Who doesn’t love PIZZA?
Especially on National Pizza Day when you’re celebrating your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day birthday with French wine and heart shaped pizzas?
That was us on February 9, National Pizza Day when we gathered at Sue’s to celebrate John’s birthday with gourmet sweetheart pizzas — big enough to share with two, fun to share with all!
Because this February
#Winophiles focus on L’amour. Think French Wines with some version of “Love” in the name, on the label, or reminiscent of romance. suggest hosts @jillbarth of L’Occasion and Lynn of @savortheharvest. Check out our wine and recipe recommendations (links to posts follow) and join our twitter chat this Saturday Feb. 17 at 8am PST by using and following the hashtag #Winophiles!
We thought it would be fun to do a pizza and salad bar for John’s birthday and Sue invited his siblings and some friends to come over so there were about twelve or more of us hanging out around the fire, tasting wine, making pizzas.
Sue made about three dozen par-cooked pizza crusts using two kinds of dough from Trader Joe’ s with many of them shaped in a heart, plus she prepared numerous bowls of ingredients for us to add to our pizzas. It took her about two hours just to prepare all those crusts but I swear it was worth it — and she had a few leftover for next time.
We all prepared and cooked our own pizzas on the grill or in the oven — which allowed Sue to take notes while we tasted the wines then paired them with various ingredients on the pizzas.
SO MUCH FUN! THANKS SUE!!
La Burgondie – Cremant de Bourgogne – Brut Rose- 12% alcohol – $11 (Trader Joes)
2016 – Pure Loire – Rose D’Anjou – 11% alcohol $12
2017 – Savoie Blanc Aprement – 11.5% alcohol $13
2016 – Saint – Amour – 13% alcohol $19
2013 – Cote-Rotie – 13.5% alcohol SRP $72
La Burgondie – Cremant de Bourgogne – Brut Rose – 12% alcohol – $11 at Trader Joes
Celebrating calls for bubbles! And these pink ones are festive, fun, and fruity!
Color/perlage: Nicely pink; quite a bit of color on this wine. Surprising for a French wine; lots of color and bubbles. Has a nice mousse, not seafoam, but not club soda. The bubbles are persistent, it is very festive. Foamy when pouring into the glass.
Nose: Fruity, strawberries prevalent.
Palate: Shelagh said it’s “like a wine cooler” — light and refreshing, Barrie commented that it’s “nice and dry” and Edie said it “doesn’t taste like a champagne.” We thought it would be good for a mixer with cranberry juice.
Great sweetheart wine! Fun with the pizzas.
After dinner we wanted to revisit this wine with our dessert pizzas. Sue prepared one with a creamy blue cheese base, added some thinly sliced pear and some roasted spiced nuts. it went really nicely with the bubbles, but I liked it even better with the Rose. The mascarpone base pizza with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with local honey and sprinkled with mediteranian salt and lavender was a perfect pair.
2016 – Pure Loire – Rose D’Anjou – 11% alcohol–SRP
Nice shaped bottle. Very elegant. Kind of like a whiskey bottle. Easy to hold on to. Nice that it is only 12% alcohol making it a great daytime wine or a summer sipper. Not too sweet but has some sweetness to it. Poolside wine!
Color: Pretty pink salmon.
Nose: Strawberries, pear, red currant, cherry, cranberry, plentiful red fruit.
Palate: Some acidity and minerality across the tongue, strawberry starburst candy, wild strawberry, melon. I also got some banana while Edie found red tart apple on the palate.
Light and elegant, easy to drink. Watermelon. Smooth creamy finish.
We all agreed that it would be good with spicy or asian food. Great picnic wine. We enjoyed the brie asparagus pizza with this wine; the rich creamy grassiness of the pizza balanced the fruit in the wine perfectly.
To go with this wine for dessert Sue made a pizza with a marscarponne base topped with fresh raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry, drizzled with local honey and sprinkled with some mediteranian lavender salt. YUM!
2017 – Savoie Blanc Aprement – 11.5% alcohol Fleur de Jacquère
100% Jacquere, a typical grape from Savoie.
Color: Very pale straw.
Nose: Banana, tropical fruit, palm fronds, fresh cut grass, resinous pinecone.
