Wine and Food Pairing of the Week: Chicken Marsala and Pinot Noir

“Like I said before, your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” ― Anthony Bourdain

You know I like that idea, so many folks are so, so concerned with how they look and what they eat every day, that they have forgotten how to have fun. I mean you talk with them for a few minutes, they tell you "oh I've given up this and that" blah-blah-blah, which always leaves me thinking, 'um okay, so do you want a cookie?".

Think about it this way; we all have a defined amount of time on this mortal coil, do you want to be known as a person who only lived fast, died young and left a good-looking corpse? I for one don't, I want to take this body on a few amusement rides before it's all said and done. C'mon people live a little, it won't kill you. While I agree that abuse is useless, proper use, otherwise known as moderation is the key to hitting life's trail in comfort and style.

This food and wine pairing partially inspired thanks to the bottle that Don and Sons Pinot Noir that made its way into many of my fellow wine bloggers swag-bags, otherwise known as samples. Who knew at the time that this wine was a double-gold award winner at the San Francisco Wine Competition earlier this summer; recognition with not as much cache as some would like to believe.

Now, unfortunately, the 2010 Don and Sons Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is currently sold out, I'm sure providing this as a sample to 300 plus wine bloggers may have had something to do with that. But that said, I can see why it scored so nicely with the judges, having been a judge at competition here in San Diego, where our panel of judges sampled over 40 different Pinot Noirs under $10, this PN that sells for just under $20 would have merited a double gold from our table as well. If you still happen to have a bottle of this wine or you are able to somehow get your hands on a bottle, you can expect to find a light bodied, mellow tannins, elegant wine that makes food pairing far less challenging than you would think.

Thinking back about this wine, I popped the cork on just the other night, I found the texture and mouth-feel of this wine quite impressive. It was creamy and velvety and infused with typical Pinot Noir fruit flavors coming through each and every long slurp, but restrained finish told me this is no cocktail wine.

Once you pop the cork, nice bright clear crimson-red core; a fragrant bouquet slaps your nose with gently spicy berries and wet earth, these aromas easily make their way over to your palate. I scored this wine 90 points, it pairs ever so nicely with a dish like Chicken Marsala. I thought I was going to go for a white Rhone blend, but having none chilled, I opted for the PN, and I'm so glad I did.

Here's the link to the recipe I used, it's so easy. Trust me if I can make this anyone can and remember the recipe is just guideline, I read it and then went with my own interpretation. It turned out pretty nicely, even though I forgot to plate the pasta before I shot the picture. This is the kind of dish that easily impress even the fussiest foodie, even Mrs. Cuvee liked it, saying it was quote on quote "good" high praise indeed.

I threw a handful of capers in there for some pizzaz, which woke up the dish nicely in my estimation. Even if you don't have Marsala wine, you can use a Tawny Port, a distinction without much difference. But a Marsala wine is a good one to keep in the pantry at all times, it really comes in handy on more than a variety of recipes. Until next time folks remember life is short, compromise is for relationships, continue to sip long and prosper cheers!


Hi Bill,

Thanks for the great review. The Don & Sons Pinot Noir is not sold out, but was temporarily out of stock from the online store. It is now back in stock:

It is also available at select retailers and restaurants nationwide.

Popular Posts