From Sir With Love: Pairing Pizza with Fuqua Merlot

One Dallas winemaker is so good at his craft, he was knighted by the French.

In 1992, Lee Foster Fuqua was made a member of the Ordre Ducal de la Croix de Bourgogne (Cross of Burgundy) in Dijon, France. He is one of fewer than 100 Americans to be inducted into the order.

Impressive. Even better, he makes some of the best wine and gives some of the most marvelous tastings from his namesake Love Field area winery in Dallas. If you've been to tastings, you know that while many are done with warmth, others take on a decidedly assembly-line feel.

Not at Fuqua. I've attended tastings there on a few occasions, and every time after the formal tasting was done, he led me and my tasting partner to the back room to give us a special barrel sample of whatever he was working on a the time. On our most recent visit, we were rewarded with a very supple, fruit-forward sample of Malbec.

A few hours after our tasting was concluded, we decided to enjoy a bottle of Fuqua Merlot with our pepperoni pizza.

Pouring out the wine into glasses, I noticed the color was a rich burgundy, which I thought was funny because pinot noir, not merlot grapes are the signature red grape of the Burgundy region of France. The nose promised coffee, mocha, and spice, along with the usual berry flavors. On the palate, the mocha and spice notes are muted but definitely present, and there was plenty of currant and black cherry flavors, with a slight citrus finish. Since it is a fruity wine, Fuqua Merlot paired quite nicely with the pizza, and pepper notes came to the forefront. You may meet Dallas own chevalier winemaker for your own tastings 3-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon-6 p.m.Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Fuqua Winery 3737 Atwell Street, Suite 203 214-769-1147

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