Palate: All agreed that this was a very light clean wine with a really interesting mouthfeel. Shelagh commented that it was “So fresh, like fresh cut grass.” While it has a sweetness to it, it is not a sweet wine. I got golden delicious apple while Barrie also found fresh cut grass and Edie got Thompson seedless grapes.
Fascinating wine, especially the mouthfeel. There is fruit up front and then a long lingering mineral finish, slate. Sue commented that ” I like the mouth feel; I like the way it glides across the tongue.” It is silky and coats the palate then finishes clean and bright. When I said the finish reminded me of sour grass (oxalis) everyone enthusiastically knew exactly what I was talking about.
Give me oysters! Maybe even on a pizza! Anchovies too!
Sue created a brie based pizza with asparagus, and roasted artichoke hearts in olive oil. Creamy grassy flavors paired perfectly with the rich viscous quality of the wine.
The dessert pizza with the creamy blue cheese base and thinly sliced pears with toasted nuts went so perfectly with this wine at the end of the evening. The creamy saltiness was balanced by the salinity in the wine.
2016 – Saint – Amour – 13% alcohol
Color: Pale, translucent.
Nose: Fruity like a beaujolais! Caramel, cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, nice fruit, not a lot of floral notes.
Palate: Mostly strawberry. John found it “peppery on the bottom side of my tongue” while I thought the tartness on the palate reminded me of pomegranate, and Barrie got currant. Very nice with the pate and brie; brings out the fruit and acidity in the wine. Earth on the palate, not mushrooms, long tart tannin finish according to Edie.
For this wine, I made a pizza with a base of mushroom brie, regular brie, asparagus, olives, fresh garlic, olives and mushroom. This was a complex decadent pizza, and was a perfect compliment to this nicely complex wine. Great wine for the money; try it with chicken.
2013 – Cote-Rotie – 13.5% alcohol SRP $72 (sample)
Syrah 95% Viognier 5%
This is the oldest continuously producing winery in the region.
Color: Rich deep purple color
Nose: Super spicy and peppery
Palate: Fruity, spicy, tannins, and a long lingering mineral finish. The viognier gives it a floral appeal. The minerals on the back end finish clean and fresh. Decadent with the pate. Nicely balanced. Fabulous wine.
Sue made a pesto based pizza to go with this wine, with fresh mozzarella, greek olives, proscuitto, and fresh tomato. It was easily able to tackle the rich complexity of the pizza. Sue also made a marinara sauce based pizza with fresh mozzarella, Italian cured meats, spicy Italian sausage, and black olives, then cooked over the wood BBQ; so nice with this wine. Personally, enough with the pizza: I wanted a rack of lamb, but Sue was totally satisfied with the complexity and richness of the pizza.
This was the most popular wine and the first to go. We had no idea what the price point was on this wine when we were tasting it, we just knew we loved it, and we wanted more! I was not at all surprised to find out the retail was $72.
Check out our wine and recipe recommendations (links to posts follow) and join our twitter chat this Saturday Feb. 17 at 8am PST by using and following the hashtag #Winophiles!
Camillia at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “L’Amour dans une Bouteille ou Quatre”
Susannah Gold from Avvinare tells us about “Love in the Rhone Valley”
L.M. Archer at binNotes shares “The Hedonistic Taster | № 36 | #Winophiles + Love: L’Amour du Patrimoine”
Jeff at Food, Wine, Click! gives us “French Wines for ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ Valentines”
Jill from L’Occasion takes us on a sensory route “Tasting Romance: French Wine and the Senses”
Michelle of Rocking Red Blog helps us “Celebrate La Saint-Valentin with French Wine”
David of Cooking Chat dishes up “French Wine Picks and Pairings for Valentine’s Day” and “Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Côte-Rôtie Wine”
Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Wines”
Liz from What’s in that Bottle pairs “Celebrate Galentine’s Day with French Wines & Fondue”
Here at Wine Predator we share “Sweethearts: French Wines and Pizza”
Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shows us how to “Spice up your Love Life with Shrimp Etouffee”
Nicole from Somm’s Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Domaine Chardigny Saint-Amour with Roasted Salmon and a little Romance”
Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog tells us about “Celebrating L’Amour Du Vin With French Wine At The Table”
Rupal of Journeys of a Syrah Queen swirls up “Valentine’s Day Romance with French Wines”
Jane at Always Ravenous asks “Why Does French Food and Wine Taste So Good? Love!”