Valentine’s Day may conjure up visions of high-end meals in fancy establishments, elbow to elbow (or, you know, still six feet apart) with other diners making the most of the holiday with someone they love, or at least like a little bit. There is, however, another alternative to the formal night out: ordering in.
Date nights spent at home can be just as special, regardless of the day of the year. Here, it’s cozy, there’s no waitlist, and pajamas are acceptable attire. “Pizza on Valentine’s Day is a healthier option than going out for Surf and Turf and it is much easier on your wallet,” says David Calder, of David’s Pizza in Stockton. And the eatery really gets into the holiday spirit with its festive heart-shaped creations you can surprise your honey with.
If you’ve chosen delivery pizza for your big meal, pair it with a wine to really impress. David’s has brick oven-baked, New York-style pies (and a gluten-free crust option), and we’ve got the suggestions for how to balance the spicy flavors of pepperoni or accent the creamy texture of an alfredo sauce, all with the right vino.
The best specialty pizza on the menu, if you ask David, is the David’s Combo. It’s not the first time we’ve talked about this pie, which is #1 on the menu and in our hearts, made with pepperoni, salami, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, bell peppers, red onions, linguica, and sausage. Pair it with: Chardonnay, but not an oaky one. A light citrus sipper will complement the vegetables on this pizza without competing with the complex flavors. If you’re more of a red drinker, opt for a Syrah or Pinotage, which will balance the spice in the pizza’s meatier toppings.
The Garlic Veggie Gourmet is a close second to his namesake combo, according to David. This pizza bucks the traditional red sauce for a creamy garlic sauce, and is then finished with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, red onions, and artichoke hearts. Pair it with: Chardonnay or pinot noir. The goal with a cream sauce it to match the texture with a creamy wine. As a chardonnay, this is going to be a more full-bodied wine with influence of oak.
Fancy yourself a carnivore? The All Meat pie is for you, boasting six different kinds, sure to hit the spot. That includes pepperoni, salami, Canadian bacon, linguica, ground beef, and sausage. Pair it with: Cabernet sauvignon. All of those big meaty flavors need a big bold wine that can stand up to it without becoming overwhelmed by the food. A cabernet is a good go-to but the Spanish tempranillo or a heavy Argentinian malbec will also do the trick.
A personal favorite of David’s, the Taste of Gilroy, sounds simple enough, made with pepperoni, garlic, and fresh tomatoes—the name is a nod to the local town of Gilroy known for its garlic production and big events like an annual garlic festival. Pair it with: A dry sparkling wine. When it comes to garlic, acidity is needed to achieve balance. Other whites will work, too, such as a sauvignon blanc or vermentino. If you want a red, try a GSM.
The menu’s Chicken Gourmet also ditches the custom red sauce found on pizzas for something different. In this case, it’s pesto. The pie boasts a sun dried tomato and pesto sauce, spinach, chicken, mushrooms, red onions, green onions, garlic, and fresh tomatoes. Pair it with: Pinot grigio. The key is to focus on the sauce. In this case the green basil and vegetable flavors will be best suited with a crisp, acidic white to bring out the light, herbal tastes. Another suitable white is albariño, a popular varietal in Lodi. For red-only drinkers, substitute with a fruitier malbec.
1744 W. Hammer Ln., Stockton