The weekend Wall Street Journal had a great article by the brilliant Lettie Teague – she always has something new and interesting to say about wines, always brings in experts in the field, and never seems pretentious about drinking wine.
Ms. Teague did a tasting of red and white wines that she and her friends thought would pair well with pizza. There were quite a few surprises, including the result that Chianti was not the best pizza wine. In fact, white wines from Italy seemed to be the top selections.
We wanted to re-post those selections, and bring in a few of our favorite pizza wines into the mix (original WSJ article can be found HERE. Some WSJ content requires subscription). Over the past several years, we have also found some great bargains and perfect pairings for pizza – but much depends on individual taste, and the added extras on a pizza.
These wines are easy to find, and most are in the bargain category (under $20). The Wall Street Journal article featured Il Poggio di Gavi ($16), described as a full-bodied white with minerality. Our favorite, though, is the version from the great barolo producer: Pio Cesare (about $18). It’s got a crisp, refreshing taste with lots of interesting fruit that works well with any pizza (red sauce or white).
This Sicilican white blend was a bit new for us, but we tried it on Sunday pairing with a white pizza topped with fresh tomato, bacon, and spinach (one of our favorite combinations). The wine was quite a revelation, with a nice balance of acidity and minerality that worked well with the pizza (about $20).
While we’re on the subject of Sicily, there are many versions of Etna Rosso that we love – particularly Etna Rosso from Graci. Pale cherry red color, this is a fruit-forward wine that is smoky and complex with a nice savory finish – so it works well with a Margharita pizza, or a pizza with mild Italian sausage (it doesn’t work well with spicy). 100% Nerello Mascalese. (About $22).
Pizza was born in Naples, so it goes without saying that you can’t go wrong with the wines of Campania. Our all time favorite white from the region is Falanghina (see our previous review HERE). The 2016 Terredora (about $16) was mentioned in the WSJ article – but our favorite is from Mastrabernadino (about $20).
OTHERS WORTHY OF MENTION
A Sangiovese blend from Umbria – Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco – and a Nebbiolo made by Producttori di Barbaresco were two wonderful red bargain wines highlighted in the WSJ article. We particularly like all the wines we’ve tasted from Producttori. Another wine mentioned in the WSJ article was the Vietti Tre Vigne Barber d’Alba (about $17), which is one of our go-to every day wines. It has a lot of red berry and acidity to break through the strongest pizza flavors – and we’ve we pair it with antipasti, rich salads, grilled seasoned vegetables, fish, poultry, and pasta on a regular basis. It is a nicely balanced wine with flavors of black currant and blackberry fruit that shows notes of vanilla and spice.