Summer has officially arrived in the Bay Area. Hot days have been creeping into warm evenings, which means there has been plenty of time to linger on our stoop. We have been sitting out and enjoying a glass of wine or two while grilling and it has been wonderful. One of our favorite recipes this fall has been this one for a 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 receives the cool ocean breezes from Monterey. 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, as well this Chardonnay is not heavy on the oak.
This wine pairs nicely with a variety of summer foods, but we kept coming back to grilled pizzas when sampling this 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 smoked flavor that equally goes well with the hint of 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 alongside this wine as well as the Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza at your weekend pizza party:
Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza
1/3 of pizza dough recipe
4 medium jimmy nardello peppers, stem removed and sliced in half lengthwise
4 ounces pancetta, medium dice
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 small garlic clove, minced finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Italian parsley, minced finely
8 ounces burrata cheese
Preheat the grill to 425.
In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and add the onion over medium heat. Stir and cook until soft; about 3 minutes.
Add the peppers to the pan, stir and cook for 5 minutes until lightly blistered.
Remove from the heat, then add the garlic and parsley. Stir and set aside.
Roll the pizza dough out on a floured service.
Place the dough on the grill, and cook until slight grill marks and lightly charred. Flip and repeat. This will not take long, so be sure to watch.
Remove the crust from the grill and place on a baking sheet.
Scatter the pepper mixture over the top, along with the burrata.
If you are using a gas grill, lower the heat. If not, let the coals cool slightly.
Lightly oil the grate with olive oil, using a basting brush.
Gently place the dough back on the grill, cover with the lid and cook just until the cheese is slightly melted. Watch carefully so it does not burn.
Using a spatula remove the pizza to a serving platter.
**disclaimer: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola Winery, for which we are being compensated for the work done with them. All content, photos, and opinions are of our own and were not influenced by other parties. Thank you for supporting sponsors that allow us to create new and exciting content like this for Chez Us.