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Am I crazy to pair Pinot Noir with Mozza Pizzas?

  • d

Going Saturday to Mozza for lunch, and I have some smashing Pinots. I want to take one, but I am leery, because it is an a-typical match.

Am I nuts?

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  1. Enlighten me. What is a Mozza Pizza?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chickstein

      Mozza is a restaurant in LA :)

      I say go for it. If you like the pairing, why not? Plus a lot of their toppings are meats, which are good with pinot.

      I had a heavy red wine and a dark rose wine the two times I went, and both were great with the menu so I think you're good.

    2. Purists will blanch and sophists will have a million reasons to recoil at the advice I'm about to offer, but.....

      It's your wine--pair it with Funny Bones if you want. Why rely on the opinions of others to validate your palate? Ultimately, it's red wine and pizza--not likely to be too far off the mark if it is at all. Could the match diminish the impact of your wine's "smashingness?" Sure. Will it? Not necessarily. Is it a life or death matter? Nah. Back in my youth I popped a bottle of Dom with a pepperoni pizza because that's what my date chose when I mentioned the available beverage offerings in my fridge. That turned out fine, and I'd do it again if circumstances presented the opportunity.

      I've got loads of Pinot on hand from several of the best vineyards in the US and have consumed it with all sorts of foods that wouldn't normally appear in pairing suggestions. Nothing I've encountered so far would suggest I should stop this behavior. Trust your own judgement/palate. Sometimes it works out better than others. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good luck, and enjoy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ecustard

        Totally agree with ecustard- After all, it's your mouth.

      2. Regardless of what the traditionalists would say........Some people's palates are a lot more sensitive to the elements in a wine/food pairing than are those of others. If yours is not, you have a much broader field to play on.

        The only thing that can trip you up is a pairing where either the food or the wine totally dominates the other. As long as you're not ordering a pizza with huge amounts of pepper, garlic and spicy meat topping, you should be fine. If you have a choice you might bring a fuller-bodied Pinot to give you more playing room.

        1. Cheers to all these responses! Pinto Noir and a tasty pizza sound very good to me! Who cares? it's not like you're brinign boone's farm!

          1. OK, I'll give...Just what IS supposed to be the proper wine with pizza? Meat pizza? Margherita? I have never had a fine wine with pizza except at A16 and then I just usually pick which wine seemed intriguing or whatever the waiter selects.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chaddict

              It really depends on the toppings, but a plain pizza goes pretty well with a sangiovese, a chianti, a dolcetto or a barbera d'alba. You need something high acid to balance out the tomato. For pepperoni, I usually go for a cotes du rhone or an argentinian malbec.

              Where are your pinots from? I might pair a fruity medium-bodied California or an Oregon Pinot with pizza, but I wouldn't drink french burgundy with my pizza -- pretty sure the flavors would clash.

              What kind of pizzas does Mozza have?

              1. re: oolah

                In my opinion, the perfect pairing with pizza is BEER. But I agree with ecustard. Have a great time and let us know what you thought.

                1. re: oolah

                  Things like lardo, or squash blossoms, or prok cheeks, escarole and egg, roast garlic and bacon, margharita, sweet gorgonzola with fingerling potatoes and stuff. Gourmet, but it's very popular and good.

                  I have something from the barbera region...and a sangio or three, but this is Summerland Fiddlestix finot, supposedly one of the better ones.

              2. Thank you everyone! What I'll do is bring the pinot, ut bring along a sangi ad barbera just in case!

                But I think I'll go with the pinot!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Diana

                  That's a fun pairing. Pinot with pizza! Especially with some of the Napa/Carneros Pinot Noir, the ones with a bit more minerality. Big nose, with big fruit that can hold up to the cheeses of pizza. Our favorite Pinots from that region are Ancien, Etude, Hartford, and Acacia.

                2. Hey Diana... since others are saying "match any wine you like with any food you like", let me offer a contrasting view....

                  First off, if these Pinot Noirs are really special, why wouldn't you match it with something that brings out the best in it ?? Turkey, Duck, Grilled Fish, roast pork, Quail, etc. etc. ....

                  Now, for your pizza, the Toppings make all the difference. If you can get a roast duck & truffle pizza with Epoisses and Roquefort cheese, by all means, bring a pinot !!!

                  Otherwise, let's see what you might be able to create that makes more sense.

                  Generally speaking, given the ingredients list you mentioned, and "pizza in general", zinfandel and cabernet can be two great matches.

                  1) Ask for cheese that matches the wine. Both Cabernet and Zinfandel match incredibly well with major Italian cheeses such as Parmesan Reggiano, "real" provolone (not the cylinder cheese but the real stuff), and with plain Chevre. So ask if they can do the cheese with Parmesan, Provolone, and Goat cheese.

                  2) Toppings: Bacon is great with both wines, Sausage, Garlic. Earthy Mushrooms are fantastic with these wines, Onion. I would have the toppings and cheeses above as the "foundation" of the pie....

                  Both cab and zinfandel do fairly well with garden-variety "pizza sauce". Add a few other veggies you might like and you're set.

                  Save your Pinot Noir for something that really matches it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chicago Mike

                    In Naples, at least, most folks drink coke, beer, or some kind of cold fizzy wine (aspirinio white or gragnano red). I prefer a cool, lightish, low-tannin red--anything from a dolcetto, light sangiovese, modest montepulciano d'abruzzo or aglianico. Actually any mid-weight red with some fruit, nice acid, and low tannin will do--chilled.

                  2. We recently went to the new Two, on Hawthorne Lane, and had the Duck Confit pizza (incredibly delicious), and paired it with a couple different Pinot Noirs......a wonderful pairing. If you haven't been yet, you must go: