Some wines work a treat over a long, Summery lunch. Others make a roast beef taste twice as good as it normally would (especially if consumed before dinner). In my constant quest to categorise wine according to its most suited purpose, this shall hereafter be known as “the wine that goes great with Dominos pizza on a night where you decide to chuck all the hard work you did last week in the gym because it’s rainy out and you just can’t be rooted walking on a treadmill for an hour.” Admittedly, a niche category, but one I suspect some of our valued readers can identify with.
Indeed, it can be hard to find a good pizza wine, and I don’t mean a good gourmet crocodile and chermoula pizza wine, but a good pepperoni, or a good ham and pineapple, pizza wine. When confronted with such nourishment, most options seem either to lack robustness (causing one to feel a sense of loss with every barely discerned sip), or are of an excessively Italianate manner (compelling a sense of approval, if not satisfaction). This sparking Shiraz from Langhorne Creek, though, seems to hit precisely the right note.
Aromas of cured meat, spice, garlic, tomato and yeast; yes, a delicious slice of pizza indeed, after which smelling this wine is like inhaling a barrel full of crushed blackberries. It’s somewhat one-dimensional but, more importantly, cuts through heady flavours of pepperoni and crust with a thrust and parry of juicy black fruit and high toned vanilla. It’s pure fun, quite vulgar and, somehow, exactly what one wants to smell after a mouthful of savouriness.
Being a sparkling wine, the mouthfeel is tingly and refreshing almost by default; again, a desirable trait when coupled with a potentially greasy, overpowering food like cheap pizza. As it is, any trace of oiliness is whisked away with each sip, leaving behind echos of sandalwood oak and your current waistline. It’s not a sweet wine, but neither is it excessively dry, so the fruit has fullness without becoming cloying or heavy with time in glass. As with several other Dowie Doole wines I’ve tasted, this seems designed for pleasurable drinking rather than contemplation; a worthy goal indeed.
The label design, which I feel compelled to reproduce here, suggests nightclubs, fast times and thoughtless consumption. To me, though, here’s a wine that makes fast food a bit special on a Monday night.