How to Pair Wine with Pizza
When you think of your favorite pizza, you probably think of beer. But, who says you cannot pair wine with pizza? After all, wine is known for enhancing the flavor of cheese, tomato sauces and vegetables – all of which go into a great pizza. Next time you’re ordering a pizza or making one from scratch at home, think of this mini guide to pair wine with pizza.
Cheese pizzas are by far the easiest to pair up with wine – especially because you don’t have toppings getting in the way and changing up the flavor profile. In this case, the red sauce of the cheese pizza would take center point – because of the acidity and robust flavor. A blended wine will go best with a cheese pizza, especially one that combines Syrah with other wines.
In this case, you want a wine that brings out the natural spices and flavors of the pepperoni. Most pepperonis are strong in flavor and include seasonings like garlic powder, anise, cayenne pepper, paprika and sugar. The fat content needs something acidic enough to cut through the flavor and stand out, which is why we would suggest going with a Cabernet Franc or a rich red wine.
These are a classic Italian pizza with notes of fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. The perfect wine to cut through the fat and enhance the herbaceous flavor of the basil would be a rose wine. If you are the red wine only type, you can use a red, but stick to lighter reds and work your way up. Going too dark too fast may cancel out the aroma of the pizza.
Sausage pizzas have bold flavors and need bold wines to stand up to them. The flavors of fennel, anise, thyme and oregano hold well against wines with olive, blackberry, plum and blueberry flavors. A Syrah is a good example of a bold wine that can stand up to the sausage.
This is a classic that includes Canadian bacon, pineapple and cheese. For these pizzas, you need something acidic and almost sweet. The best is Riesling. Sure, it is a sweeter wine, but it helps stand up against the saltiness of the bacon. If Riesling is too much for you to stomach, you can tone it down and try Zinfandel instead.
While not classic, these pizzas have a white sauce (typically an Alfredo) and cheese. They also feature a blend of herbs and spices. Because of the cream-base in this pizza, you need wines that have naturally creamy notes themselves – such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
Now that you have a few basics, you can start pairing the perfect wine with pizza. Don’t be afraid to play around with different wines either – there is no right and wrong way. The flavors your tongue naturally picks up on will help determine which wine is best for your pizza too.
To ensure you have the right amount of wine in stock, why not join a wine of the month club? These clubs deliver several bottles of wine per month along with newsletters that help educate you and even pair your wine with food – including pizza.