Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Pizza Pie in the Sky Pairing

Growing up on the East Coast certainly had its culinary benefits, one of them being my exposure to some of the most amazing pizza I have ever tasted. Of course, the only thing better than pizza is a pie paired with some seriously good Italian wine. I enjoyed both at Johnny Costa’s when I sampled two of their thin crust offerings, matched with a superb 2005 Villa Antinori Toscana.
This Tuscan gem is mostly Sangiovese, with some Merlot and Cabernet thrown in for good measure…make that great measure. The soft and supple tannins created a formidable match for Costa’s prosciutto, mushroom, artichoke and olive-topped pizza, aptly-titled The Four Seasons.
2005 was a terrific year for winemaking in Tuscany, as evidenced by this bottle’s succulent acidity, which paired well with the creaminess of the mozzarella that topped our Margherita pie. If this wine were a baseball player, it would not be sitting on the bench for long. Its moderately intense cherry, anise and herb flavors make it versatile enough to get along with fresh basil and garlic, while deliciously approachable fruit helps it make friends with zesty tomato sauce too.

The key here is balance, and I nearly lost mine in all the excitement.

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