Photo courtesy of Fortina
Craving a slice? A wine pro from Stew Leonard’s and vino expert Kevin Zraly share which wines they would pair with Westchester’s top ‘za.
Westchesterites are rewarded with a tantalizing abundance of above-average pizza. And, much like many of the pies are a cut above the norm, we think it is entirely appropriate to venture beyond the pale when choosing a beverage to accompany your slice. With this in mind, we asked notable local wine connoisseur Blake Leonard, of Stew Leonard’s, and noted wine expert Kevin Zraly to help us pair wines with some of the county’s best pizzas. So, mangia and salute!
425 White Plains Rd, Eastchester; 914.337.3700
The simple but elegant J. Sexton pie entices with chilled, milky burrata, and counterbalances with warm, wood-fired cherry tomatoes for a gooey, crunchy celebration accentuated with raw arugula. And don’t forget the puffy, wood-fired crust. “I’ll choose a red wine for the red pizza, and I’m going Italian all the way,” says award-winning wine writer and educator Kevin Zraly. “You want something not too big, but not too light. I’m looking at wine with a middleweight, medium texture — something with a good fruit/acid balance.” He suggests Allegrini Valpolicella ($15.99) or Bertani Valpolicella ($18.99).
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1 Kent Pl, Armonk; 914.273.3535
A perfect example of how Amore has been satisfying pizza lovers for more than four decades, Nonna’s Best of Westchester pie delights the taste buds with a crispy crust with ripe hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil. “A lighter style pizza calls for a lighter wine like a sparkling rose,” says Blake Leonard. “Philippe de Guerois Brut Rose ($11.98) is fruit forward, dry, and will complement the basil and tomatoes.”
131 Parkway Rd, Bronxville; 914.337.1901
Appropriately grilled over a coal fire, the Rustic pizza celebrates savory wholesomeness with fresh mozzarella, roasted mushrooms, and truffle oil on the thinnest of crusts. Get back to the garden with quality ingredients on a flatbread masterpiece. “Pinot noir is a knockout choice here!” Leonard says. “It’s a bit earthy, which pairs so nicely with the mushrooms and truffle oil.” He suggests Westmount Pinot Noir ($19.98).
1955 Central Park Ave, Yonkers; 914.961.8284
Combining fresh clams, grated pecorino romano, garlic, oregano, and olive oil with a coal-fired crust reminds Frank Pepe’s customers of its roots in New England, where raw, little neck clams comprise his renowned White Clam Pizza. Pepe created the seafood masterpiece in New Haven in the 1960s, and it continues to grow in popularity today. “When I see clams, it’s going to be a white wine, and I’d go with an Italian,” Zraly says. “I’m looking for a wine with a higher acidity, and something fun that you can drink right away.” He suggests Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino ($29.99) or Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio ($18.00).
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7 Maple Ave, Armonk; 914.273.0900
136 S Ridge St, Rye Brook; 914.937.0900
1086 N Broadway, Yonkers; 914.358.3595
Tenderoni: Martha Stewart is such a fan of the Tenderoni pizza, that she made a version of it on her TV show with chef Christian Petroni. And who can blame her, considering its alluring blend of spicy soppressata and Calabrian chili-honey? “The pepperoni and chili will bring a little kick, but the sweetness of honey will balance out each bite,” Leonard says. “I would pair this with a wine that won’t overpower the flavors, like Tenuta Santa Lucia Ciliegiolo ($13.98), which is very similar to Sangiovese.”