Wine and Pizza Pairing
by Peggy Fiandaca
Make your own pizza
With Super Bowl right around the corner, people are looking for something new to serve at their Super Bowl party this year.
We suggest hosting a “Make Your Own Pizza” party. We do this quite often because it gives us an excuse to fire up our pizza oven in our backyard. But you don’t need a pizza oven to host a pizza party.
Growing up Italian in the Chicago area, you are given pizza as soon as you can eat whole food. From that day forward, deep dish pizza is a weekly meal. Peggy’s mom (the red-headed Irish woman who married into the Fiandaca family) could make Italian food better than any Italians on Monroe Street in Chicago. Mom made deep dish pizzas in large rectangular pans and we loved it. My dad really loved her and her pizzas. The deep dish pizza recipe by James McNair’s cookbook called Pizza is better than any Peggy remembers from her days in Chicago.
However, if you don’t want to make your own pizza dough, you can purchase dough from your favorite pizza joint. Though it is not hard to make and a lot of fun. Besides the dough, the second most important ingredient is pizza sauce. Curt makes his own sauce but you can purchase one and doctor it up a bit to your taste.
For a pizza party, we make all the possible ingredients that people might want to put on their pizza – pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, pineapple, onions, etc. We put the ingredients in small bowls so your guests can pick and choose how they want to make their pizza. After a brief lesson by Chef Curt, we put the pizza dough round on a cornmeal covered pizza paddle and turn it over to the first guest to add their ingredients.
Pizza-making rules are pretty simple – no sauce that is too close to the edges and not too many ingredients that you can’t get the dough off the paddle onto the stone. That is about it.
If you are cooking the pizzas in your oven ensure that you heat the pizza stone ahead of time so that it is hot. We cook the pizza in the oven at 475 degrees so you want to have your pizza stone heated ahead of time. We use Mesquite hard wood in the pizza oven and we heat the oven for several hours prior to the party beginning.
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ R.E.D. and both Petite Sirahs are wonderful with pizzas. So open a bottle, fire up the oven, and invite your friends to a pizza party. We are available for consulting as you prepare for the pizza party so give us a call.www.LawrenceDunhamVineyards.com