Thursday, April 8, 2021

Grilling Pizza With North Carolina Rosé

A Perfect Combination

What can be better than pizza and wine? How about a gourmet pizza prepared outside on the grill paired with a duo of great North Carolina rosé wines.

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The occasion was a virtual tasting hosted by Rosemont Vineyards of Virginia. The program was unique in that it featured a pizza recipe created by friend Pam Riley. She’s the publisher of Food and Wine Chronicles and is well-known in the Virginia wine world.

When I got the invitation from my friend Arthur Barham (of Merlot2Muscadine) I knew it would be a special occasion. Since we were unable to obtain the Rosemont rosé featured in the virtual tasting, Arthur decided to go rogue. Instead of Virginia wine, he selected two lovely wines from North Carolina.

A Mountain Of Cheese

First a bit about the pizza. The pizza featured shrimp, onion, basil, prosciutto, and pineapple, plus plenty of cheese. It was also the first time that Arthur had prepared a pizza on a grill. Fortified with wine, he went to work

carefully cooking over the fire, each step with complete precision – until it came to cheese. Arthur apparently loves cheese and covered the pies with a mountain of cheesy goodness! I certainly wasn’t going to complain.

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The first rose was the Rospira, a sparkling rosé of Sangiovese and Merlot from Piccione Vineyard.  This has frizzante bubbles and is nicely dry. It is a bit more substantial than your average Provence rosé, with flavors of strawberry and lime. I really enjoyed this one. The second bottle was the Dry Rosé from Biltmore Estate. The grapes are undisclosed, but I suspect some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This is lighter and paler compared with the Rospira. It’s a beautiful wine but in a different fashion.

A Harmony Of Flavors

The harmony of the rosé and the pizza was truly exceptional. Each bite of the pizza brought an explosion of flavors with the tanginess of the pineapple contrasting with the saltiness of the prosciutto. Arthur raves about the contribution that the basil made to the dish. Rosé is so food-friendly, it was a natural fit with this culinary masterpiece!

Hats off to Chef Arthur and the great wines of North Carolina!

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