Pie Wine

Pizzeria da Marco slices and dices its wine list

Beer is an undeniably pleasant pairing for thick, greasy slices of pizza. But when your pizza needs a drink that will draw out its tangy tomato sauce, sharpen its topping of aged cheese or lure out the herbs of Italian sausage, wine is pizza's best mate.

Bethesda's new Pizzeria da Marco sets itself apart from the recent influx of pizzerias with its refined white-tablecloth approach and menu of exclusively Italian wines that elevate the blistered Neapolitan pies.

Sit on the patio with a glass of Verde Ca'Ruptae Verdicchio ($7). Piercing with lemon and green apple, it's a crisp choice for the meaty onslaught of a porchetta pie ($14), a nightly special combining sautéed mushrooms and smoked mozzarella with thinly shaved, fatty pork shoulder.

A glass of Piedmontese Barbera ($7) has rosy plum flavors and an acidic finish to stand up to the Napoli ($13), with mozzarella, roasted eggplant and chunks of Italian sausage. A glass of the Venetian blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara ($7) is bold, tannic and cutting enough to balance the salty capers and anchovies of the Romana ($12.50).

There's even an ideal catchall bottle: The restaurant recommends Grotta del Sole's Gragnano ($32), with its bright blackberry flavors, as "the perfect pizza wine."

Pizzeria da Marco, 8008 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 301-654-6083 or pizzeriadamarco.net