Don’t know about you, but in our house, Friday evening is often pizza night. We’re both often brain dead and physically exhausted from a hard week. Cooking a nice dinner might not happen, but we still want something that’s going to “play nice” with a decent bottle of wine. Often we’ve ordered pizza in from a major chain, but it’s never paired really nicely with our wine choices.
So this week, the hunt is on to learn a bit more about matching pizza to wine, and find something that suits the both of us – naturally, we’re on opposite ends of the pizza spectrum.
First, I checked Wine Folly’s article on pairing pizza and wine – learned a lot about why a particular pairing will work. For instance, I learned that pepperoni is made with a variety of spices, and is very fatty. The flavour leeches through the cheese on every slice, so you need a strong wine with intense flavors to counterbalance “the pepperoni effect.” Madeline Puckette, the certified Sommelier on Wine Folly suggests a Sangiovese as the classic choice with pepperoni pizza, but also suggests that Cabernet Franc could be a good alternative.
For myself, I’m hoarding a little ball of Buffalo Mozzarella (gosh that stuff is like gold!) in the refrigerator. I found a recipe for Three Cheese Pizza with Carmelized Onions and Pimientos – featuring Fontina, Roquefort and Parmesan cheeses. A suggested wine pairing is Sangiovese, but darn, this doesn’t let me use my Mozzarella.
So I turned things around and looked up Sangiovese – and it suggests this grape will go well with herbs and tomatoes. So I thought it should go well with the pizzas we’ve chosen:
Then we realized that the cellar didn’t hold any Sangiovese, so we ended up with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: Cantina Tollo Colle Secco Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011.
He said: Pleasant wine, not exceptional, but for $10, it’s a great buy. A great, everyday wine. Goes just fine with the pizza.
She said: Blackberry, cherry, a bit of wood, soft tannin, a medium long finish. The bottle suggested opening at least an hour before serving – would definitely recommend that. Now that I’m down to the last 2” in the glass, it’s really opening up and showing a bit of cedar, cherry, blackberry.
He said: “No kidding, now I really like it. Good thing we have 2 more bottles in the cellar.”
- Colle Secco Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2011
- Produced and bottled by Cantina Tollo S.C.A.
- 13% alcohol
- LCBO # 195826, $9.25/bottle