Duane McLaughlin

Best Wines for Chicken Cacciatore: A Flavorful Guide

Explore ideal wine pairings for Chicken Cacciatore. Discover flavors that enhance this classic dish.

A glass of red wine next to a plate of Chicken Cacciatore

Basics to Pairing Wine With Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore, a classic Italian dish, pairs wonderfully with a variety of wines. The dish's rich flavors, influenced by tomatoes, herbs, and sometimes bell peppers, offer a delightful canvas for wine pairing. The key is to choose a wine that complements the earthy and savory notes of the dish without overpowering its delicate chicken flavors.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Chicken Cacciatore

When pairing wine with Chicken Cacciatore, consider the dish's dominant flavors. The tomato-based sauce, with its acidity and richness, calls for wines that can balance these qualities. Medium-bodied reds with moderate acidity work well, as do fuller-bodied whites with a touch of oak. The preparation method, often involving braising, also suggests a preference for wines with a good structure and complexity.

Specific Pairings for Chicken Cacciatore

  • Chianti Classico (€15-€30): A traditional Italian red, Chianti Classico, with its bright acidity and notes of cherry and earth, pairs beautifully with the tomato-based sauce of the Chicken Cacciatore. A bottle like Castello di Ama Chianti Classico would be an excellent choice.
  • Barbera d'Alba (€20-€40): Known for its high acidity and low tannins, Barbera d'Alba complements the chicken without overwhelming it. A bottle like Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba offers a fruity and harmonious balance to the dish.
  • Sangiovese (€18-€35): Sangiovese, with its rustic charm and flavors of red berries and spices, harmonizes well with the herbs and tomatoes in the dish. A bottle like Caparzo Sangiovese Toscana is a great example.
  • Pinot Noir (€25-€50): A lighter red like Pinot Noir, especially from cooler regions like Oregon or Burgundy, can be a delightful match. Its subtle earthiness and red fruit flavors, as found in bottles like Erath Oregon Pinot Noir, pair well with the chicken and sauce.
  • Full-bodied White like Chardonnay (€20-€45): A rich, oaky Chardonnay can stand up to the robust flavors of Chicken Cacciatore. Look for a bottle like Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé for its creamy texture and apple and pear notes.

Can you drink White Wine with Chicken Cacciatore?

While red wine is a traditional choice for Chicken Cacciatore, white wines, especially fuller-bodied and oaked varieties like Chardonnay, can also be an excellent pairing. The key is to choose a white wine with enough body and complexity to complement the richness of the tomato sauce and the savory chicken.

Chicken Cacciatore with a Twist: A Modern Take on a Classic

While traditional Chicken Cacciatore is a timeless favorite, adding a twist like incorporating spicy chorizo or swapping chicken for duck can rejuvenate the classic recipe. For such variations, consider a wine like Syrah/Shiraz, which can handle the increased richness and spiciness of the dish.


Pairing wine with Chicken Cacciatore offers a delightful exploration of flavors and textures. While traditional pairings like Chianti Classico and Barbera d'Alba are excellent choices, don't be afraid to experiment with fuller-bodied whites or even lighter reds like Pinot Noir. Remember, the best wine pairing is one that suits your taste and complements the dish's flavors, creating a harmonious dining experience.