While beer is the traditional beverage accompaniment to a great slice, beverage directors around the country are calling that logic into question, and unleashing their enthusiasm for the unlimited possibilities for wine and pizza pairings.
After all, beer and pizza is like washing down bread with…more bread?
Last month, Wine Spectator published this roundup of 9 pizza restaurants around the US with outstanding wine lists. It came as no surprise that Marta, Danny Meyer’s stylish foray into thin crust, made the cut; as Wine Spectator tells us, “the 250-selection list, with strengths in …Italy, featur[es] many options in the $50-and-under range.”
We asked Courtney Schiessl, sommelier at Marta, located in the Redbury Hotel in Manhattan, what she thinks makes pizza and wine a match made in heaven.
“Pizza with wine is a no-brainer; think of wine as an expansion of the already-broad range of toppings that can adorn a pizza, just in liquid form. How will the wine “topping” compliment and contrast the pie topping? A meat-lovers pizza is an entirely different dish than a white pizza with fresh veggies, and therefore could be paired with an entirely different wine, turning make-your-own-pizza night into an adventure.”
Franciacorta is particularly well-suited to pizza; its vibrant acidity adds a clean contrast to rich toppings like cured meat and cheese, and its zesty minerality pair well with sautéed vegetables, onions and garlic.
“At Marta, our favorite pairing with pizza is sparkling wine,” agrees Schiessl. “Pizza is meant to be casual and fun, and what’s more fun and delicious than bubbly? Sparkling wine is also incredibly versatile and food-friendly, due to its fresh, clean fruit flavors and bright acidity. Franciacorta comes from a warmer climate…so the wines tend to be more richly fruity. This makes Franciacorta perfect for pizzas with heartier toppings like sausage, guanciale, gooey cheeses, or even pineapple. Plus, the best part of an impromptu pizza and Franciacorta party: no wine opener required!”
So whether your next pizza night involves your perfected homemade crust with sautéed veggies, or your favorite take-out sausage pie, make the flavors shine with a bottle of Barone Pizzini Franciacorta.