Now that school is back in session, my family has resumed the routines that became lax over the summer. One of those routines is Friday night pizza, ordered from a local, independent pizzeria.

In honor of the return to Friday night pizza, I’m recommending the type of wine I like to refer to as Friday night pizza wine. For me that means a bottle of red that costs $10-$15 that goes wonderfully with a traditional Italian pie. In my house, we like it pepperoni on half, plain on the other half.

A local wine shop had a tasting of Farmers of Wine Italian Red Blend recently, and I think it’s a great pizza wine. It’s an Italian red from Puglia, made from Negroamaro, Primitivo, Merlot and Nero d'Avola. It’s big, jammy and peppery, and I found it nice to drink right out of the bottle without having to decant it.

This wine is marketed as coming straight from farmers in Italy and says it’s “farm to bottle.” I’m having some trouble finding much information on how it’s made. The wording on their marketing material that I was able to track down is creative.

Farmers of Wine is far ahead of the wine industry’s organic, biodynamic & sustainable trends...this wine is a focus on the people...the Farmers.
I’m not sure what that means. Does it mean it employs organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices plus more? It could be that trendy terms are simply being thrown out there. Farmers of Wine’s website is totally blank. 

While the true sustainability of this wine is ambiguous, I am writing about it for two reasons. The first is that I think it’s a good, crowd-pleasing wine that is good for pizza and other tomato-based Italian foods.

The second is that I like the name Farmers of Wine. It’s a reminder that vineyards are farms and grape growers are first and foremost farmers. I think sometimes when people talk about wine, they can lose sight of the fact that it’s an agricultural product just like apples or broccoli.

There’s more magic in wine than apples or broccoli, and certainly it has a place in social situations that straight produce doesn’t have. But at its heart, wine is made from grapes that grew in the dirt and were tended to by farmers who care about earth that dirt sits on.

If you come across this wine, give it a try. And, if you have any more information on it than I’ve been able to discover, please let me know.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

What to drink this weekend: The return of Friday night pizza wine
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