Spiced Chicken & Italian Red

No wimpy whites! This Moroccan-spiced chicken, with its potent, complex flavors, demands a juicy Italian red that can stand up to it.

Perfect Wine Match
Most people think white when matching wine with chicken. But this Moroccan-spiced chicken is no simple dish. With so many flavors to contend with, most whites would be overpowered. A red with a lot of personality is required--not a tannic red, since chicken doesn't have the sort of protein that softens tannins, nor an oaky red, since spices like cumin and coriander can exaggerate oak flavors, which will make the wine seem bitter. Look instead for a soft, juicy red like the 2000 Masi Modello Delle Venezie, a silky, supple wine from northern Italy that's loaded with earthy black-raspberry flavors. Made predominantly from the region's Corvina grape and aged in new oak, Super-Tuscan style, it's also a great buy at $9 a bottle. For a wine that's a little closer in style (and geography) to an actual Super-Tuscan, try the 2000 Badiola from Castello di Fonterutoli. This Tuscan Sangiovese-based blend ($14) is soft yet well structured, with notes of cranberry and coffee.

--Tim Fish

PUBLISHED February 2002

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