Michigan Wine and Pizza Night

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Pizza is one of the most popular convenient foods in the country. And for many, a weekly pizza night is a family tradition. Although beer and soda are standard accompaniments, pizza is, surprisingly, a wine-friendly food.

Like all foods, pairing your pizza with the right wine depends on its ingredients. If you haven’t discovered your own tasty combinations yet, here are some basic recommendations to get you started.

Like your pizza plain? Try a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah with cheese pizza. Cherry Creek Cellars makes a great Cabernet Sauvignon under its Lynn Aleksandr label.

A fresh tomato pizza, or Margherita pizza, is tasty with a Cabernet Franc or a Sauvignon Blanc. Good Cabernet Francs are being crafted at Brys Estate, Fenn Valley Vineyards and more. Only a few Sauvignon Blancs can be found in Michigan, though St. Julian Winery is producing a fantastic one under its Braganini Reserve label.

Semi-Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc will enhance the flavors of the ham and pineapple on a Hawaiian pizza. Try White Pine Winery’s 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling Reserve.

Solid reds, like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot, make great companions to the meat lovers’ pizza. Several great reds are available at Brys Estate, Burgdorf’s Winery, Domain Berrien Cellars, Black Star Farms, Raftshol Vineyards, and more.

For the veggie pizza, you can’t go wrong with a cool, crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Boathouse Vineyards 2011 Pinot Grigio won a gold medal at the 2012 Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition. Rosé is also another good option. Try Fenn Valley Vineyards 2011 Cabaret Rosé or Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery 2011 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, both gold medal winners at the same competition.

Lighter white-style pizzas are delicious with bubblies, Pinot Grigos, or earthy Sauvignon Blancs. And, pizza with chicken, although not super common, will pair well with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

To really enjoy a local agricultural experience, pair your wine with homemade pizza made with fresh, locally grown ingredients. Michigan wine makes pizza night more delicious!

Lorri Hathaway is freelance writer who is passionate for Michigan wine. She is co-author of the award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries and The History of Michigan Wines. Reach Lorri at lorri.hathaway@gmail.com.

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