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

Discover the Best Wines for Every Type of Pizza
original pizza
Basil bowl for pizza

Pizza and wine – a combination that transforms a casual meal into a delightful culinary experience. At first, it was strange to me that somebody would make this combination.

At the same time, thinking about it without trying it by myself wasn’t a good idea.

Therefore, I decided to try it out myself, and this is what I came up with.

Illustration of Pizza and Wine Combinations

What is the Best Match?

The question of what is the best match when it comes to these two is extremely individual. The fact is that people have different tastes.

On the other side, there is a reason why some combinations are so popular. I have tested a high number of them, and I will share my experience with you.

Cheese Pizza and Chianti Classico

Cheese Pizza and Chianti Classico

Cheese pizza and Chianti Classico are a pair that stands out for its 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.

The pairing is 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.

Pepperoni 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 profile, goes on pair with the intensity of the pepperoni, balancing its robust flavor without overshadowing it.

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 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. 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. It is a reminder of how simple, fresh ingredients can create an exquisite experience.

“For a red-based pizza, I suggest a white wine with medium structure that can play off the acidity of the tomato, such as a chardonnay or an Ansonica. Also, a red that has delicate tannins pairs nicely, like the Il Poggio Nero 2019 (Estate of Castelfalfi.)” – Danilo Fantini

Vegetariana 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.

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. I found that wines like Riesling or Chenin Blanc work wonders with this combination.

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.

The wine’s sweetness enhances the tropical sweetness of the pineapple, creating a symphony of fruity flavors on the palate.

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.

Known for its fruity intensity and spicy undertones, this wine 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.

Honorable Mentions

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.

The Verdict

Since there are so many pairings you can try out, it might take you a while to find the one that meets your preferences. My personal favorite is Cheese Pizza and Chianti Classico. These two go hand-in-hand.

Maybe you can organize a pizza night, and try it out with your friends. The same goes with all other pairings I’ve mentioned.