Friday in my house is pizza day. I’m sure it started with childhood, since both Hubby and I remember having school pizza lunch on Fridays. That nostalgia, plus the reality that by the time Friday rolls around, Hubby and I are tired from a week of work, simply makes pizza on Fridays seem like a natural choice. This week was a good one—my work project is finished and it’s the end of a busy work period, which means that when things start up again on Monday, I’ll have shorter hours—but even with it being a good week, I’m still tired and ready for the weekend. As it was such a good week, though, it probably calls for not only pizza, but also mozzarella sticks and some good wine.
There are few wines that go as well with pizza as Chianti does, as the acidity in the tomato sauce tones down the acidity in the wine. Several Fridays ago, I opened a 2005 Querceto Chianti Classico (winery, snooth) for pizza night. As you may recall from my “Let’s Talk About Labels” post, most European wine labels do not list the type of grape on the label, but rather the region where the grapes were grown. Chianti is an area within Tuscany (Italy) that is well known for wines made with Sangiovese grapes. The Chianti Classico section is the historic area within Chianti that is famous for its wine production.
The 2005 Querceto Chianti Classico was made at Castello di Querceto and was a blend of 92% Sangiovese grapes and 8% Canaiolo grapes that have aged in casks for 10-12 months. The wine was a medium-to-deep ruby color, with flecks of garnet starting to appear on the rim. On the nose, I found blackberry, black cherry, and hints of cedar and powdered cocoa. In the mouth, the cedar was more pronounced than on the nose, but the black fruits still dominated. The wine was well balanced, with nice acidity and tannins.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $14, this is a great Chianti option for an evening of eating pizza, watching movies, and relaxing. When you pick up a bottle, keep in mind that the 2005 Querceto Chianti Classico can use a little breathing time, so if you can, you should decant the wine before you drink it.