What to do with a Jeraboam?


I received the e-mail....we have a large format bottle of wine from Italy, we are thinking about getting a group of people together to finish it off. How about a pizza party?

Well, I'm game for anything that involves food and wine. But, how big is that bottle of wine? My friends said that it was a five-liter bottle. If you read my blog about wine bottles, you'll note that there is no name (officially) for a five-liter bottle. A 4.5 liter bottle is known as a "jeraboam" and a 6 liter bottle is known as a "rehoboam". So, what is a 5-liter bottle called? In this case, it is a jeraboam. In the United States, they have dictated that bottle sizes be rounded up. So, no half liter versions.

A 5-liter bottle is equivalent to 6 2/3 bottles of wine, meaning, you can serve a good sized group of people and only open one bottle. In this case, we had five couples (and we still opened some more standard bottles before and after). This large format bottle was purchased (of all places) at Costco, for an amazing price. It was a Banfi Col di Sasso 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese from Tuscany (basically a "Super Tuscan").

To pair with the wine, each of the couples was to bring their favorite pizza toppings. Our hosts made fresh pizza dough, and had the ovens warmed with the pizza stones inside. I supplied the homemade pizza sauce and cheeses, and the toppings ranged from the standard pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms, to Spam, anchovies, sundried tomatoes and Italian salami. Even pesto sauce was on the menu.

As we prepared the toppings and dough, the group finished off a bottle of Cremant from Burgundy, as well as a bottle of Prosecco (in keeping with the Italian theme). Each of us made our favorite style of pizza, and presented them on the table for all to try. There was plenty to go around!

The Col di Sasso was a perfect pairing for pizza. Normally, I would expect the tannins to be a bit harsh on this young of a vintage, but they were very reserved. The dark red color of the wine matched the fruity aromas of cherry and red plum, with only a slight hint of smokiness. The acidity worked perfectly with the acid in the tomato sauce, and paired particularly well with the salami and pepperoni. The finish was moderate in length, and pleasant. Overall, at only $45 dollars, for this large format bottle, this was a deal!

After the bottle was empty, we moved on to some heavier wine: Earthquake Petit Sirah, and some cheesecake topped with blackberries.

Large format wines are a fun way to spend time with friends, and create ideas for a party. A homemade pizza party was just the ticket, on this evening.


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