News, Expert Opinions and general chit chat from the world of wine

JN Wine Blog

Which Pizza? Which Wine?

For me, nothing beats putting my feet up, ordering a pizza, and sipping a glass of my favourite wine.  That’s why Saturday night is treat night.  But what wine works best with what pizza? A very important question that must be answered! I’ve put together a list of pizzas and wines that I think would marry beautifully.  

First of all you need to consider the following:

1. What sauce are you having on your pizza? Tomato? Garlic? Cream based?

2. What topping have you opted for? Meat? How spicy is it? Veggie?

3. What kind of cheese? Mozzarella? Goat’s cheese? 

Once you have identified the pizza’s main characteristics then you can choose a wine to complement it.  For example: tomato-based sauces tend to be high in acidity; pepperoni can be spicy & salty, and pesto adds a sweet, herbal kick. You don’t need to worry too much about the crust - unless it’s packed with personality. (Stuffed crust anyone?!)

Of course, everyone has different tastes, but here are a few suggestions of pairings that I think would work wonderfully.

Pepperoni - Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc

Rocca Macie Chianti Vernaiolo 2014

Rocca Macie Chianti Vernaiolo 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £9.99 / €14.99 - Case Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.49

Pepperoni is a powerful flavour and it’s also packed full of spice.  Due to its fat content the flavour permeates through the cheese in every slice (*tummy rumbles*) so you need a wine that can hold its own against the pepperoni. Chianti would be a perfect pairing. No surprise that the source of some of the best pizza wines is also the home of pizza!

Margherita - Grenache or Rosé

Vignelaure La Source Rose 2014

Vignelaure La Source Rose 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £11.50 / €16.99 - Case Bottle Price £10.35 / €15.29

Here we have notes of fresh basil and other lightly flavoured fresh ingredients.  Something as delicately flavoured as a margherita needs a lighter red or rosé to accompany it, so as not to overpower it. 

Italian sausage - Syrah or Pinotage 

Barista Coffee Pinotage 2014

Barista Coffee Pinotage 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £9.45 / €13.99 - Case Bottle Price £8.51 / €12.59

You tend to find that bolder, fuller flavoured reds pair well with sausages.  These wines are ideal with fennel, anise, thyme & oregano, spices often used in flavouring sausages.

Hawaiian - Riesling or Zinfandel

Loosen Estate Riesling 2014

Loosen Estate Riesling 2014

Bottle Price: £10.65 / €15.95 - Case Bottle Price: £9.59 / €14.36

A slightly sweet Riesling is the perfect match for the salty/sweet flavours of a Hawaiian pizza.  Also, the acidity in the Riesling will act as a palate cleanser and will take your ham & pineapple experience to a whole new level!  If you’re not keen on Riesling then pick a slightly sweeter red such as Zinfandel.

BBQ Chicken - Malbec or Touriga Nacional

Quinta Da Falorca T-Nac 2009

Quinta Da Falorca T-Nac 2009

Bottle Price: £16.95 / €23.99 - Case Bottle Price: £15.26 / €21.59

You will find that BBQ topping on a pizza has a sweeter, smokier kick to it which will pair well with an Argentinean Malbec or Portuguese T-Nac.  It’s best to stick to fruitier wines as it is a fruitier, sweeter style of BBQ.

Veggie - Rosé or Pinot Noir

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2014 

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £11.25 / €16.50 - Case Bottle Price: £10.13 / €14.85

Red wine can overpower a lot of vegetables; therefore it’s safer to stick to lighter reds such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Rosé.

Mushroom - French Chardonnay or Pinot Noir

Jean Fournier Pinot Noir 2013

Jean Fournier Pinot Noir 2013

Bottle Price: £16.50 / €24.50 - Case Bottle Price: £14.85 / €22.05

Mushroom pizza is all about the earthiness and herbal flavours. This flavour profile pairs perfectly with Burgundian Pinot Noirs.  If there’s a little oregano on the pizza too this will elevate the heavenliness of this pairing.

The only DON’T that comes to mind when pairing pizza and wine is to avoid reds that are high in tannin as the combination of the tomato flavour and lots of tannin can leave a metallic taste in your mouth.  Apart from that, have fun pairing your favourite pizza with your favourite tipple!


Felton Road Dinner at James Street South

To officially launch the Felton Road collection here at JN, Nigel Greening (proprietor) from the winery and JN team will host a dinner in James Street South on September 2nd.

James St. South are pleased to host Nigel Greening from Felton Road Winery in New Zealand. We will be lucky enough to taste a selection of Felton Road's award winning Pinot Noirs, which stand up to being some of the best in the World. 

The wines will be matched to a 4 course menu from David Gillmore;

- Cured Donegal Sea Trout with Bannockburn Chardonnay

- Lamb Sweetbreads with Bannockburn Pinot Noir

- Skeaganhore Duck with Calvert Pinot Noir

- Cheese with Cornish Pinot Noir

Place: James Street South Restaurant, James Street South, Belfast

Price: £65 per person

Time: 7.30pm

To book contact James Street South on 028 90434310 or email mcking@jamesstreetsouth.co.uk. Or book online here.


What wine do my wedding guests want??!

