If you are looking for inspiration for your next pizza night, you have come to the right place. This article shares tips on finding the right pizza flavor and wine pairing. Read on to learn more!
I do not know about you, but I really like drinking alcohol after eating a pizza meal. Beer used to be my go-to beverage. However, everything changed when I tried wine with my favorite pie. Today, I firmly believe that the only thing better than pizza alone is pizza with a glass of wine.
But with so many different types of wines, choosing the suitable variation to go with your pizza can be challenging. Not to mention that you have to compliment its flavor and toppings.
Fortunately, I will share some suggestions for which wines to pair with which kind of pizza. Hopefully, each pairing can enhance your pizza experience.
Let us jump right into the article!
Is Red or White Wine Better With Pizza?
Before I discuss my favorite wines to drink with pizza, I would first like to talk about the red wine vs. white wine debate.
Traditionally, pizza features a thin crust with tomato sauce and cheese. This particular ingredient profile generally goes well with red wine. But regardless of toppings, pizza tends to be earthy with a yeasty crust. It is also a heavy meal, which makes it an excellent pairing for red wine.
However, pizza has evolved. Many flavors and toppings are available today, opening the doors to various wine pairings options.
So while red wine remains a classic drink for pizza, white wine is becoming a popular choice for other experimental pie flavors. For instance, it can match a creamy white pizza better than the reds.
8 Best Wine and Pizza Pairings
Whether you are eating pizza delivery or dining at your local pizzeria, there are various kinds of wine that will complement your meal. Below are the eight best classic wine and pizza pairings.
1. Cheese Pizza and Pinot Noir
A classic slice of cheese pizza with red sauce goes well with any midweight red wine. The key here is to keep it simple. This way, you can let the acidity and intense flavor of the red sauce become the focal point of the wine pairing.
Pinot Noir from Oregon works like a charm. However, you can also opt for a GSM, which blends Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
Other popular wines that enhance a cheese pizza include Chianti Classico and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
2. Pepperoni and Medium-Bodied Red Wines
Pepperoni is among the most popular pizza flavors for a reason. The intense flavor of the cured beef and pork mashed together complements the cheese on every slice. It also uses a variety of spices, such as anise, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and sugar. Furthermore, this pizza type also has lots of fat content.
It is best to drink a relatively strong wine to counterbalance these intense flavors. Go for bold red wines such as the Sangiovese and the Cabernet Franc. These have medium-high acidity and a mouthwatering taste to balance the fat.
3. All-Meat Pizza and Cabernet Sauvignon
As its name suggests, the all-meat pizza features various meaty toppings. These can include pepperoni, sausages, bacon, beef, ham, and salami. All these ingredients combined can make for a hefty meal.
You want a bold drink to handle this meat mega dose. Go for full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Zinfandel. The tannins in these red wine bottles can complement the meat’s fattiness. The alcohol can make your mouth feel dry, while the fatty meat produces a sort of slippery sensation. Thus, combining the two can cancel each other out and enhance your pizza experience.
4. Hawaiian Pizza and Riesling
Pineapples on pizza can be a pretty controversial topic, depending on who you converse with. But if you ask me, I believe that the sweetness of the pineapple counteracts the saltiness of the ham or bacon. It is one of the reasons why Hawaiian pizza is among the most popular flavors today.
You can pair ham and pineapple pizza combination with a bottle of Riesling wine. It also combines both sweet and acid flavors with the aromas of tropical fruits and flowers. This acidity in the Riesling acts as a palate cleanser. Meanwhile, its sweetness can enhance the sweetness of the Hawaiian pizza.
Besides a Riesling, you can also pick a fruiter or light-bodied red wine, such as Lambrusco, Primitivo, or Zinfandel.
5. White Pizza and Champagne
Similar to Hawaiian pizza, the white pizza pie divides people. Some people hate it and prefer tomato sauce, while others love it. Regardless of which side you are in, losing the acidity of the tomatoes can change the wine pairing equation.
A crisp white wine goes well with white pizza which are typically lighter and also less acidic due to not having tomato sauce. Go with something relatively light like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or a Vermentino to stick with the Italian theme. You can also try my personal favorite, Champagne! Each type of white wine can complement the typical flavor profiles of white pizzas.
6. Vegetarian Pizza and Sauvignon Blanc
If you fancy eating veggie pizza with plenty of olives, onions, mushrooms, and peppers, you can pair it with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc wine. It has high acidity and citrus-driven flavors that complement the variety of vegetables.
Dry rosé wine is also among the best wines to pair with vegetarian pizza. Its fruity side can work well with the flavor profile of the veggies.
7. Margherita Pizza and Dry Rosé
Margherita or pizza Margherita, as the Italians call it, features tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. A dry rosé is the best Margherita pizza wine pairing. It does not overpower the light-flavored pizza.
However, if you are a read wine-only type of drinker, you can try Garnacha. It has fruit-forward aromas and flavors that can enhance the tomatoes and herbs on the Margherita pizza.
8. Barbecue Chicken Pizza and Malbec
Barbecue chicken is among the most unique pizza flavors today. It has a sweet and smoky kick that goes well with Argentine Malbec. This dry and full-bodied red wine offers plump, dark fruit flavors with a smoky finish.
The Touriga Nacional is another excellent wine to accompany barbecue chicken pizza. It also has a fruit-forward flavor that complements the sweet barbecue sauce.
That sums up this article about the best wine and pizza pairings! I highly recommend trying each combination to enhance your pizza night experience.