Summer has arrived and with it the necessity of BBQ in the backyard and lingering on the deck late into the evening with the perfect glass of wine.  Yesterday we indulged in both of these and had to share our success.  

ThDT Pinot Noir Monterey Bottle Shote Wine: 2011 De Tierra Pinot Noir Tondre Grapefield 

Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, CA 100% Pinot Noir Alcohol: 14.4% Total Case Production: 97

Only 97 cases produced make this an extra special wine!  The warmer climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands make for a more opulent Pinot; this one is complex with flavors of spice, dark red fruit, and foresty, smoky notes.

Find this Monterey Gem Here at SpecialWinesDirect.com

The Food: BBQ Pizza 

Us sommeliers take pizza very seriously, and the family pizza recipe is considered sacred so we were tentative about just chucking it on the grill; however we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

dough on grillMake the pizza dough 1-2 hours in advance and let rise in a warm oven, (just follow the recipe below).  Get creative with the toppings!  We swear by Trader Joe’s Pizza Sauce, we also used pepperoni, onions, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, and a mix of mozzarella and pepper jack cheese.

Heat the grill to medium heat, spray or brush both sides of the dough and the grill with oil.  Lay the dough out on on the grillthe grill, cover for a few minutes.  After about 5 minutes it will get bubbly.  Slide the dough off the grill and flip over.  Spread the sauce and toppings on the cooked side of the dough, then return to the grill so the other side cooks and the toppings melt (about 5 more minutes).  After our pizza was done we topped with fresh basil and arugula.

The Pairing: 

The BBQ renders a very unique flavor to the pizza- it’s still our favorites home-cooked, family heirloom, but the texture is different than oven cooked, and there’s a delightful smoky flavor.  This smokiness makepizza up closes it a great companion for Pinot Noir!  The De Tierra Pinot has lovely notes of hard spice and hints of mushroom which complement the herbs in the dough and the basil and arugula beautifully.  The smokiness left behind by the grill is perfectly mellowed out when paired with the smoky undertones of the wine.  Drinking big bodied reds (likedinner is served Cabs) in the Summer heat can be a bit much, so this e
legant medium bodied Pinot is the perfect solution for enjoying a warm Summer evening on the deck with a glass of red.


~ Your Special Wines Direct Sommeliers



Pizza Dough Recipe:

Ingredients: 2 1/5 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp. active dry yeast, 1 cup hot water, 1 tsp. white sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 1 garlic bulb, your choice of fresh herbs, several splashes of olive oil

  1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl- let stand for 10 min in a warm place (on top of a warm oven works well).  After ten min the yeast should be activated with a layer of small bubbles on top.
  2. Put the flour, salt, herbs, garlic in a Kitchen Aid or Large Cuisinart mixer with the bread hook attachment.  Add the yeast water mixture and mix on medium speed.  As the dough forms add several splashes of oil to achieve the right consistency.  Mix for about 10 min.  Dough should not be sticky, or flaky, but should form a smooth ball.
  3. Cover bowl with towel and put in a warm oven to rise for 1-2 hrs till doubled in size.
  4. Roll out dough on a floured surface.