When he meets a pizza topped with potato, mozzarella and anchovies, Max Allen reaches for a full-flavoured dry white.
Like you, I normally reach for a bottle of red when anybody mentions pizza. A good, young, cherry-juicy sangiovese perhaps, or an earthy rustic grenache-based wine: easy-drinking styles of red. But if you think about the toppings on this pizza, I think you'll agree it'd be better with a full-flavoured dry white: the salty, fishy punch of anchovy needs some fat, sweet, grapy fruit; the creamy softness of the mozzarella needs some refreshing acidity; and the deep savoury earthiness of the nettles needs some mineral dryness. Southern Italy is home to a number of grape varieties that fit the bill perfectly, but a fiano would be a particularly good choice. The fiano grape produces whites that can be really heady and rich - that fill the nostrils with perfume and sit plumply on the tongue - but also retain a clean lick of acid on the finish. Until a couple of years ago, the only examples available here were Italian, and while there are some excellent Italian fianos I could recommend, it's a grape that seems to be flourishing in a range of Australian climates, so I'm sticking to local examples.