Like most people, I live on a budget. Of course I would love to drink highly rated trophy wines every night but until I hit the lottery, that’s not happening.
Every Monday and Tuesday night my local Italian restaurant offers large pizzas for $6.99. What a bargain! While pizza and beer are a natural for most people, that combination always makes me feel like I’m incubating pizza dough in my stomach all night long. That’s why Monday or Tuesday I look for bargain wines to match with my $6.99 dinner.
If you look solely at price as a criteria your choices are endless. There are plenty of bargain wines on the market. However, whenever I eat pizza or any red-sauced pasta I immediately think of sangiovese. Sangiovese, of course, is the principal grape in many of the wines from Tuscany. Over the past twenty years there has been a quality revolution with sangiovese and today the finest bottles of sangiovese fetch prices that rival the worlds greatest wines.
Lucky for us there are still plenty of bargains to be found. Here are a few of my current favorite pizza wines:
1. Il Piaggione Chianti Classico Riserva 2006. $16.99. Not really a bargain wine at $16.99 but a real steal for Riserva Chianti.
2. Querciarossa Morellino Di Scansano 2008. $12.99. This sangiovese is from the southern part of Tuscany and offers raspberry fruit and a pretty raciness for the appellation.
3. La Caloncia Sangiovese 2008. $12.99. Singing with tart cherry and raspberry fruit.
4. La Tancia Chianti 2008. $9.99. This has become my house wine. Great price/quality relationship.
I could go on and on but I suggest you stop by and ask your local wine consultant what he/she drinks with pizza.
Paul Quaglini, Wine Supervisor SE Florida