What you drink while eating pizza is up to you, of course. But, if you want to maximize the flavors and truly enjoy the pizza as a gourmet experience, it is highly recommended you select the appropriate wine and pizza combination. The pizza and wine pairings depend on several factors, such as the type of sauce, the toppings, and the degree of spiciness. There is no one specific wine that goes with pizza since most do. So, consider the pizza flavor and toppings when selecting your wine. Here are a few recommendations for pizza and wine pairings.
If you are eating a pizza Bianca or white pizza, then you need to pair the sauce with the right wine. In most cases, the white pizza pairs well with white wines, like Pinot Gris or a sweet Reisling.
If your pizza has toppings of pepperoni, pork, cured beef, or sausage, which usually add more flavor to the pizza, you need to balance it with a soft, fruity, red wine. Pepperoni is a layer of fat, and you will require a bold wine with strong fruity flavors to balance the taste of paprika, garlic, and pepper. Fruity wines that pair with pepperoni pizza include Pinot Noir and Syrah.
If you are into a cheese-heavy pizza, then you need to balance it with a bold red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.
For a Hawaiian Pizza that has toppings of pineapple and/or bacon, the most appropriate wine is the Riesling. This particular white wine cleanses the palate and enhances the sweetness of the ham and pineapple. If you do not have Riesling, either Lambrusco or Zinfandel are also excellent choices.
If you are a veggie eater and love pizzas with an ample amount of mushrooms as toppings, you can complement the earthy flavor with a mild, dry Pinot Noir.
For pizzas with meat and chicken, the best wine pairing is Cabernet Sauvignon. This bold red wine will enhance the taste of the tannins, cut through the fat, and elevate the fruity taste of the beverage. If you have run out of Cabernet, other great choices include Malbec and Tempranillo.
At the end of the day, pizza and wine pairings are recommended because they enhance the eating experience by bringing out all the flavors. Contact Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454 as they are wine experts and can help you with wine selections to enhance your next pizza party.
Corks and several other types of stoppers have been used to seal wine bottles for centuries. However, cork has withstood the test of time and today is the near-universal closure of wine bottles globally.
The Wine Cork
The evolution of cork as a stopper started in the late 1600s when glass bottles of uniform design and shape appeared on the scene. However, the initial corks were cumbersome and impossible to unscrew. It was only in the 1700s when more refined corkscrews became available that the use of cork stoppers started to spread. By the 17th century, the cork had replaced glass and other exotic stoppers.
Another fascinating point is that corks are made from the cork oak tree, the majority of which are found along the Mediterranean (Portugal and Spain.) The cork trees are quite tall, reaching heights of up to 50-60 feet, and vary in thickness from 10-12 feet when fully mature.
The law is that the cork oak tree must be at least 25-34 years before the first harvest. The cork oak tree can regenerate the outer bark, which allows for the tree to be harvested once every ten years. To ensure that the same tree is not harvested repeatedly after the first harvest, the trunk is marked in white and dated, so that the farmers know when it can be harvested again.
After the harvest, the making of cork is a long process that includes drying and sterilizing the cork. Once the bark is soft, it is reshaped so that it can fit a wine bottle. Some corks are lightly coated with wax to ease the fit into a bottle.
Wine corks became popular in the 17th century as they were relatively cheap to manufacture and much easier to remove from the wine bottle compared to glass. Another positive about corks is that when they are used to seal the bottle, they retard the oxidation process and allow the wine to age with time. This is because corks permit only a tiny amount of air to enter the wine bottle. This is important because if oxygen enters the bottle, it will oxidize the wine and lower the quality.
Besides cork, other alternatives to close wine bottles include screw caps, which is a common practice in Australia. Other places to try screw caps include Napa Valley, the Bordeaux region, and the Rhone valley. Again, the screw cap fit must be perfect to prevent air from entering the wine bottle.
A bit more about wine corks vs. screw tops: The porous structure of the cork lets in minute amounts of oxygen to the wine, which can be helpful – in very small doses – to the wine. Screw tops, on the other hand, don’t let any oxygen in and many believe they should only be used with wines that should be drunk “young.” Even though natural cork closures have a long and varied history, there is still that potential TCA issue that can cause the aroma of the wine to be unpleasant.
Synthetic corks made from plastic are now being used to seal wine bottles. They look exactly like cork stoppers, but the problem is that the seal is not always perfect, which permits air to enter the bottle. Another issue is that these synthetic corks are known to release a minute amount of chemical or rubbery smell that can ruin the aroma of the wine.
So, wine corks do not always last forever. If the cork starts to degrade, it also leads to more air entry into the bottle, which results in premature oxidation of the wine. Many professional wine collectors who have expensive and rare bottles of wine regularly replace the old corks with new corks.
