Summer has officially arrived in the Bay Area. I am beyond happy about it! Hot days have been creeping into warm evenings, which means there has been plenty of time to linger on the deck. Pour a glass of wine or two, and enjoy a meal such as this Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza.
Our wine of choice on these balmy evenings this summer has been the Francis Ford Coppola Pavilion Chardonnay. This wine is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes grown in the Santa Lucia region. This particular region overlooks Salinas, which is nice and hot during the day but received the cool ocean breezes from Monterey as well. The grapes have to take advantage of the early morning sunshine as the day cool with the fog rolling in. This process allows for a slow ripening, which creates a naturally sweet fruit, and luscious wine. Personally, I tend to find most Chardonnay wines too heavy and it has not been the case with the Francis Ford Coppola Chardonnay wines, particularly the Pavilion. It is a delicate wine, that is slightly floral on the nose, think of apple or pear blossoms. We also tasted a slight tropical crispness such as pineapple, and this Chardonnay is not too heavy on the oak.
This wine pairs nicely with a variety of summer foods, but we kept coming back to grilled pizzas when sampling the wine. In fact, we couldn’t decide on one particular one, so there are three grilled pizzas that we have enjoyed with this wine. I am going to highlight the Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza for the Pavilion Chardonnay for a couple reasons. This wine complements the sweetness of Jimmy Nardello peppers, the creaminess of the rich burrata and the saltiness of the pancetta. Grilling the pizza adds a lovely smokiness that equally goes well with the slight oak in this wine. It is the perfect summer wine to be served with the perfect summer pizza.
When we were trying recipes out with this wine, we did try two others that also paired nicely. In fact, it ended up being a pizza party affair, which is ideal for a long weekend with friends and family. I prepare the ingredients ahead of time. Just before everyone arrives, I lay everything out in the kitchen, light the grill and open a couple bottles of the Pavilion wine. Let your guests put together their pizzas. Grilling them just makes it even more fun!
Other pizzas that would be great to serve with the Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza at your weekend pizza party.
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