Dolcetto and Chicken Marengo
Dolcetto and Chicken Marengo. A wine from Piedmont, Italy and a great historic French recipe from the battlefield made for Napoleon. Let’s learn more about this wine, how it tastes and why it is a good pairing.
SUGGESTED WINE: Dolcetto di Alessandria
LOCATION: Dolcetto di Alessandria is a wine made with a grape called “Dolcetto”. It is mainly grown in the southern part of Piedmont including the area surrounding the town of Alessandria where the town of Marengo is also located. There are references to this grape dating back to the 16th century so we know for sure that this specific variety was available when the famous battle took place.
FLAVOR PROFILE: Despite the name, this wine is not sweet at all. Dolcetto is generally low in tannins and acidity. It usually shows a fruity and fragrant profile with hints of almonds in the finish. Most Dolcetto are meant to be drunk within a year or two of the vintage, but wines from the best producers can last for 5 years and sometimes longer.
SUGGESTED SERVING TEMPERATURE: 60°-64° F (16°-18° C)
WHY: While I was watching Stephane’s video, I thought it could be interesting to try and pair a wine that the troops would have found in the area after the battle while they were looking for ingredients for the recipe. The battle took place in June so it would have been too early for a “Dolcetto Novello”, but I am sure they would have found some good bottles from the previous harvest (1799). Chicken Marengo is mainly centered around the chicken flavor of the sauce with the addition of tomatoes and mushrooms. Dolcetto is a wine with a very delicate palate that will not overpower the flavors of this dish but will instead complement them with its light structure. If you would like to learn more on how to pair wine with food, check out wine and food pairing guide.