The lesson: if you open a bottle of wine and will not finish it, place the cork back quickly; otherwise, the air will oxidize the wine. Most wine bottles, once opened, will last 3-5 days if kept refrigerated.
A charcuterie board may consist of both meat and cheese, or it may be stand-alone with a variety of cheeses. However, to make your wine party exciting, preparing a charcuterie board well is key. The goal is to pick at least four to six varieties of cheeses with different aromas, textures, flavors, and tastes so that your guest gets an amazing experience. But to make the taste buds come alive, you also need to pair the right cheese with the right wine.
What type of wines pair well with cheeses? What cheese with Riesling is the best pairing? The answer to these questions depends on the type of cheese. In most cases, the wine pairing is done with the duration of aging and hardness of the cheese.
Most wine experts suggest that if you really want to enjoy cheese, a white wine like a Riesling cheese pairing is recommended. Riesling is a very versatile wine and can be paired with almost any type of cheese. Here we provide some general guidelines on great wine and cheese pairings. In terms of saltiness, here's a good order to keep in mind:
- Salty Cheeses
- Aged gouda
- Edam (approx. 276 mg sodium/serving)
- Feta (approx. 323 mg sodium/serving)
- Halloumi (approx. 330 mg sodium/serving)
- Imported blue cheese (approx. 325 mg sodium/serving)
- Processed cheeses (like string cheese) (approx. 200-300 mg/serving)
The saltier the cheese, the sweeter the wine should be. A sweet Riesling wine pairing works great with the above salty cheeses. But keep in mind that cheese varieties that have low salt levels, like Emmental, Mozzarella, and Wensleydale, will not go as well with Riesling (see below).
Hard cheeses tend to have distinctive robustness and are packed with flavors. The hardness of the cheese also keeps it very well preserved due to its lack of moisture. The longer hard cheese is aged, the more character and flavor it will develop. Examples of hard cheese include:
- Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Aged gouda
For hard cheeses, medium-strength or a bold Riesling is recommended. A dry Riesling is better able to stand up to the harder and saltier cheeses, like Emmental, which can easily overpower the sweet wines.
Semi-hard Medium Aged Cheeses
Some firm cheeses retain their shape during slicing and are easy to shred but are not soft enough to grate or spread. Usually, these semi-hard cheeses may be aged from two to six months. Examples of semi-hard medium cheese with Riesling pairing include:
- Young Cheddar
- Jarlsberg Cheese
- Monterey Jack
For semi-hard medium-aged cheeses, a medium or dry Riesling cheese pairing is recommended.
Soft Creamy Cheeses
Common types of soft cheeses include:
- Cream cheese
Dry Rieslings pair well with soft, creamy cheeses.
What If You Have A Mix of Cheeses?
Invariably, a cheese board will have a mixture of cheeses and if you do not want to purchase all the different types of Riesling wines, you will not go wrong with a medium-dry wine. Riesling’s mild sweetness, acidity, fruity aromas, and alcohol content will allow it to be paired broadly against a wide range of cheese.
If you are going to have a charcuterie or cheese board, check out some very affordable Riesling wines:
Ensure that there is a knife for each specific cheese to avoid mixing the flavors. To ensure that you bring out the best flavors, take the cheese out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. The Riesling cheese pairing is best served at just below room temperature.
For answers to your wine questions, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. Pacific Rim has a wonderful selection of wines and they are especially passionate about Riesling wines.
Consuming wine is a passion at restaurants and in homes all over the world. Millions of people consume wine every day and many have wonderful memories of their time together. But, perhaps, some of the most remarkable wine scenes from movies can help entertain your friends at your next wine function. Some of the best-depicted wine scenes in movies have appeared during wine-drinking celebrations. Jogging down memory lane, the wine movies include the following:
- Casablanca (1942): One classic romantic phrase from Casablanca that still stands strong is the line: "Here's looking at you, kid." This scene was the setup between Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), while Bogart made a champagne toast to Ilsa on a Moroccan airfield.
- The Muppet Movie (1979): In one scene, the smart and lovable Kermit the Frog requests more wine from the waiter. But the always annoying Miss Piggy corrects her romantic pal, telling him that it is bubbly they are consuming. But the wine sommelier quickly informs her that they are actually drinking sparkling Moscatel wine direct from Idaho.
- Babette’s Feast (1987). In this scene Babette, while employed by the church, has created a sumptuous feast for her uptight religious sisters who quickly discover the wonders of consuming Burgundy.
- Sister: “Surely that isn’t wine.”
- Babette: “No, that isn’t wine. It’s Clos de Vougeot, 1845.”
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988). In the scene played between Steve Martin and Michael Caine, they are debating what to do with the valuable bottles of wine.
- MC: “You can’t drink them, Freddy. They’re far too valuable.”
