Pizza is one of the most delicious dishes to come out of Italy, but what can you serve with pizza besides beer?
Well, if you’re a wine lover, you’re doubtless already drinking your preferred bottle of vino with your pie.
Today, we’re here to give you some more inspiration so you can pair your wine perfectly with your pizza, whether you are having a dinner party or just a pizza and a movie with family.
Before we show you what kind of wine goes with pizza, some basics on pairing wine with pizza.
I. Pizza and Wine Pairing 101
You’ll need to think about two things when you’re choosing the right wine for your pizza:
- The sauce
- The toppings
A traditional tomato-bases pizza, for instance, complements different wines to a specialist creamy white pizza or a pizza made with a pesto sauce.
Don’t worry if you’re a fan of specialist pizza, though. With white pizza, for example, you can widen your options to include white wines and sparkling wines.
The type of wine you choose to bring out the best in your pizza should also take the toppings on the pizza into account. A simple pie with some tomato, cheese, and fresh basil calls for a different wine to a rich and spicy pie laced with pepperoni and jalapeños.
Does Red or White Wine Work Best With Pizza?
Before we break down some specific wines we recommend for a variety of different pizzas, the age old question: red or white?
Traditional pizza made with a thin crust, cheese, and tomato sauce typically demands a red wine. This type of pizza is normally earthy, and it has a yeasty and doughy crust. As a hearty and heavy meal, you’ll find red wine pairing usually yields better results.
With so many different types of pizza now available, though, your options are widening all the time.
II. 10 Wines That Work Wonderfully with Pizza
- Beaujolais Cru
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Dry Rosé
- Côtes du Rhône Blend
If you have a pizza that’s packed with sausage or pepperoni, a full red wine is a great option.
Syrah works especially well by enhancing the complex spices in these meats.
If you opt for a Syrah, you’ll enhance the savory profile of the wine, while introducing some dark, fruity flavors like plum, blackberry, and olive.
Do you love Hawaiian pizza? If so, a semi-dry Riesling is a smart choice to complement the pineapple in this pie.
You’ll find the sweetness of the Riesling matches the sweetness of the pineapple, while the wine’s acidity will slice through the richness of the pizza, adding some balance.
3) Beaujolais Cru
Beaujolais cru is a wine that works nicely with mushroom, vegetarian, or potato pies.
This light red wine is not only delicious and delicate, but it’s also surprisingly affordable. You’ll get the mushroomy and earthy profile of a Pinot Noir, but you won’t need to dig so deep. The wine’s natural earthiness means it pairs impeccably with mushroom pizza.
Perhaps the most classic pairing for pizza, Chianti is made in Italy from the Sangiovese grape.
A great example of this wine will be spicy and savory at the same time. You’ll get red fruits, balsamic vinegar, and bitter herbs, along with smokiness and notes of leather. Drinking a Chianti feels almost like you’re drinking an olive. What better way to help your pizza go down?
If you’re looking for a 100% Sangiovese, treat yourself to some Brunello di Montalcino.
Lambrusco is an Italian sparkling red that will cleanse your palate of all that cheese.
You serve this red wine chilled, so it makes a refreshing pep-up during a meal that can send you to sleep.
Opt for a dry Lambrusco to bring out the best in the pizza’s savory side.
6) Sauvignon Blanc
If you’re a fan of salad pizza with piles of arugula and spinach, you need a wine that can cut through all those greens.
A sauvignon blanc works wonderfully to plug this gap. This wine is loaded with natural green flavors from green apple and lime to kiwi.
The acidity in this wine introduces a refreshing interlude to munching pizza.
Chardonnay will play right into your pizza’s creaminess. This full-bodied white wine will also add body and structure to the pizza.
For best results, pair chardonnay with a creamy pizza.
8) Pinot Noir
Not all white pizza fans also enjoy white wine. If you’re looking for a red to pair with your next white pizza, try some pinot noir.
This wine works to support the pizza’s creaminess in two ways:
- The red wine is subtle and nuanced, so it won’t dominate the pizza like you might find with a shiraz
- The earthy and herbaceous notes of this wine pair well with mushrooms and green herbs often present in pizza
One of the most prized wines worldwide, Pinot Noir is not cheap, but it’s worth every cent.
9) Dry Rosé
Rosé is a great choice if you’re looking to complement a simple and light pizza like a margherita.
This type of wine is made from red grapes benefiting from just a few hours of skin contact. Red wines, by contrast, often spend weeks on the skins.
You’ll find rosés differ wildly in terms of color and taste, but the common flavors of strawberry, melon, and citrus zest contrast perfectly with the simplicity of a classic margherita.
10) Côtes du Rhône Blend
Côtes du Rhône blend is a solid option if you’re a lover of cheese pizzas.
The acidity in this wine allows it to cope with the tomato sauce, while tannins are present in the right quantities to cleanse the palate. The tannins also add structure.
In a Côtes du Rhône blend, the Grenache introduces raspberry, cinnamon, and candied fruit flavors. The Syrah wine adds some notes of black olive, plum, and blueberry, while the third wine in the blend – Mourvèdre – adds even more tannins, structure and color to your wine.
We hope you now have a wide selection of wines to try next time you feast on pizza at home.
For most traditional pizzas, you’re well advised to stick to red wines, as we outline above. For white pizza, white wine can make a great pairing, so expand your horizons and you might be surprised at how good white wine can taste with the right pizza.
We have included wines across all price points as we understand not everyone is looking for the same thing. Be sure to let us know if we missed your favorite pairing off our list!
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