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the perfect pizza wine

In my house, just about every Friday night is pizza night. And hands down one of the best pizzarias in Ottawa is Tennessy Willems. This cozy little Hintonburg joint has wonderful staff, a wood oven, and thin-crust Neapolitan pies that are on-par with the best I've had in Brooklyn and Manhattan. A little tip: they almost always fill up for dinner but they're happy to do take-out orders. Give them a call and more often than not your pie will be ready in 30 minutes or less.

My pie of choice is TW's Soppressata: house-made fire-roasted tomato sauce, fior di latte, red onion, and spicy sopressata salami (onions aren't my jam so I always skip 'em). I get this exact pizza every single week because I love it so much. I'd get it twice a week if I could. But I digress.

A pie this good deserves a worthy bottle of wine, and every week I look for a new one to try out as a pizza wine. Lately my hubby and I have been on a real Pacific Northwest kick, so we picked up a bottle of Sageland's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 in the LCBO's Vintages section), which hails from the Columbia Valley in Washington State. It's immediately become one of my favourites.

Though it's characterized as bold and extra dry with suggested pairings like a New York strip or veal chop, I found this wine paired perfectly with my pizza. The fruity, jammy notes (think cherry and blackberry) were great with the tomato sauce, and hints of woodsmoke, spice, and tannins complemented the spicy soppressata without overpowering it. This wine was fantastic right out of the bottle, but if you've got the self-discipline to lay it down for another year or two, I bet it'll be mind blowing.

Several LCBO locations still have some in stock (including my local haunt, the Hintonburg shop) but numbers are dwindling so check the LCBO's site to see if there are any left in your neck of the woods. Read my full tasting notes at and wishing you a happy pizza night this week!

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