Chicken alfredo is a heartwarming recipe that’s easy to cook AND easy to eat! Finding the right chicken alfredo wine pairing means getting in touch with your cheese knowledge.
Have you ever made chicken alfredo with a three-cheese blend? How about swapping out the classic parmesan for gouda or mozzarella? Whether you want to experiment with your dish or go for the classics, a proper wine pairing will propel the dish to new heights. If you choose the wrong wine, your dish could taste muted or bitter.
We’ll give you several great ideas for chicken alfredo wine pairings for you to try this year. Each suggestion will be separated by cheese and side pairings so everyone can walk away happy!
The Types of Cheeses Used in Chicken Alfredo
The type of cheese you use is the most dominant factor for your wine pairing.
The classic cheese used in chicken alfredo is parmesan, a sharp and tangy white cheese found in most Italian dishes. Parmesan’s tart notes are often balanced out with the addition of buttercream and herbs.
Parmesan can be used as the base cheese or as an additional cheese in your blend. Speaking of which…
Another cheese you can add to your chicken alfredo dish is mozzarella, a popular white cheese famous for its gooey texture. The mild flavor can be used as the foundation of the dish or to balance out the savory notes of stronger cheeses.
Fun fact: the only difference between white cheddar and yellow or orange cheddar is food dye. These cheeses otherwise have the same gentle, salty flavor that makes them such a staple.
Cheddar is a go-to substitute for chicken alfredo recipes if parmesan is unavailable. While not quite as tangy and nutty, it still has a bold flavor.
If you want a more unique chicken alfredo dish without extra work, swap out your base cheese for gouda. This fatty yellow cheese has a subtle blend of nutty and sweet notes that easily contrast chicken’s salty flavor.
A fun spin you can put in your chicken alfredo recipe is smoked gouda. This variation has a rustic, powerful flavor that’ll completely transform the way you look at this dish.
Blending multiple kinds of cheese together gives you the best of all worlds. If certain cheeses are too strong or melt too slowly for you, mix them up!
Some of the most popular cheese blends for chicken alfredo are:
- Parmesan, gouda, and mozzarella (richer flavor)
- Gouda, cheddar, and mozzarella (extra gooey)
- Smoked gouda and mozzarella (robust and creamy)
The Best Chicken Alfredo Wine Pairings
The fundamental ingredients of this dish are chicken and cheese, two ingredients that lean hard toward salty and savory flavors. Young, acidic, and fruit-forward wines will dominate our list below.
The Best White Wine With Chicken Alfredo
White wines are highly suited to chicken alfredo thanks to their high acidity and fresh flavors. Since this dish is so cheesy and savory on its own, richer wines run the risk of being a little ‘too much’.
This Portuguese white wine is popular within its native country and rarer outside of it, but we highly recommend trying to find a bottle.
Verdelho is dry, acidic, and fruit-forward. The dominant flavor notes of verdelho are citrus fruit with hints of herbal and peppery notes.
We Recommend Verdelho For Chicken Alfredo With: Mozzarella
Verdelho has a pretty strong character, so we recommend a softer and lighter cheese for your chicken alfredo recipe.
If you feel like doing a cheese blend, use mozzarella as your base and add just a sprinkle of stronger cheeses like parmesan or cheddar.
While chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are the leading French white wines, sémillon comes in at a close third. This grape is famed for having a uniquely waxy mouthfeel that’ll contrast the creamy, gooey nature of chicken alfredo.
The dominant flavor notes of sémillon lean toward tart green fruit, such as a pear, apples, and a little papaya. The nose often invokes scents of white flowers with a hint of beeswax.
We Recommend Semillon For Chicken Alfredo With: Smoked Gouda or Cheddar
Sémillon’s tart flavor notes and floral bouquet make smoked gouda a prime contrast. Every new sip will enhance the smoky, salty flavors of your next bite.
Smoked cheddar is another variation you can try if smoked gouda isn’t available. This cheese will be a touch tarter and melt more slowly, which could be a plus depending on your tastes!
Salty and sweet is a flavor combination with a huge fanbase. Pinot grigio is an Italian white wine staple that’ll give you honeyed sweetness to balance out your dish’s salty, savory notes.
Pinot grigio’s dominant flavor notes are yellow apple, pear, nectarine, and honey. With its dry character and light to medium body, this wine offers subtle contrast without being too heavy on the tongue.
We Recommend Semillon For Chicken Alfredo With: Parmesan
With pinot grigio such a popular Italian white wine, it’s a small wonder we’d pair it with parmesan. The yellow fruit and honey notes will counterbalance the cheese’s tart and nutty flavor.
