Progressive Pizza and Wine Pairing

 We had a great time working the Progressive Pizza and Wine Pairing at Nottingham Cellars.  We were expecting to have 50 guests in attendance, but we ended up having an overflow crowed of around 65.  I was in awe of the transformation that Nottingham Cellars barrel room went though, going from a working cellar to an Italian styled banquet room.  The tables were adorned with red and white checkerboard tablecloths, which were accented with breadstick centerpieces.

We had our work cut out for us as we kept our Solé wood fired oven busy making the five pizza combinations that were paired with Nottingham’s fabulous wines.  It was a blustery cold night outside, but our culinary team, Rachel and Scott, braved the cold to make some fabulous creations that we hope our guests will not soon forget.

It was great to hear the responses from the guests as I was told multiple times that this was the best pizza they had ever tasted.  The majority of the praise was for our most popular pizza, the Dolce Bacio.  This is one pizza that seems to take everyone by surprise.  It is a melding of flavors that are so different, but so perfect together.  Here is a listing of the pizzas that were served and the Nottingham wines they were paired with:

Dolce Bacio (sweet kiss)– prosciutto, blue cheese crumble, mozzarella, fig jam, balsamic reduction, arugula – 2009 Chardonnay, Livermore Valley (89 pts WE Mag)

Margherita– red sauce, garlic, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil –  2009 Ralphi’s Red Blend, Livermore Valley

Combination– red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, olives, sausage, fresh tomato – 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley (Silver Medal, SF Chronicle)

Chicken Pesto– pesto, mozzarella, chicken, red onions, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, balsamic reduction – 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley (89 Points WE Mag)

Café Dolce– Cinnamon and sugar with a hint of coffee – 2009 Petite Sirah, Casa De Vinas (87 Points, WE Mag/ Double Gold FLIWC)

During the serving of our tasty dessert pizza, the Café Dolce, I had the opportunity to do a little pizza throwing show for the guests.  It was a fun time even though a couple of the doughs were overly influenced by gravity.  After the show, a couple of the guest had the opportunity to come up and learn how to throw pizza dough.  I have to say that I was very impressed with how quickly they were able to pick up the basic throwing techniques.

I would like to give my thanks to Jeff and Collin Cranor of Nottingham Cellars for making this event possible and to our guests for making this event memorable.

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