An old friend and former colleague I have always called “The Boss” emailed me the other day, expressing good wishes and then asking for a wine recommendation, as he has done on occasion. The Boss being a man I admire, I started thinking about his request without delay. The wine was for Chicken Marsala and, after a few minutes, a new release I tasted just the other night came to mind. But first, let’s consider the dish.
Chicken Marsala is full flavored and rich with its infusion of Marsala wine, herbs, mushrooms and often a good deal of butter. I would definitely want a white wine, but one that would not be overpowered by the sauce, which often takes on a fairly thick consistency. I decided that an off-dry riesling (one with a bit of residual sugar) might do the trick. And so I told The Boss about a California wine, Kendall-Jackson’s 2009 Vintner’s Reserve Monterey County Riesling, which carries a suggested price of $12.
Right now, inexpensive rieslings from California and Washington are among the real white-wine bargains, and this one only underscores the point. It’s full of tropical and stone fruit, including pineapple and apricot notes, honey, minerals, wet pebbles and an impressively long finish. The more I think about, the wine seems made for Chicken Marsala. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it and am hoping The Boss will pass on his recipe. Received as a press sample.