Wined & Dined: Pizza Party
There are times for Beef Wellington, Hamachi Sashimi, and freshly pinched pumpkin angolotti.
And then there are times for pizza from the little place next door, where Giorgio knows your order and will even walk it up the stairs when you’ve had a long day.
And its always wine time, especially if the motivation to walk 30-seconds for ooey-gooey goodness can’t be mustered.
Enter: Ottone Barbera 2011.
One of Italy’s most popular varietals, Barbera grapes are primarily from Piedmonte. These flirtatious, budget-friendly-wines tend to be fruity with bright cherry and blackberry flavors, and beg to be served with food. (Hence a perfect option for pizza nights on the couch!)
Not only do pizza and this Barbera both hail from Italy (what grows together, goes together…) but they pair fantastically on a downright chemical level. Ottone Barbera ($13), was ruby-colored, with bright and lively fruit flavors–like cherries that were ripe, but would still get sweeter if they’d stayed on the tree. It had a squeaky clean finish too, this one cried out to be served with heavy comfort food, where its lightness could contrast with decadence and weight (Again, pizza.)
The juice was also high in acidity (that mouthwatering feeling) making it a chemically good make for the acidic tomato sauce buried under the mounds of cheese, and sausage I enjoyed. It would pair well with nearly any tomato-based pizza, but I think it would shine on a hearty vegetarian slice piled with spinach and mushrooms, or a classic Margherita pizza where the wine’s flavors could really stand out.
Chewy, cheesy, just-out-of-a-brick-oven-and-only-$2 SO GOOD pizza and wine that plays it up? I’ll drink to that any day.
Pizza Pairings Uncorked:
Laura Loves: That Barbera’s versatility lends itself to a wide range of foods in addition to pizza (pasta with tomato sauces, grilled pork, even BBQ).
Fun Facts: According to Pizza.com, Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second.
Barbera is often referred to as the “people’s grape of the Piedmont,” since it’s extremely affordable compared to the $$$ Barolo and Barbaresco that make the region famous.
Perfect Pizza Pairings:
Smoky BBQ Chicken Pizza—Zinfandel is a natural choice with for the tangy, sweet/spicy flavors of nearly anything drowning in BBQ sauce, which subs for tomato sauce in this recipe.
Pesto & Goat Cheese Pizza— Sauvignon Blanc, whose acidity and fresh, tropical fruit flavors complement the pie’s intense basil and garlic spiciness without overpowering the delicate cheese.
The “Combo” — Merlot. This versatile variety will stand up to the barrage your tastebuds take will every over-filled bite. Generally robust enough to cut through the fat content of pizza meats like pepperoni and sausage, but not a tannic monster about any merlot (or a six pack ) will do.