 

As a serial wedding attendee it always astounds me how fixated the bride and groom are in making sure their guests are having the best time ever! Have you enough bread…gravy…entertainment…wine? Yes I am fine, I am being fed…watered…entertained…now go away and enjoy your meal!!!!

When planning the best party that you are ever going to throw, where do you start to ascertain what wine will keep you and your guests happy? You will not be able to cater to everyone’s tastes. But you can get close, maybe 99%.  Wedding guests are more than happy to step out of their comfort zone for you on your big day. 

The first thing to think about is personal taste. What grape varieties/countries do you and your soon-to-be-betrothed sway towards?  If the groom drinks nothing but Sauvignon Blanc – then that is going to be the grape of choice. If Rioja holds a special place in your heart because it was the bottle you shared on your first date, then that will also work.  Don’t panic if you have no stand out wines and are happy to experiment with all styles, we are here to narrow it down for you.

Forrest Heart Of Stone Sauvignon 2014

Forrest Heart Of Stone Sauvignon 2014

Bottle Price: £9.99 / €14.99 - Case Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.49

Vina Bujanda Rioja Crianza 2012

Vina Bujanda Rioja Crianza 2012

Bottle Price: £9.99 / €14.95 - Case Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.46

Time of year also plays a part. If you have chosen the time of year when the sun at its highest then lighter refreshing whites will keep everyone suitably revived. Same for the reds in this instance –  something with a summer crunch.

Soalheiro Allo 2014

Soalheiro Allo 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £9.95 / €14.95 - Case Bottle Price: £8.96 / €13.46

Casablanca Cefiro Pinot Noir 2013

Casablanca Cefiro Pinot Noir 2013

Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.99 - Case Bottle Price: bottle: £8.09 / €12.59

Roger Sabon Cotes Du Rhone 2014

Roger Sabon Cotes Du Rhone 2014

Bottle Price: £11.50 / €NA - Case Bottle Price: £10.35 / €NA

If you are saying I do when the sun is low, the night is long and there is fire in the background, you can get away with warmer style whites and more robust (but approachable) reds.

Bellevue Chardonnay 2014

Bellevue Chardonnay 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.99 - Case Bottle Price: £8.09 / €12.59

Bott Geyl Pinot D'Alsace Metiss 2012

Bott Geyl Pinot D'Alsace Metiss 2012

Bottle Price: £11.95 / €17.50 - Case Bottle Price: £10.76 / €15.75

Altosur Malbec 2014

Altosur Malbec 2014

Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.99 - Case Bottle Price: £8.09 / €12.59

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2012

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2012 Pk6

Bottle Price: £13.99 / €19.99 - Case Bottle Price: £12.59 / €17.99

The third and last thing to consider is quality. You do not have to increase your wine budget to gain quality. Instead a little time spent in researching wine offerings will increase everyone’s enjoyment. If you need a helping hand, any independent merchant will be more than happy to guide you along, work within your budget and choose wines that your guests will remember.


 

 

 


It's Almost Time!

 


New Arrival - Felton Road

To say that JN was ecstatic at receiving the distribution for Felton Road earlier this year would be an understatement. The winery is located in Bannockburn, Central Otago, NZ; the most southernly wine growing region in the world. 

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

“Felton Road’s Pinot Noirs are breakthrough efforts in New Zealand and compete with the finest wines being made in California, Oregon and Burgundy’s Cote D’Or.”

DECANTER, ICONS OF TOMORROW

“Every wine region needs a hero. Sauternes has Yquem, Central Otago has Felton Road. From its first vintage a mere decade ago Felton Road has blazed a trail for other winemakers to follow.”

Blair Walter (winemaker) attributes the high quality of Felton Road’s wines to its distinct soils, the unique climate of Bannockburn, the north-facing vineyard aspects, and meticulous care of the vines using organic and biodynamic techniques. 

Blair’s skill and wide experience as winemaker has brought a minimalist approach: making wines in the simplest, gentlest, most hands-free way possible. No pumping is used, instead a three tier gravity flow system. We would love to see this in action! 

Nigel started his adult life as a rock guitarist (failed), moving swiftly on to a career in photography and film special effects. He began his foray into wine production in 1999 by purchasing land at Cornish Point in Bannockburn to develop a specialist Pinot Noir vineyard. Inspired by the carefully laid out vineyard of Felton Road and their already world acclaimed wines, not to mention being its largest private customer, he purchased Felton Road the following year.  His hobbies are fly fishing, jazz guitar and Pinot Noir…..

You can view our selction of Felton Road wine here

To officially launch the Felton Road collection here at JN, Nigel Greening (proprietor) from the winery and JN team will host a dinner in James Street South on September 2nd. 

James St. South are pleased to host Nigel Greening from Felton Road Winery in New Zealand. We will be lucky enough to taste a selection of Felton Road's award winning Pinot Noirs, which stand up to being some of the best in the World. 

The wines will be matched to a 4 course menu from David Gillmore;

- Cured Donegal Sea Trout with Bannockburn Chardonnay

- Lamb Sweetbreads with Bannockburn Pinot Noir

- Skeaganhore Duck with Calvert Pinot Noir

- Cheese with Cornish Pinot Noir

Place: James Street South Restaurant, James Street South, Belfast

Price: £65 per person

Time: 7.30pm

To book contact James Street South on 028 90434310 or email mcking@jamesstreetsouth.co.uk. Or book online here.