I was incredibly excited about the opportunity to taste MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon for the first time. This ultra-small production winery produces Napa Valley Cabernet from a one-acre vineyard located in St. Helena. The vineyard is farmed organically and sits on a picturesque hillside on the west side of the valley.
MC4 adheres to a minimalist winemaking philosophy. The wine is fermented with native yeasts and made without the use of new oak. These philosophies and techniques are somewhat rare in Napa so the wine really shines among the over-manipulated Cabernets that seem to flood the marketplace.
The 2013 vintage of MC4 Cabernet is just a baby but already showing tons of potential. After decanting, the wine offers beautiful aromatics of blackberry, red cassis, and black pepper. The palate is smooth with lavish tastes of cherry, violets, plum, and black pepper along with nuances of oak. This is a well-balanced Cabernet that truly highlights the beautiful fruit and terroir of the vineyard. A Napa Cabernet worthy of a spot in your cellar! ($68, 14.5% alcohol, 96 cases produced)
I’m Italian so I was raised on pizza. Not delivery pizza from national chains but handmade dough topped with love. As an adult, Brandon and I often make our own pizza with toppings that include burrata, sund-dried tomatoes, and prosciutto. When you have fantastic pizza, you have to pair it with delicious wine. Here are a few great picks for your pizza pie!
Pizza and Negroamaro
Negroamaro – never heard of it? Neither had I until a few months ago. It turns out that Negroamaro, a grape native to Southern Italy, is a great pairing with pizza. Look for a bottle with balanced alcohol and enough acidity to cut through the fat in the cheese. I like Natalino del Prete Negroamaro ‘Anne’. Red cherries, earthy undertones, and bright acidity make it perfect with a mushroom topped pizza! ($16)
Pizza and Frappato
I really enjoy a good Frappato with pizza. The wine is generally fruity and very food-friendly so it pairs well with a lot of toppings. One relatively easy to find, well-made Frappato is Tami Frappato Sicilia Rosso. There are lovely flavors of red fruit, spice, and earth with a lively finish. A great find for under $20! ($16)
Pizza and Sparkling Gragnano
I recently fell in love with pairing Gragnano and pizza. The sparkling wine hails from the southwest region of Italy and is served chilled. One bottle to keep an eye out for is Baccanti Gragnano della Penisola Sorrentina. Funky, fresh, and perhaps created for the sole purpose of drinking with pizza :-). ($15)