Today I’ve decided to answer ONE of your burning questions…
Alexandra, what’s the best wine with pizza?
Well, Susan, it depends on the kind of pizza pie you’re about to enjoy…
But first, let’s set the budget for the wine. Don’t cough up more than you paid for the pizza. Pizza night means it’s time to pop or screw open a fab bargain wine.
Now let’s get into the types of pizza and what’s the best wine with pizza.
Typical ‘Za: Best Red Wine with Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza
I love a good pepperoni and cheese pizza. There’s nothing better than loads of ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese, a thick smattering of tomato sauce, and topped with lots of pepperonis with a traditional crust, please.
Wines that would pair well with this type of pizza would be fruitier or fruit-forward wines.Since the red sauce is going to give you a lot of acid, you want a wine that’s big on fruit. This is because the sweetness from the fruit balances the acid from the tomato sauce.
My favorite wines to drink would be medium-bodied reds like a big Zinfandel from Lodi, Primitivo (aka Italian Zinfandel) from Puglia, Syrah or Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux, and a Cabernet Merlot Syrah (CMS) Blend.
A nice change of pace for traditional pizza would be a Meritage Blend.
A red Meritage is a blend of two or more “noble” Bordeaux grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and even Carmenérè. If the blend includes any other grape, it ain’t a Meritage.
Best Wine with White Pizza
Ohhh, if there’s a pizza that Mr. W&D cannot stand and I absolutely adore, it’s a white pizza. He likes to call it “fake pizza.”
But I’ll take a sultry, steamy white pizza any day. Add some shaved truffles…
You can be my best friend and watch my eyes roll back in my head (well, maybe not that).
With white pizza sans tomato sauce, your options multiply since there’s no acid from the sauce to contend with…
Your wine style should be bright and crisp to cut through the buttery cheese and white sauce goodness.
With white pizza, I like a bubbly Cava or Sekt. A Sauvignon Blanc from Chile or France (you don’t want a fruity New Zealand Sauv Blanc), or Muscadet, work well with these flavors. And even a slightly smoky Pouilly Fumé, Chablis, or an “unoaked” Chardonnay would be delightful.
A Pinot Noir or a Garnacha wine slightly chilled would also compliment a white pizza.
Best Wine with Meat Lover’s Pizza
This is Mr. W&D preferred pizza. He likes ALL the meats. I’ll do it so long as I get lots of olives, mushrooms, and peppers added to it. For a meat bonanza pizza packed with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, garlic powder, pepper, and more…Go HUGE.
You need a big bold red wine.
A hearty Cabernet Sauvignon, a full Shiraz, or Pinotage would also pair with a meat lover’s pizza…Since the tannins in these wines have the power to cut through the delicious fattiness of red meat.
Best Wine with Veggie Pizza
Now, listen, I have vegans in my family, so if I didn’t include this option, I’d probably get some snotty text message…so I’m hedging my bets here and not leaving our meatless lovers out.
My first wine choice for a veggie-laden pizza (with or without cheese, or heaven forbid vegan cheese) would be a dry Rosé wine from France, Spain, or Italy.
I respect your food choices. (Just don’t announce them every time we eat. I’ve got it. Thank you very much.) Followed by a tart Gruner Veltliner or bright New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc packed with mouth-watering acid and vegetal notes.
Best Wine with Cheese Pizza
I see your purity for just cheese, and I tip my imaginary fedora to you. The best wine for cheese pizza would be a Grenache, Tempranillo, or Syrah or better yet, try a GSM blend which is
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Best Wine with Hawaiian Pizza
Why are you even eating this abomination? Okay, okay…if you insist on eating this thing that I guess we’ll call pizza, here are my picks for you… Try an off-dry Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, or a sweeter red like Lambrusco. Even a fruity Prosecco would pair well with the pineapple and Canadian bacon combo.
If I’ve missed your favorite pizza, drop me a line, and I’ll work on pairing it for you.
Make sure you save this, so you’ve got it handy to refer back to!