Friday, September 16, 2016

Pizza Night with a Lalande de Pomerol 2011 #Winophiles

Here we are at the September event for The French Winophiles, a wine-swilling, food-loving group coordinated by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva. We've made it around France. And by clicking on the following regions you can read my recipe post that includes the #winophiles round-up as well. So far, we've traveled - by tabletop and goblet - to the Loire Valley, Corsicathe SouthwestLanguedoc-Roussillon, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux, Champagne, BurgundyAlsace, and Médoc.

Now that we've made the rounds, we're revisiting regions with a little more specificity. So, today, the crew is heading to the Graves region in Bordeaux.

The Conversation
Join us for a live Twitter Chat Saturday, September 17th at 11 am EST/8 am PCT. You may join in the revelry by following hashtag #winophiles.

Here's where we're headed next: October 15th - Jura. Join us for our upcoming events by emailing your post title to Christy at or Jill at  A Vôtre Santé!

The Rest of the #Winophiles

In the Region
Graves is situated on the left bank of the Garonne river, southeast of the city Bordeaux. Some reading turned up that the name 'Graves' derives from its intensely gravelly soil which was the result of glaciers from the Ice Age. That glacial movement deposited white quartz crystals throughout the region which can still be seen in the soil of many Graves vineyards.

In the Glass
When searching for a wine from Graves, I stumbled across a Lalande de Pomerol from Château Belles-Graves.

Château  Belles-Graves produces Merlot-dominated wines. This particular one has some Cabernet Franc blended into it. To the eye, it's deeply colored. On the nose, there's a hint of oak, but it's mostly fruit. This wine was a bit lighter weight than I anticipated. But, on the second day, the fruit was more concentrated and balanced.

On the Plate
While I typically try to pick a recipe from the same region as the wine, I decided to pour the wine for a casual pizza night at home. I wanted to make something simple and just enjoy the wine! I used my gluten-free crust and used some toppings with a Mediterranean bent: Jamón Serrano, roasted peppers, roasted onions, and freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.

makes 1 large rectangular pizza approximately 10" x 13"
  • 3/4 C white rice flour (you can use brown rice flour instead)
  • 1/2 C tapioca flour 
  • 1/3 C sorghum flour 
  • 1/3 C buckwheat flour
  • 1 t xanthan gum
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2-1/4 t active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 2 t organic brown sugar
  • 1 - 2 eggs (2nd egg if the dough is too dry)
  • 3 T olive oil + more for baking the crust
  • Also needed: parchment paper
Toppings (use your favorite - for this version we went simple)
  • fresh tomato sauce
  • Jamón Serrano, sliced into thin strips
  • olive oil
  • roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
  • roasted onions, thinly sliced
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, grated at tableside

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together tapioca flour, white rice flour, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.

Pour milk and water into a saucepan and heat until warm to the touch, approximately one minute. Stir in the yeast and brown sugar and let bloom for 5 minutes.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon. Stir in one egg and olive oil. Beat till smooth. If the dough looks too dry, add another egg. This dough should be smooth and thick. Cover and let stand for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F while the dough rests. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

After the dough has rested, scrape the dough onto the parchment-lined pan. Drizzle the ball with olive oil, then press and stretch into a rectangle that's about 1/4" thick. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake until the top is puffed and firm and the underside is crisped, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 450°F.

Spread sauce over the crust, leaving a slight border around the edge. Top with your toppings. Drizzle olive oil over the whole thing and place it back in the oven. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and browned in places. The crust should be golden brown after approximately 14 to 16 minutes.

Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil, grate fresh cheese over the top. Slice and serve immediately.


  1. I think casual nights are the best nights. Not every wine pairing needs to be nor should be a production.

  2. I love your casual pizza idea to pair with a Merlot driven Bordeaux. Looks delicious!

  3. We're always up for pizza, glad you found a good GF crust!