It’s pizza night, and you are excited about sinking your teeth into a tasty pizza pie. But it’s the weekend, and you want to be fancy and enjoy some wine with dinner. So, how do you know what wine to pair with what type of pizza? Well, you can read this short guide to pairing wine and pizza.
You don’t have to be a sommelier to understand which wine to choose with your favorite pizza. Pairing wine and pizza is a bit of an art form but a forgiving art form that anyone can master.
Margherita Pizza and Wine
Margherita pizza is a humble pizza pie. It boasts a simple tangy red sauce, cheese, and basil. That’s all to this classic uncomplicated pizza. So it pairs well with a zesty white wine, like Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio has the strength to really match the flavor of the pizza but won’t overpower. If you don’t like white wine and prefer red, you can also pair a medium-bodied Sangiovese.
Pepperoni Pizza and Wine
Pepperoni pizza is popular in the U.S. It’s a tasty favorite with this slightly spicy cured meat. The best wine to pair with this is an Italian Chianti or a Syrah. They pair well with the richness of the fatty meat. A strong flavored pizza needs a hefty hitter wine to meet its match.
Sausage / Meat Lovers Pizza and Wine
Whether you love a sausage pizza or meat lovers with a mix of salty cured meats, you will need a full-bodied wine to bring out the best of the cured meats. The perfect wine for a meat lover’s pizza is a Syrah or Merlot. Both are bold, flavorful with a high tannin profile which is the best option. It can stand up to the intense meaty taste.
Supreme Pizza and Wine
A Supreme pizza is different depending on where you get it. But usually, a Supreme has sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and olives. It’s salty with the earthiness of mushrooms and the bite of the onion. The best wine for this pizza is a Pinot Noir.
The rich flavor matches the complexity of the pizza. A Cabernet would also work well with a Supreme pizza.
Hawaiian Pizza and Wine
The controversial Hawaiin pizza is met with intense emotion on both sides: some love it, some hate it. Those who love it appreciate the sweet pineapple combined with the salty pork sensation. The best wine to match this flavor profile is a Riesling. The sweetness meets the pizza in the best possible way. A Lambrusco also is a great choice here.
Vegetarian Pizza and Wine
A veggie pizza can be so many things. It can be simple with some artichokes and mushrooms or topped with more goodies like olives, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and onions. Regardless of which veggies you choose, you will still want a wine that isn’t too heavy. The perfect pick here is a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. These wines can match the lightness of the vegetables without an overpowering flavor.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza and Wine
Barbeque chicken pizza is starting to take off. It is common to see on menus across the U.S. While barbeque sauce on pizza may seem strange to some, those who like it appreciate the smoky-sweet and tangy barbeque sauce mixed with mozzarella and spicy chicken bite. The best wine to make the most of these flavors is Pinot Noir. It’s the best pairing of wine and pizza. A Merlot is also an excellent choice.
White Pizza and Wine
A white pizza is made without traditional red sauce; instead, the red sauce is replaced with a creamy white sauce. The pizza loses its acidity and changes the overall profile without the tomato sauce. White pizza pairs well with a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you enjoy sparkling wine, a Champagne or Prosecco works well here. It lightens up the flavor.
Salad Pizza and Wine
Salad pizza may sound like an oxymoron, but it is real and has quite a following. A salad pizza is a new pizza option for the healthy-minded or vegan pizza lovers. It is exactly what you think it is. A salad pizza is quite simply a crispy pizza crust covered in a mix of fresh greens tossed in a light vinaigrette. The best wines to match the acidic taste of the salad pizza are a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
More Tips on Pairing Wine and Pizza
So you don’t see your favorite pizza here, or maybe you like to mix it up with non-traditional toppings. You can still find a good wine to match your favorite pizza. Just follow these age-old tips on pairing wines and flavors.
- Red meat matches best with red wine
- Fish and seafood fit best with white wine
- Wine should not be more acidic than the food flavors
- Wine needs to be slightly sweeter than the toppings
- Medium and full-bodied reds work best with fatty meats
So now you know the basics of pairing wine and pizza. Use your newfound knowledge to impress your date or just your tastebuds with perfect flavor combinations.
If you want to learn more about wine and food pairings, check out this book Wine Pairings: Perfect Pairings Every Time by Jane Parkinson. Parkinson was named International Wine Communicator of the Year (IWSC), yes that is a thing, and she really knows her stuff.