When it comes to figuring out what wines go with what kind of pizzas, or any wine and food pairing for that matter, when doing research it can start to drive you crazy. You hear a bunch of differing opinions and whatever you thought of initially, is not in agreement with what any ‘experts’ and sommeliers suggest.
It’s important to go with your intuition but it’s also comforting when other opinions match your own. But your opinion is the one that counts the most.
Wine and pizza is one of those combinations that’s supposed to be enjoyable.
I think I got half of it right this time.
Everything I just mentioned earlier was a bit of projection. I ordered two pizzas from the awesome folks at Ceriello, and you can read about those pies here, but the wines I purchased at their shoppe met with mix results.
There was some angst and agonizing over which two wines to get with each respective pizza. I was set on one red and one white.
I’ll start with the red. This is where my instinct and experience came through. I was leaning towards an Italian red that was affordable, approachable, and hopefully palate pleasing. I was thinking a Chianti. I don’t recall the last time I wrote about one, oh wait there it is.
Ceriello’s wine list is a good of mix of everything, but also small enough, that you won’t get too lost in searching for the perfect wine.
The irony is that this was all for just for me, and I guess the audience reading this. So maybe there was a little pressure that shouldn’t have been there.
After scouring the rows I noticed the last bottle of the 2015 Piccini Chianti sitting all by its lonesome and I literally mean all by its lonesome. It was the last bottle on the shelf. I figured it was waiting for me and only me. I like to believe things like that. And at $10, that’s my kind of wine and that kind of price.
A pizza with meatballs (or meats in general) and tomato sauce pairs so well with an Italian red. It’s one of those things where the acidity of the wine works well with that sauce. This is not meant to be an expert analysis. It’s a light red that works and is adequate but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
Something just felt off. No, not about the pizza, but the wine. I’ve had this wine in previous years with previous vintages and found it to be just fine. I suppose some things never change. There were some hints of fruits and spices but it didn’t click.
I had one glass and kind of just forgot about it. It’s a good everyday wine and a good value that I would gladly try again under different circumstances, but it didn’t work, especially with this amazing pizza.
The Piccini Chianti is one of those standard label wines you can most likely find at your neighborhood wine store. I’ve seen it multiple times in multiple places.
The white I went with was an ambitious choice. This is where I struggled and maybe tried too hard to find the perfect white to go with my second pie with fresh vegetables and prosciutto.
It’s a Sicilian White that is an acquired taste. I’m just not sure when and if I would ever acquire it. I read that there’s hints of Mediterranean fruits. What those fruits are I honestly couldn’t tell you.
I will concede that this wine doesn’t seem to be meant to be paired with pizza.
This is where I will sound like a novice and in another attempt to sound inspiring, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong pairing.
However, there are exceptions. Some foods and some wines will clash and all those amazing flavors that may or many not exist may disappear. At other times the cheapness of some foods and wines will be exposed.
This wine at $8 was worth a shot and even though it didn’t work out, I look forward to trying some more of Ceriello’s wines from Italy and other parts of the world, in the future.
The pizza was phenomenal, I just wish I found the perfect wines to pair it with. Actually this is maybe what I did wrong. I was overthinking a bit and looking for signs outside of myself that didn’t exist this time around.
Ceriello does a Friday pizza and wine night, and has a set of wines on display that they suggest work well with the certain pizzas. This wasn’t about me going rogue or being different, well maybe the different part. But one of these Friday feasts will be something I will take part in and learn from this most recent experience.
And maybe I will learn a little more about myself and meet some great people in the process.
Sometimes wine is meant to be enjoyed alone, sometimes in groups, and just sometimes there’s going to be rough patches that are educational experiences.
They’re all educational, they’re all experiences, and I look forward to many more enjoyable experiences soon.
Thanks so much.