The Perfect Pizza and Wine Night

I am incredibly fortunate to have discovered my love for wine while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. The first wine that really opened my eyes and gave me that “ah ha” moment was a Chianti Classico DOCG, and I was never the same again! When I returned home to the USA, I enjoyed branching out and trying other wines, but it was Chianti Classico that had stolen my heart, so it became my go-to wine purchase. And I am a firm believer that there has never been a better match than Chianti Classico and Pizza.

When pairing pizza and wine, you want a red wine that is fresh, light bodied, low in tannins and higher in acidity, especially if there’s meat on the pizza! The higher acidity of the Chianti Classico cuts through the fats of the cheese and meat, and the herbal + earthy notes in the wine compliment the tomato sauce.

So without further ado, I want to share my recommendation for the perfect pizza and wine night to enjoy with your loved ones.

Pizza home made

  1. If you want to try making homemade pizza dough, you’ll need to plan at least a few hours in advance. Start by mixing 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water. Mix until the dough is soft and slightly sticky. Drizzle a clean bowl with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Then roll the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 2-3 hours. If you’re on a time crunch, or don’t feel like committing to your own dough, I usually buy mine from the grocery store!
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 475 °F.
  3. For the pizza sauce, combine ½ cup tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon of granulated onion or onion powder, ½ teaspoon of finely minced garlic or garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. If you want a little kick, add a dash or two of red pepper flakes.
  4. Once your dough is ready, go ahead and lightly flour your surface and roll it out. I typically split my dough into 2 smaller pizzas around 10-12 inches, or you can roll it out to be one bigger pizza at around 16-18 inches.
  5. Add your pizza sauce, and then add 1-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, and any additional toppings you want. I like to add on sauteed mushrooms, pepperoni, and then throw on some fresh mozzarella or burrata to give it a little something extra.
  6. Place the pizza on a pizza stone, pan or skillet and put it into the pre-heated oven. Bake it for 6 minutes, rotate, and then bake for another 6-8 minutes until the pizza has cooked evenly and crust is golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn your mouth!

A glass of Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva

Pair with Carpineto’s Chianti Classico Riserva and prepare to have your mind blown with the perfect sensory pairing! This wine has beautiful floral notes of rose and violet on the nose, as well as dried Italian herbs that will pair so perfectly with the pizza you just made. On the palate, you’ll get bright acidity with flavors of bright red cherry, plum, spices and strawberry rhubarb. Let the wine breathe for about 30 minutes before serving, and enjoy this perfect pairing!