Chicken piccata is the epitome of simple elegance. In essence, piccata is nothing more than tenderized meat that is dredged in flour, browned with butter, and doused with a lemony sauce. While it began as its own course following a pasta dish, today chicken piccata is often served over pasta or rice, sometimes white wine, capers, and savory aromatics mixed into the sauce.
It’s easy enough to make in your own kitchen at home, yet it feels opulent. And whether you’re dining alone, with your family, or with guests, it’s a dish that not only deserves but demands to be paired with a wine that can match its appeal with an easy grace.
Below, we’ll begin with a quick list of chicken piccata wine pairings you can refer to if you feel completely at a loss or simply haven’t found “the one” just yet. Then, we’ll cover some tips you can use to make more informed pairing choices of your own once you’re ready to explore other options.
Recommended Vintages To Serve With Chicken Piccata
To begin your search, here is a quick list of vintages that are currently drinking well and should make excellent pairing choices for any chicken piccata recipe, regardless of the specific ingredients used.
|2015 Morlet Family Chardonnay Coup De Coeur||Creamy and elegant, ripe pear, peach, and citrusy notes mixed with ginger, coriander, cloves, and toasted nuts. Medium- to full-bodied.||2018-2029|
|2015 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard||Citrus and honeyed pear combine with dried apples, baking bread, and crushed stone. A touch of lemongrass on the finish. Full-bodied.||2018-2026|
|2017 Peter Michael Sauvignon Blanc L’Apres-Midi||Layers of fresh, brightly acidic lemons, pears, and apricot, with hints of lime and wild thyme. Boldly aromatic, with a tantalizingly long finish.||2018-2024|
|NV Egly-Ouriet Brut Blanc De Noirs Les Crayères Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru||Classy and polished, with a refreshing combination of plum, flowers, candy, and chalk and a complex minerality. Full-bodied; intense.||2014-2023|
|2012 Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé||Rich, powerful, and precise. Spring-fresh notes of cherry, apple, orange blossom, white peaches, and caraway seed with a touch of smokiness.||2021-2044|
|2004 Dom Pérignon Rosé||Broadly fruity but not too sweet, with a rosy nose and a smooth, satiny mouthfeel. Pure, fresh, and finessed.||2016-2028|
Of course, if you wish to broaden your horizons beyond this list, you’ll need to know a little more about your dish and the wine you want to pair it with. So, let’s take a closer look at how to pair wine with chicken piccata.
Choosing Wine Pairings for Chicken Piccata
Choosing the right wine pairing for this dish, as for any dish, requires that you first consider the flavors you’ll be pairing with your wine.
Chicken piccata is rich, buttery, and predominantly savory. The lemon in the sauce, however, balances its slightly salty tendency with a fresh tartness and acidity. Optional ingredients such as capers, garlic, and herbs may add a bit of earthiness to ground the recipe, while a white wine-based sauce can add a touch of sweet fruitiness to round out the flavors.
As such, your best pairing options will likely be higher-acidity wines that will mirror the lemony zing of the piccata sauce.
- Medium to full-bodied Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Blanc wines all pair reliably well with chicken piccata.
- A nice, dry Rosé wine can also make for a good match if you prefer not to drink or serve white wine with this dish.
If there is white wine in the piccata sauce, a white wine pairing is almost always the better choice.
Pairing Wine and Chicken Piccata: Considering Geography
Piccata, which refers to a method of food preparation rather than a specific dish, originated in Italy. While veal was the traditional choice for the meat, any meat—including chicken—can be prepared piccata-style.
This makes it tempting to pair Italian wine with this dish.
However, the chicken variant of piccata may not necessarily trace its roots directly back to Italy. It is thought by some to have originated in the U.S., possibly pioneered by Italian immigrants during the 1930s. So, Italian wine is not the only possible pairing for those connoisseurs interested in a gustatory exploration of terroir.
A better solution may be to pair your wine based on the actual ingredients used in the specific piccata recipe you plan to enjoy. For example, if your recipe features ingredients sourced from and common to Italy, such as pasta, garlic, parsley, or capers, this makes a good case for an Italian wine pairing. On the other hand, if you plan to use locally-sourced ingredients, perhaps even adding a twist of your own to the recipe, a wine from a vintner closer to home may serve you better.
However, don’t feel you must restrict yourself to these guidelines, either. Piccata is not particularly French, and yet many white French wines exhibit flavors that perfectly complement those of even the most traditional chicken piccata recipe.
Discovering Your Favorite Wine To Serve With Chicken Piccata
At the end of the day, the best wine pairing will always be up to you to discover. Take note of the wines you like best and what flavors they exhibit, and compare these notes with the flavors present in whatever chicken piccata recipe you wish to use.
Look, too, for professional reviewers whose tastes seem similar to your own. You can use their recommendations to more easily discover new wines (and wine pairings) you’ll enjoy. By keeping the tips above in mind, you should have everything you need to find “the one”—that wine that perfectly pairs with both your taste in wine and your chicken piccata.
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