Whether you grow up in a small town or in the big city, the desire to have fantastic pizza from an authentic Italian bakery and the best wines right near your home is always present in you.
This solid connection between pizza and wine seems natural to everyone. This is the reason why it is a welcome respite to be around in a place where you can have both the best pizza and wine right around you.
Tuscany brings the promise of having the best pizza and wine during your stay or visit. Its wines are unrivaled. Winemakers with the likes of Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Fontodi and Castello di Ama.
Tuscany has been making the best wines dating from the 17th century BC in the Etruscan era. This happened when the Greeks came in 3BC and named the areas “Enotris” or “Land of wine”.
Traditional wine can be found in Tuscany, like the star red grape’s Sangiovese. Other classic wines are Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot, Syrah, and the very fantastic kind of wine of the Brunellos.
Sangiovese is the top grape variety, planted on over 247,000 acres. This grape variety grows in direct sunlight at altitudes of 500 to 1600 feet.
At present, Tuscany has 11 recognized DOCGs. The Chianti wine zone is the biggest and most widely known as a wine region and produces more than 8 million cases of wine each year. The region is divided into two DOCGs – Chianti and Chianti Classico, according to Dievole.
To be known as a Chianti Classico, wines must be 80 percent to 100 percent Sangiovese.
On the other hand, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG has a white wine called Vernaccia. This wine is known as one of Italy’s oldest and most noble wines. Other white grapes in Tuscany are Trebbiano, Malvasia and Vermentino.
“The white grapes are harvested in the late fall and air-dried on straw mats until the start of Holy Week. Once bottled, Vin Santo ages for three to 12 years in small barrels,” said wine expert Deborah Mines.
“Due to the labor intensity, Vin Santo is produced in small quantities and regarded as a highly prized Italian dessert wine,” she added.
Super Tuscan wines have exploded in the global marketplace and got the attention of sophisticated wine consumer. These wines can be 100 percent Sangiovese. However, these are often mixed with two or more varietals, like the Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet Franc.
Sangiovese wines are best paired with pizza, red meat, pasta, cheese, pork, lamb, fish, Italian sausage, and other tomato-based dishes.
This wine is best offered at 65 degrees and should be decanted for one hour before serving to give the wine time to show its distinct characteristics.
You can find Sangiovese in Chiantis and Brunellos at an affordable rate. It is considered as Tuscany’s signature wine.
Sangiovese has an excellent balance, character, and strength. Below are the award-winning Tuscan reds as recommended by Club Oenologique.
- Quercia Al Poggio 2018. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
- Piccini 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 95/100
- Querciabella, Turpino 2017. Toscana IGT; 93/100
- Geografico, Contessa di Radda Riserva 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 93/100
- Lunadoro, Gran Pagliareto 2017. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG; 92/100
- Famiglia Nunzi Conti, Vigna Elisa Gran Selezione 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 92/100
- La Togata, Dei Togati 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 96/100
- Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima Gran Selezione 2017. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
- Capannelle, Capannelle Riserva 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
- Rocca delle Macie, Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva 2018. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
- Castello di Cacchiano, Castello di Cacchiano Riserva 2015. Chianti Classico DOCG; 93/100
- Banfi 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 95/100
- Villa al Cortile 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 93/100
- Basilica Cafaggio, Solatìo Gran Selezione 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
Italy, in general, is known for the best pizzas in the world. These pizzas are included in a bucket list for pizza lovers around. Food & Wine, in partnership with Phaedon, identified some of the iconic pizza spots and their chefs not only in Tuscany but also in Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan, and many other places.
1. Pizzarium, Rome, is famous for its pizza con le Patate (potato and Mozzarella)
Orlando Bartolami, pizza critic, said chef Garbiele Bonci “has been christened the Michelangelo of Pizza.” “In his pizzeria Roman-style pizza al taglio (pan pizza-by-the-slice) has risen to levels of astonishing quality,” he said.
2. Sud, Florence has its delicious Margherita and Marinara.
Aldo Fiordelli said the pizza spot is known for its light dough with three types of flour, sweet tomatoes and real buffalo mozzarella. “But above all the classic Neapolitan preparation perfected over time by Romualdo Rizzuti,” he said.
“Romualdo Rizzuti, a pizza chef from Campania, has undertaken a new challenge on the first floor of the Central Market to make traditional pizzas as they should be: Margherita, Napoli and Marinara. Every so often you may come across a seasonal pizza not on the short menu,” added Stefania Pianigiani.
3. Santarpia, Florence has the best Crema di Zucca (pumpkin purée, mozzarella and guanciale), and Calzone Fritta.
“At his new pizzeria in the center of Florence, Giovanni Santarpia, a pizzaiolo from a small town near Naples, is maniacal in the control of the leavening process. The result is pizza at the highest level of lightness and digestibility, with the finest ingredients for the toppings,” said another pizza lover Sabino Berardino.
4. Pepe in Grani, Caiazzo (Campania) has the best Margherita Sbagliata (mozzarella, cold tomato reduction and basil).
“This is the best pizza on earth. No one can touch the skills of Franco Pepe. Every ingredient he uses is from the area. Each pizza tells a story: about the land, the people, the town itself,” said pizza lover Chris Behr.
5. I Tigli, Verona is known for its Shrimp Sashimi Pizza
“The pizza bases are perfect: in the rise, the consistency, the digestibility. The toppings are like real dishes chosen and put together on the basis of a constantly new harmonic game of colours, flavours, and textures,” said Alessia Gallian.
6. 50 Kalò, Naples prides itself for Marinara or Pizza del’Alleanza (mozzarella, lardo, onion, Romano cheese)
“A ‘new’ pizzeria in Naples but with a great pizzaiolo perpetuating family traditions: Ciro Salvo. The pizzeria is extremely centrally located and out of the usual old Naples circuit,” said pizza lover Simone Nicotina.
“The service is good and the pizza among the best in term of quality of dough and choice of the ingredients. This pizzeria also mixes the quality of ‘traditional’ Neapolitan pizzas with bolder and more innovative combinations. The result is always excellent in terms of final enjoyment,” she added.