Pizza and wine… two of our favorite things. As much as I love them individually, they are even better together! Here are a few favorite pairings to make your next pizza party even more fun!
Plain Cheese Pizza with Red Sauce – Sangiovese
The tomatoes in the sauce have high acidity and should be matched with acidic wine. Otherwise, the wine will taste flat and flavorless.
Sangiovese is a red Italian grape with high acidity. It’s usually medium-bodied, and often has flavors of cherry, baking spices, and forest floor. The tannins in Sangiovese are nice with cheese, as well. A few examples of wines made from Sangiovese include Brunello, Chianti, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Pepperoni Pizza – Rhône-style Blend
The spiciness in pepperoni offers the chance to look for some spiciness in the wine. Try a Rhône-style blend, based on a mix of Syrah and Grenache. These wines have a flavor that will complement the pepperoni, along with plenty of acidity and tannin. You can find excellent examples from regions all around the world, including France, and Australia. Look for Côtes du Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or “GSM” from Australia.
Vegetable Pizza – Chardonnay
This is a chance to let white wine be the star with pizza. Chardonnay is full bodied and dry – it would match the richness of the cheese and complement the flavor of the vegetables. Try a white Burgundy or Chardonnay from California.
Mushroom Pizza – Red Burgundy
The earthiness of mushrooms is perfect with the dry savory complexity of red Burgundy. Red Burgundy is made from Pinot Noir even when it doesn’t say so on the label.
Sausage Pizza – Cabernet Sauvignon
The richness and meatiness of sausage would be great with Cabernet. It has full body, and tannins to match the texture and acidity to cut the cheese.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza – Zinfandel
The spicy sauce would be good with a fruity wine like Zinfandel, which is soft and has notes of ripe strawberry and black pepper.
Hawaiian Pizza – Prosecco
Prosecco, a light, off-dry, sparkling wine from Italy, has a fruitiness and delicacy that will complement the pineapple and ham without being so sweet that it will be out of place with tomato sauce or crust.
If you are eating a pizza with toppings other than those mentioned above, keep the basics in mind. Red wine with plenty of acidity should work with just about any pizza and you can experiment until you get one that works well for you. Regardless of what toppings are on the pizza, the wine primarily has to go with the sauce. Again, if you don’t like red wine, go with a dry white or sparkling wine.