Taste of Texas: Pizza Series
Texas Wine Collective – Carl’s Corner
Pizza and Wine – A Great Pairing
The next pairing in the Texas Wine Collective Texas Tasting Series is something new – Pizza and Wine! On Sunday afternoon, April 2, Carl Hudson will host this event featuring 3 different types of pizza paired with 6 wines from our TWC partners – Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, and McPherson Cellars. While tasting the pizzas prepared by Operations Manager and Chef Amber Saidler, a history of the origins of pizza will be presented along with tasting notes for each of the wines.
Please join us for this fun pairing. Reservations and advance ticket purchase are required – see the TexasWineCollective.com website.
Ancient Origins of Pizza -
The history of pizza begins in antiquity, as various ancient cultures produced basic flatbreads with many and varied toppings. The word pizza was first documented in 997 AD in Gaeta (a city south of Rome), but modern pizza as we know it evolved from flatbread dishes created in Naples, Italy, in the 18th or early 19th century.
Pizza #One: White Pie with mozzarella and ricotta cheese, a creamy Béchamel sauce plus Italian sausage, spinach, and basil as toppings.
Wine 1 – McPherson Cellars Les Copains White 2019 Texas High Plains
Wine 2 - Brennan Vineyards Viognier 2022 Texas High Plains
In the 6th century BC, Persian soldiers baked flatbreads on top of their battle shields with cheese, dates, and/or olives as toppings. In Ancient Greece, a flatbread called plakous was flavored with toppings like herbs, onion, cheese, and garlic. Another early reference to a pizza-like food describes Trojans serving a meal of cooked vegetables on a “plate” of pita-like bread. After eating everything, one traveler exclaimed, “Look! We have even eaten our plates!”
Another pizza-like food can be traced to pizzarelle, flatbread cookies eaten by Jews in Roman territory after returning from synagogue on the Passover holiday.
Other historical examples of flatbreads include focaccia from Italy; manakish from various Mediterranean lands east of Italy; coca, a Spanish flatbread; classic Greek pita; Chinese bing; leavened naan or unleavened roti from Asia; rieska from Finland; and topped or stuffed flatbreads like Alsatian flammkuchen, German zwiebelkuchen, and classic French quiche.
Perhaps the most important innovation that led to flatbread becoming pizza was the use of tomato from the Americas, introduced into Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. Eventually, tomato became a standard topping in the late 18th century in Naples, Italy, and the surrounding area. This is when pizza as we know it really began.
Pizza #Two: Classic pepperoni sausage, mozzarella cheese, and a red marinara-type sauce.
Wine 3 – Lost Oak Winery Petit Verdot Sprayberry Vineyards 2020 Texas
Wine 4 - Brennan Vineyards Mourvèdre Blackwater Draw Vineyard 2021
Texas High Plains
In the late 19th century pizza underwent a big change as the result of a “royal” approval. Legend suggests that three different pizzas were baked and served for the 1889 visit to Naples of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen's favorite was a pizza evoking the colors of the Italian flag – green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella cheese), and red (tomatoes). According to the tale, this combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honor.
Pizza evolved into a variety of bread and tomato dishes often served with cheese. A wide variety of toppings have since been used, like for the "pizza alla napoletana" topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, anchovies, and mushrooms. As pizza became more popular, restaurants creating these flatbreads became known as pizzerias and were incorporated into the restaurant scene throughout Italy and other parts of Europe.
Pizza is very popular in Canada. In 1962, the "Hawaiian" pizza topped with pineapple and ham was reportedly introduced by restaurateur Sam Panopoulos in Chatham, Ontario. Other pizza creations in Canada are pizza-ghetti, a combination meal of a half pizza accompanied by a portion of spaghetti with a tomato-based sauce, and the distinct "Canadian" pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and bacon.
Pizza #Three: BBQ Chicken, sweet onions, and mozzarella cheese toppings with a slightly sweet and spicy Kansas City Style BBQ sauce.
Wine 5 - McPherson Cellars Cinsault 2020 Texas High Plains
Wine 6 – Lost Oak Winery Crimson Oak 2020 American
Pizza found a second home in the United States in the early 20th century as thousands of Italian immigrants landed on her eastern shores. Deep-dish pizza was introduced in 1943 with the opening of Pizzeria Uno in Chicago by a Texan named Ike Sewell. However, pizza really became a key American food staple following World War II as U.S. veterans, especially those returning from the Italian Campaign, came home and became a large and enthusiastic consumer market for pizza and other Italian foods.
Pizza consumption exploded in the U.S in the late 1950’s with the introduction of pizza chains such as Pizza Hut in 1958, Little Caesar’s in 1959, and Domino’s in 1960. It is currently estimated that 13% of the U.S. population consumes pizza on any given day (that translates to three billion pizzas and an average of 46 slices per person sold each year). Join us for this special Texas Tasting Series event and get your serving of pizza, and wine, for the day.