If you want to bring out your white wine’s flavor, chill your bottle for fifteen or twenty minutes before opening. Cold white wine is extra smooth, plus the temperature will exaggerate citrus and green fruit notes.
Thinking of a chardonnay for your chicken alfredo? Consider skipping the oaky chard in favor of a fresh, unoaked bottle. While oaked chardonnay is deliciously buttery, it runs the risk of being too rich for a dish already loaded with cheese.
Depending on the origin, oaked chardonnay will provide you with a favorable balance of stone fruit or tropical fruit notes.
If you love the sound of peach, apple, and melon, try a French bottle. If you love papaya and pineapple, go for a New Zealand origin from Marlborough or Hawke’s Bay.
We Recommend Unoaked Chardonnay For Chicken Alfredo With: Gouda or Mozzarella
Unoaked chardonnay already has a blend of dry and semi-sweet characteristics, so you want a cheese that gives the entire platter room to shine.
Gouda has a distinctively nutty flavor, both of which will bode well with your chardonnay’s stone fruit or tropical fruit notes. Consider chilling your chardonnay to better wash down your mozzarella’s gooey, sticky texture.
Chilled Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon blanc is up there with pinot noir in terms of wines that are delightfully easy to pair. Since chicken alfredo is a strong dish filled with cheese, poultry, and herbs, the simplicity of this wine goes a long way.
Sauvignon blanc is quite acidic and dry, yielding lime, lemon, and lemongrass flavor notes. You can also get a touch of saline or hints of gooseberry.
We Recommend Chilled Sauvignon Blanc For Chicken Alfredo Made With: Cheese Blend
Since sauvignon blanc is tart, dry, and smooth, this wine is well-suited to all of the cheeses we’ve recommended. Smoked gouda or cheddar will balance nicely with the citrus notes, while softer mozzarella will benefit from a grassy finish.
Get creative with a three-cheese blend and witness firsthand why sauvignon blanc is such a popular wine pairing.
The Best Red Wine With Chicken Alfredo
Is red wine too strong for chicken alfredo? We certainly don’t think so!
Famously refreshing and lively, barbera is a lighter red wine that we love to suggest for cheese, poultry, and seafood-based dishes. Unlike sangiovese or primitivo, barbera is lower in tannins and higher in acidity.
The result of this mixture is a wine that leans toward notes of dried strawberries, raspberries, and ripe cherries. If you choose an oaked version, expect hints of baking spices or vanilla.
We Recommend Barbera For Chicken Alfredo Made With: Gouda
Since barbera is intensely fruit-forward and tangy, a highly nutty and creamy cheese will create the perfect balance. Contrary to popular belief, some red wines also taste quite good chilled, especially more acidic varieties.
With such a balanced flavor profile and semi-dry character, pinot noir fits nearly any dish with ease.
This wine’s dominant flavor notes when unoaked are strawberries, raspberries, and a subtly earthy finish. Oaked pinot noir will yield classic vanilla, cloves, and hints of cedar.
We Recommend Pinot Noir For Chicken Alfredo With: Smoked Gouda or Mozzarella
A young, fresh pinot noir is a prime choice for mozzarella. The bright red fruit notes and slightly dry character will offset the mozzarella’s subtle flavors and soft texture.
If you prefer an oaked pinot noir, try smoked gouda. The affinity for baking spices and wooden notes will pair wonderfully with smoked gouda’s husky character.
If you’re already a huge fan of pinot noir, we can’t recommend gamay enough. This wine is a direct cousin of the pinot noir grape and shares many of the same flavors and aromas.
Like pinot noir, gamay has a propensity for tart red fruit and a floral bouquet. Where it differs is a more brambly character, leaning toward cranberry and red currants alongside classic cherry and raspberry.
We Recommend Pinot Noir For Chicken Alfredo With: Gouda and Mozzarella
Since gamay has an even more tart character, balance out your glass with a nutty ensemble of gouda and mozzarella.
The Best Rosé WIth Chicken Alfredo
Rosés are a fantastic contender for your chicken alfredo wine pairing due to their impeccable balance. They lack the intense tannins of most red wines, leaning toward refreshing acidity that cuts through the salt and fat.
Expect the majority of rosés to have flavor notes of ripe raspberries, soft melon, and hints of citrus. Similar to white wines and more acidic reds, rosés are absolutely delicious when chilled.
We Recommend Still Rosé For Chicken Alfredo With: Cheddar
Cheddar is a versatile cheese that responds well to fruit-forward drinks, whether you prefer mild or sharp variations.
We Recommend Sparkling Brut Rosé For Chicken Alfredo With: Cheese Blend
Brut is a term for wine that leans away from sweet flavors in favor of crisp, dry notes. The acidic flavors mixed with bubbles will balance out the different flavors of your cheese blend.