My local pizzeria, Gialina in San Francisco, offers a short list of a half-dozen simple Italian wines to drink with such terrific pizzas as one with nettles and pancetta and another with winter squash, fresh ricotta and ricotta salata. One can wish for better glasses than the tumblers the restaurant uses, but the wines are not complex, just solid and fruity, and suffer little harm.
As a change of pace from my usual choice of Salice Salentino, my wife and I decided to try a new wine on the list, Cantele Primitivo Salento 2008 in a 500ml carafe. Made from the grape called Zinfandel in California, it’s a winner. Neither too rich nor too light, it brims with dark plum and blackberry flavor on a soft, supple frame, finishing on a creamy note. 89 points, non-blind.
The Primitivo’s youthful vigor was just the thing for our appetizer of little meatballs in a spicy marinara sauce and our pesto pizza topped with Bull’s Blood (beet) greens, fresh ricotta, black olives and ricotta salata.