Pizza and Wine: A Classic Duo – Discover the Best Wines for Every Type of Pizza

Pizza and wine – a combination that transforms a casual meal into a delightful culinary journey. As someone who relishes the rich, varied flavors of pizza and the exquisite complexity of wines, I understand the magic that happens when the right wine meets the perfect slice.

Each pizza, with its unique blend of toppings and sauces, sings a different tune, and finding that harmonious wine pairing is not just a matter of taste, but an adventure in itself. In this guide, I will explore how to elevate your pizza experience with the ideal wine companion and recommend some combinations.

Key Takeaways

  • Pizza and wine pairings can elevate a casual meal into a culinary delight, offering a symphony of flavors and textures.

  • Experiment with different combinations to discover your personal favorite, and remember that the magic lies in the contrast and complementarity of flavors.

Why We Love Pairing Pizza and Wine?

There’s something undeniably satisfying about pairing pizza and wine, a trend that’s caught on for good reason. At its heart, this pairing is about the joy of bringing together two of life’s great pleasures: the comfort of a delicious pizza and the sophistication of a fine wine.

For many of us, discovering that perfect match is a personal adventure, a culinary exploration that turns a simple meal into a special occasion.

What is the Best Match?

Well, this question is quite individual. The fact is that people have different taste. On the other side, there is a reason why some combinations are so popular. I have tested each one of them, and I will share my experience in the following sections.

Cheese Pizza and Chianti Classico

Cheese Pizza and Chianti Classico

When it comes to a timeless pairing, cheese pizza and Chianti Classico stand out as a testament to the beauty of simplicity. The first bite of a cheese pizza, with its gooey, rich mozzarella, harmonizes with the Chianti’s bright cherry and subtle earthy notes, creating a dance of flavors in the mouth.

The acidity of the Chianti cuts through the cheese’s richness, balancing each mouthful with a clean finish. This Tuscan red wine, known for its robust yet approachable character, complements the simplicity of the cheese pizza without overwhelming it.

In my experience, this pairing is like an old friendship – comfortable, reliable, and always delightful. The Chianti’s subtle tannins and the pizza’s golden, crispy crust offer a textural contrast that adds to the overall enjoyment. It’s a classic combination that reminds us why some matches are timeless – they just feel right.

Pepperoni Pizza and Nero D’Avola

Pepperoni Pizza and Nero D'Avola

Pairing pepperoni pizza with Nero D’Avola is like setting off fireworks of flavor in your mouth. The spicy, slightly smoky notes of the pepperoni find their match in the bold, full-bodied character of this Sicilian wine.

Nero D’Avola, known for its rich, tannic profile, stands up to the intensity of the pepperoni, balancing its robust flavor without overshadowing it. As I savored this pairing, I was struck by how the wine’s hints of dark cherry and blackberry complemented the savory umami of the meat.

The acidity in Nero D’Avola cuts through the fattiness of the pepperoni, refreshing the palate and preparing it for the next delicious bite.

Margherita Pizza and Dry Rosé

Margherita Pizza and Dry Rosé

Pairing a Margherita pizza with a dry Rosé is like a gentle breeze on a warm summer day – refreshing, light, and utterly delightful. The Margherita, with its fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella, offers a medley of delicate flavors.

These are beautifully echoed by the crisp, dry Rosé, which brings a subtle fruitiness and a whisper of acidity to the table. In my experience, this pairing is all about subtlety and harmony. The Rosé’s light body and hints of red berries and citrus complement the pizza’s freshness without overpowering it.

Every sip feels like it’s lifting the flavors of the basil and tomato, while the acidity in the wine cuts through the richness of the cheese, offering a clean, satisfying finish. This pairing is a reminder of how simple, fresh ingredients can create an exquisite culinary experience.

Vegetarian Pizza and Valdiguié

Vegetarian Pizza and Valdiguié

Pairing a vegetarian pizza with Valdiguié is like bringing a colorful garden to your table – vibrant, fresh, and full of life. Valdiguié, with its light body and lively notes of pomegranate and pepper, complements this array beautifully.

As I savored this pairing, I noticed how the wine’s subtle spice and bright acidity matched the freshness of the veggies, enhancing their natural flavors without overwhelming them.

The wine’s light tannins and the pizza’s crispy crust offer a delightful textural contrast, while the fruitiness of the Valdiguié provides a pleasing counterpoint to the savory elements of the pizza.

