To go with that pizza of your dreams, you need, of course, an Italian wine. And why not the 2006 Grilli del Testamatta from one of the rising young stars in Tuscany, Bibi Graetz? OK, admittedly, his name doesn't sound so Italian, but he actually grew up in Florence, the son of a Norwegian painter. And his vineyard, planted 38 years ago, by his parents, is in the hills of Fiesole overlooking the city of Florence.
His big bomber is Testamatta, a superb pure Sangiovese wine. Grilli del Testamatta is its little brother, made with the grapes that didn't make it into Testamatta, which means mostly those from younger vines. A blend of 80% Sangiovese and 10% each Canaiolo and Colorino, the 2006 Grilli is a lovely, juicy wine, bursting with soft, ripe cherry flavors, velvety and flat-out delicious.
Note: if you can read Italian (or follow along with the help of a dictionary), Graetz has his own blog at bibigraetz.myblog.it.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Price: $27 to $33
Style: Rich, lush
What it goes with: Pizza, pasta, bean and vegetable soups, grilled steak or chops.
Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, www.klwines.com; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463, www.wadeswines.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, www.winex.com; the Wine House in West L.A., (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times