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Editor at large Harvey Steiman joined Wine Spectator in 1983; his tasting beats are Australia, Oregon and Washington.
Harvey Steiman

A Perfect Pizza Wine

Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico Irpinia Rubrato 2006

Harvey Steiman
Posted: September 9, 2010

In my never-ending quest to find wines that go well with true Italian-style, thin-crust, delicately topped pizza, what better choice than a wine from the very region that perfected the pie? That would be Campania, home to Naples, the epicenter of the Neapolitan treasure that is pizza.

Checking out Bruce Hill’s new San Francisco pizzeria, Zero Zero, I spied Feudi di San Gregorio’s Aglianico Irpinia Rubrato 2006 on the list. Normally Aglianico would not be my first choice, as it usually makes a sturdy, somewhat tannic red. But this bottling sees no oak in the winemaking process and is made in a lighter style. I am partial to Feudi’s white wines, so this one seemed like a good bet.

The floral, wet earth overtones gave the wine’s charming raspberry and wild plum flavors some serious intent. A thin layer of tannins provided just the right amount of grip to balance nicely with both the classic margherita pizza and a house specialty called the Castro, which features thin slices of sopressata and a spicy housemade sausage.

The wine was so inviting, the four of us nearly drained a bottle before the pizzas got there. At $40 on the list, it was worth getting another. 88 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Get our quick list of Top Values among recently rated Italian reds.

Daniel Leedy
Porltand Oregon USA —  September 9, 2010 12:17pm ET
How was the pizza?
Harvey Steiman
San Francisco, CA —  September 9, 2010 12:47pm ET
Very thin crust, nice char on the edge, lovely balance in the toppings. I like a tad more contrast in texture between the surface and interior of the crust, myself. But the whole meal was outstanding.
Steve Dunn
phila, PA USA —  September 11, 2010 12:43am ET
I find a Barbera is a perfrct wine for a standard "red" pizza. I've tried others, but Barbara is king. White pizza works nicely with an off dry Riesling.
Feudi Di San Gregorio Spa
Sorbo Serpico, Italy —  September 13, 2010 6:21am ET
Dear Harvey, thank you very much. It is great to hear that you enjoyed our wine. And it is true - the "old school" aglianico is very difficult to drink with a pizza in particular.
Without losing any of the specific characteristics of this extraordinary grape, we are trying to work to increase its elegance (e.g. through reducing crushing pressure and timing and excluding/minimizing oak which doesn't get along always well with Aglianico tannins) in order to make the "younger" wine, the Rubrato, a bit more accessible.
I am particularly proud you loved this wine (and the pizza too of course!!)

Antonio Capaldo
Chairman - Feudi di San Gregorio
David Cable
Santa Barbara —  September 13, 2010 2:52pm ET
Hi Harvey,
Glad to see you picked and enjoyed one of the wines that we stock here in our store. We have also had very good response from everyone who has tried it.

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