Hawaiian Pizza and Fruity White Wine

Hawaiian Pizza and Fruity White Wine

Pairing Hawaiian pizza with a fruity white wine is like taking a mini-vacation to a tropical paradise – it’s a flavorful escape that combines sweet and savory in perfect harmony.

The sweet pineapple and salty, smoky ham of a Hawaiian pizza create a delightful contrast that’s beautifully complemented by the bright, fruity notes of a white wine. In my tasting experience, I found that wines like Riesling or Chenin Blanc work wonders with this combination.

The wine’s sweetness enhances the tropical sweetness of the pineapple, creating a symphony of fruity flavors on the palate. Meanwhile, the wine’s acidity provides a refreshing balance to the savory ham and the cheese. This combination stays good even when you reheat the pizza.

BBQ Chicken Pizza and Zinfandel

BBQ Chicken Pizza and Zinfandel

Pairing BBQ chicken pizza with Zinfandel is like attending a flavorful barbecue party right at your dinner table. The smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors of BBQ sauce and tender chicken meet their match in the bold and robust characteristics of Zinfandel.

This wine, known for its fruity intensity and spicy undertones, takes this pizza to a whole new level. I found that the Zinfandel’s boldness complements the hearty BBQ flavors, enhancing the smokiness and bringing out the richness of the sauce.

The wine’s ripe fruit notes, often reminiscent of blackberries and cherries, provide a sweet contrast to the savory elements of the pizza.

White Pizza and Sparkling Rosé

White Pizza and Sparkling Rosé

White pizza, with its absence of tomato sauce and focus on creamy cheeses and aromatic herbs, finds a delightful companion in sparkling rosé, such as Prosecco Rosé or Cava Brut Rosé.

I discovered that the crisp bubbles and acidity of the sparkling rosé cut through the richness of the cheese, creating a refreshing contrast. The wine’s subtle berry and floral notes add a layer of elegance to each bite, enhancing the pizza’s herbal and garlicky nuances.

Other Popular Combinations Worth Mentioning

While I shared some delightful pizza and wine pairings, there are countless other combinations to discover. Here are a few more popular pairings that deserve your attention:

  • Mushroom Pizza and Pinot Noir: The earthy flavors of mushroom pizza find a kindred spirit in the elegant and fruity notes of Pinot Noir.
  • Eggplant Pizza and Pinot Noir or Barbera: The rich, smoky notes of eggplant are beautifully complemented by the light-to-medium body of Pinot Noir or Barbera, both of which offer bright acidity.
  • Pesto Pizza and Herbal Wines: Pesto’s herbal and nutty flavors thrive alongside wines with herbal qualities, like Sauvignon Blanc or Vermentino.
  • Buffalo or BBQ Chicken Pizza and Gamay, Lambrusco, or Zinfandel: The spicy and tangy elements of these pizzas call for wines with fruity and zesty profiles.
  • Anchovy Pizza and Dry, Aged Red Wines: The bold and briny flavors of anchovies pair wonderfully with dry, aged red wines, such as Barolo or Bordeaux.
  • Greek Pizza and Hefty Red Wines: The bold Mediterranean flavors of Greek pizza find harmony with full-bodied red wines like Syrah or Malbec.

FAQs

Does Merlot pair with pizza?

Merlot is a full-bodied red wine with high tannins that pair well with meaty pizzas. However, Merlot may overpower the flavors of pizzas with seafood or vegetables. But we can say that pairing it with practically any other regional pizza style in the US is a good match.

What pizza goes with Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry and crisp white wine that goes well with pizza bianca, pesto-based pizzas, or pizzas with lots of tomato sauce and cheese. Sauvignon Blanc also complements the saltiness of black olives and onions.

What are the 4 food rules in Italy?

Some of the food rules in Italy are:

  • Eat pasta with a fork and knife, not a spoon.
  • Order and eat your own pizza, not share it with others.
  • Avoid cheese on seafood dishes, especially strong-flavored ones.
  • Drink water, wine, or sparkling beverages with meals, not cappuccino or soda.

Do Italians drink Coke with pizza?

Some Italians drink Coke with pizza, especially at dinnertime, because they believe that the carbonation aids in digestion. However, beer is more popular than Coke as a pairing for pizza in Italy.

Summary

In the end, one thing becomes clear: the magic lies in the contrast and complementarity. It’s about finding that sweet spot where the flavors and textures of the pizza and wine enhance each other, creating a symphony for the senses.

So, the next time you reach for a slice, consider the world of wine waiting to enhance your culinary adventure. Also, some of the tips I shared can help you improve the next pizza night you prepare, whether it is a romantic date or a casual gathering with friends.