The pro behind our April wines is New York-based sommelier Luis Rivera. As the beverage director at Marta, a destination for ultra-thin Roman-style pizzas, Luis spends a lot of time thinking about the ideal wine pairings for all types of pies. From classic margherita and funghi-filled pizzas to those dotted with egg yolk and pancetta, or pork sausage, Luis has an idea or two for the bottle of wine that will make those flavors stand out.
So this month we join him on a little trip to Italy for an exciting exploration of pizza wines from regions and grapes all around the country — including some that you may already be familiar with. Here are the wines for your next great pizza party:
- Torre alle Tolfe Chianti Colli Senesi: “Chianti is quite possibly the most well-known Italian red. Chianti takes its name from a town located within Tuscany, and sangiovese (the grape) reigns supreme in this region, so in order to add Chianti to the label, it has to be mostly sangiovese. Torre alle Tolfe is an estate that focuses on Indigenous grapes with vines that date back to the 1300s! This pure, rustic expression of sangiovese is perfect for a meat lover's pizza or even a chewy, tomatoey vodka pizza.”
- Baldini Lambrusco: “I think lambrusco can have a certain reputation, but no matter what people say, this Baldini lambrusco is one of my absolute favorite wines for pizza. It has what wine people call RS or residual sugar, meaning there’s a bit of sweetness left over from fermentation. But trust, it is not sweet. That kiss of RS makes this an ideal pairing for anything with red sauce or balsamic vinegar.”
- Salcheto Chianti Colli Senesi: “You might notice that this bottle has an interesting shape. It’s called Bordolese Toscanella, which is an old-school Tuscan wine bottle. This is an easy-drinking Chianti and absolutely an everyday type of bottle, coming to us from an estate that makes sangiovese from a couple of different Tuscan regions. The rare Chianti that would benefit from a chill.”
- La Zerba Gavi: “Piedmont is known for so many things: Fiats, Nutella, white truffles, and Gavi! Like Chianti, Gavi is the name of the region, and in order to use Gavi on a wine label it has to come from cortese grapes. This is for me the definition of a patio pounder. It has notes of lemon and lime, and a pleasant saltiness to it that really makes for a great pairing for a stracciatella pizza with prosciutto on top.”
- Mongarda Colli Trevigiani Col Fondo: “Mongarda’s story begins in 1978 when Bruno Tormeno dedicated his life to winemaking. Today, his son Martino runs the estate, which makes this wonderful sparkling wine made almost entirely from glera, a grape you are probably hearing about for the first time, but that is central to any Prosecco you’ve ever had. Extremely refreshing and filled with citrus and a crisp acidity.”
- Graci Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese: "This Sicilian red is coming from Mount Etna and made entirely of nerello Mascalese, a grape that has recently been in high demand as people discover its potential. I like to describe it as pinot noir with the volume turned way up, or like a pinot noir with the texture and grip of a cabernet. It can definitely stand up to a steak or a pork chop, but will also be great with a margherita pie.”
- Suoli Cataldi Rosato: “Like the Mongarda Col Fondo, this lambrusco is also made in the ancestral method, meaning the wine goes through one fermentation, causing the bubbles to be a bit softer. Coming from Emilia-Romagna — the food capital of Italy — means that this is the perfect wine for all things pizza, from spinach and artichoke pizza (shout out Cici’s Pizza), to a really hearty ricotta cheese and Italian sausage calzone.”
Want to stock up on more bottles from past Eater Wine Club months? Shop by the bottle.