175 Orchard St
New York, NY

Pairing Natural Wine and Pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana

Front bar at Una Pizza Napoletana

Michelin covers Una Pizza Napoletana’s wine list. 

Hailing mainly from the region of Campania, about three-fourths of the menu were natural wines with the remainder being organic and biodynamic. “Natural wine just fits so well with the way we make pizza,” says Mangieri. “The way they make this wine is exactly like the way we make the pizza dough, it just feels like it’s meant to be together.” [Read the Michelin Guide inspectors’ full review of Una Pizza Napoletana here.]

The first, the Il Re è Nudo, a rosato. A rosato, or rosé for those unfamiliar with the term, is credited as being one of the oldest styles of wine making and is known for its beautiful light rose color. This rosato in particular was made from 100% primitivo grapes spontaneously fermented in amphora. That translucent hue mirrored the taste which worked in tandem with the earliest bites, house-made Lupini bean salad and an olive medley, keeping things savory but slick.

As the evening progressed, so did the wines. The next, Paski from Cantina Giardino, was made from Coda Di Volpe Bianca grapes that go through a four-day, skin-on maceration—this is the technique of cold-soaking unfermented grape juice in the crushed skins, seeds and stalks of the grape. This process is vital as the result is nothing short of zesty. The description mentioned fresh and smooth notes with hints of honey, florals, and minerals. Zesty works due to the citrus component. The house favorite, the Melogna from Monte Di Grazia, is made from century-old-vines that follow ancient rules of cultivation in stainless tanks.

Three wines down (and with a bit of a natural wine buzz), chef Mangieri delivered some pizzas. He brought over the Bianca, their take on a ‘white’ pizza using DOP buffalo mozzarella, garlic, basil, Sicilian sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, and their special which rotates out weekly. On my trip it was a slightly spicy version of a margherita. Think cherry tomato sauce and all the elevated essentials but top it with Sicilian capers. And of course, each pie came with its own wine pairing. For the weekly special, an Aglianico grape-derived bottle from Cantina Giardino Campania. The vintage was full, rich, and complements the flavors from the just the right amount of Sicilian sea salt to the basil that looked too perfectly laid on top. For the Bianca (which looked tantalizingly good even to a carnivore like me), they selected a Cantina del Barone Particella 928. Chef Mangieri’s personal favorite? The “Il Chaos”, from Enoz. Made from skin-on Primitivo grapes that are fermented for eight days, six months in terracotta amphoras, and aged in an old World War II bomb shelter with no temperature control, the fermentation process for this wine might even be more impressive than the wine itself.

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