed you went the bubbly route.

A Few Wines To Look For

If you can get your mitts on this Barbera in a box, do it. It’s about $30 (for 3 Liters, the equivalent of four 750ML bottles), and a Barbera bargain at twice the price. A terrific all-purpose house wine.

Barbera Wine Box

Photo by Carl Hanson

Related: Rebuilt Chicken Parmesan: Possibly The Perfect Family Meal

Also, keep an eye out for these options…via the Costco Wine Blog, the Reverse Wine Snob, and The Fermented Fruit.

A Chianti Classico from Luiano for $15.

A Sangiovese for about $16.

Costco has its own label of very inexpensive Chianti Classico.

This list from The Fermented Fruit includes several bottles of Chianti Colli Senesi for under $20

A popular Chianti Classico from Castello di Monsanto for $18.

One more Chianti Classico from Basilica Cafaggio that goes for $10 at Costco.

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