- SM: “So you sell them?”
- MC: “I’d never sell them; they mean too much to me.”
- Goldfinger (1964): Sean Connery playing 007 had many classic lines but this one, in particular, is delightful. In the bedroom, Bond teaches the viewers and his girlfriend how to drink Dom Perignon properly, “My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done. Such as drinking Dom Pérignon ’53 above a temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Who better to ask than Hannibal Lecter for his wine pairing with fava beans and liver, “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
- French Kiss (1955): This great romantic movie for the ages brings back the nostalgia of vineyards. In one scene, Kevin Kline tells Meg Ryan that after smelling different herbs in the garden, the wine will also taste different. For those who do not know, the French word to describe this wine feature is “terroir.”
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993): To increase the humor, Meg Ryan’s boyfriend tries to impress her by asking the waiter to bring a bottle of Dom DeLuise.
- Batman Forever (1995). The gorgeous Dr. Chase Meridian is having a conversation that goes as follows:
- Batman: “I don't blend in at a family picnic.”
- Dr. Chase Meridian: “Oh, we could give it a try. I'll bring the wine, you bring your scarred psyche.”
Conjure up more wine scenes in movies that you remember not named here. Wine movies make for great parties and get-togethers. If you have wine questions, be sure to call the experts at Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. If you are thinking of making some romantic memories with your partner, here are some wines that you are sure to love:
- 2021 PACIFIC RIM WICKED GOOD RED
- 2018 VIN DE GLACIÈRE RIESLING
- 2018 HAHN HILL VINEYARD CHENIN BLANC
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
After a long cold winter, finally, we are into spring. The weather is getting warmer, the birds have returned, and the grass is starting to regrow. This is ideal for some of the best spring activities and one of the best times of the year for people who love the outdoors because the weather is just perfect. There are all types of activities one can do during spring, but this can be made more enjoyable when celebrating with wine. Here is a brief list of some spring wine activities that you can complement with your favorite wine.
- Gardening: Tending plants and digging in the dirt is hard work and tiresome. After a long winter, most gardens need a lot of work, including discarding all the junk and debris that has accumulated. If you garden, start the activity early in the morning when it is not too hot. We're not going to judge if you have some wine before noon, but it feels better to reward yourself in the afternoon after the garden looks great. Work until midday and then end the activity with an outdoor wine event. Since you will be both thirsty and hungry, make sure you also have some water and snacks available. Set up an umbrella in the garden and enjoy the wine party with your family. This will help make gardening fun and exciting.
- Fishing: Spring is a time when bass, catfish, and rainbow trout are most active. If you love to fish, this is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. An iconic wine scene from a classic novel: when Jake Barnes cools off his wine in the Spanish Irati River waters in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. You can make fishing even better by packing a picnic basket and some wine. However, if you take wine, better to be certain of the local alcohol laws; especially if you're fishing on a boat. In most states, wine is permitted on a boat, but the amount is limited. You surely cannot operate a boat while intoxicated. If you follow the local alcohol laws, combining fishing with wine will be one of the best outdoor activities you can do not only in spring but all year round. All the gear you need for fishing can be rented if you do not have your own.
- Camping: Spring is a great time to go camping. There are campsites almost everywhere. What better way to enjoy burgers and roasted marshmallows in the late evening than with wine? Wine and fish pair well together. Before you bring along wine, make sure you know the alcohol laws of the facility. You will need to be responsible, not get drunk, and clean up any mess that you might make.
- Enjoy a picnic: One of the best ways to enjoy spring wine activities is to have a picnic with the family and spend quality time together. You can make it even better by serving the family your favorite wine. You can have a picnic at the local park, beach, or on your deck.
- Visit a winery near you: if you are lucky enough to live in an area where vineyards exist, you can visit a winery for wine tasting. Many of these wineries have wine tasting sessions and you even get to buy wines at a reasonable price. A half-day visit can be a pleasant outing.
- Picking fruit: No matter where you live in North America, there is usually some type of fruit-picking activity during spring. You need to get there early in the morning as it is still cool, wear the appropriate garments, and pick the fruit. Plus, you are welcome to buy the fruit you pick, which is much cheaper than what you would get at a grocery store. To make the fruit picking enjoyable, pack a picnic basket with your favorite wine. Make sure you have a designated driver so that there are no issues getting back home.
Other best spring wine activities that you can combine with wine drinking include starting a spring garden, spring cleaning, sightseeing the cherry blossoms in your favorite park, and watching the sunset from your favorite beach.
If you decide to pursue one of the best spring activities, here are some very affordable wine choices that most people will like:
For more information on how to choose the right wine, contact Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. Their knowledgeable staff can help answer all your wine questions. Get ready to enjoy wine with the best spring activities now!