Pizza has become a staple in most homes, whether through pizza delivery on nights you don't want to cook, homemade and also on nights where you are looking for something to distract you from your reality. The best wine should either match your delicious pizza flavor, whether smoky, meaty, savory, creamy, sweet, spicy or mild and contrast or magnify them in a way to achieve a great overall balance.
What wine is good with pizza?
So, what should you drink with your pizza? Choosing the perfect wine to enjoy with your pizza and, in general food, usually involves a lot of variables which we have listed below. We have also given suggestions to make your wine pairings a smooth process. Read on!
1. Dry Rosé
- Excellent when served with fresh green salads, seasonal spring and summer soups and light...
Dry Rosé is the perfect pizza wine for pizza night with flavored pizza like Margherita pizza. Rosé is light enough to handle delicate flavors like basil and has a better grip than white wine to handle the high acidity of the sauce.
Rosé wine is made from red grapes and is stained red from a few hours of skin contact, and their red wine counterparts spend weeks on the skins. The winemaker has full control over the wine color, and it removes the red grape skins when the wine achieves the perfect color.
Rosés usually vary in style, taste, and color depending on the base grape type and the winemaker's choices. The common flavors of Rosés are strawberry, honeydew melon, rose petals, citrus zest that will complement the simplicity of a Margherita Pizza. A perfect example of the Dry Rosé is La Vieille Ferme Rosé.
- Produced in California
- America's #1 selling Chardonnay for 26 years
- Beautifully integrated tropical flavors followed by citrus notes, are intertwined with...
- Pair with salmon, grilled chicken breast, fettucine alfredo and fish tacos.
- 2017 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, 90 points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, JG...
Chardonnay is a good bet if you want to enjoy the creaminess of your pizza. It is a full-bodied white wine, and it gives the body and structure that supports the pizza density. In addition, cream-based pizza sauces will elevate the natural creamy notes of Chardonnay, where the creaminess of the taste is not because of oaking but because of malolactic fermentation responsible for imparting cream and butter flavors.
Chardonnay adds notes of peach, pear, pineapple, lemon and passion fruit to your meal. But, of course, the best wine with pizza is the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay Wine.
3. Pinot Noir
- Stainless steel fermentation; no oak aging.
- Awarded Gold 91 points by Sommelier Challenge.
- Pairs well with shellfish, oysters on the half shell, mussels in a wine-based broth.
If you have a white pizza slice, you are about to indulge in and want a red wine, Pinot Noir is a good choice. Pinot Noir supports the pizza creaminess in two ways: First, the subtle red wine is nuanced, and it doesn't overwhelm your pizza the same way a wine like Australian Shiraz would. Secondly, the wine has its own earthy and herbaceous notes, and it works well to wine pairing with mushrooms and green herbs both in dried and fresh, often found in pizza.
Pinot Noir is among the most highly-prized wines globally because the grape is weak, difficult to grow, and suffers from several diseases with genetics that make it liable to mutation. With these challenges, you should expect to pay more for a bottle of good Pinot Noir than you would with other red wines. However, if you want the best pizza and wine with Pinot Noir, you can try Line 39 Pinot Noir.
4. Sauvignon Blanc
- Marlborough, New Zealand
- A slow, temperature controlled fermentation is undertaken and after a short period of...
- Enticing citrus notes and tropical flavours – youthful, elegant and fresh with a...
- Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect food match for summery salads, fresh seafood and...
Salad pizza has gained popularity these days where salad greens such as spinach are placed on a thin crust pizza. Therefore, you will need a pizza wine that can handle all the herbaceous and vegetal qualities because of all the green going on.
Sauvignon Blanc is a famous French white wine with unique grassy and peppery flavors and medium to medium-high acidity. The wine pairs perfectly with other herbs such as fresh basil, parsley and dill and the acidity makes a good match with the creaminess of the cheese and an artichoke's flavor.
It is a good pizza wine with green flavors like kiwi, green apple and lime. In addition, this wine adds an element of tart acidity to keep your mouth refreshed in between pizza bites. Oyster Bay Sauvignon is a perfect example of this pizza wine pairing.
- Deep red wine blend characterized by vibrant cherry and red berry fruit notes
- Chianti wine features velvety tannins, firm acidity and a lingering finish of rosemary
Chianti is among the most classic wine and pizza pairing, and if you have not tried it, you should on your next pizza night. The wine is made in Italy from the Sangiovese grape, and a good Chianti will be spicy and savory with red fruits, balsamic vinegar, leather notes, bitter herbs and smoke.
It is a perfect pairing, and some customers say they feel like they are drinking an olive when sipping these wines. Choose a Chianti Classico that is at least 80% Sangiovese or choose a Brunello di Montalcino that is 100% Sangiovese. An example of a Chianti you can try is the Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico.
What are the Common Types of Pizza?
a). Margherita Pizza
Margherita Pizza is one of the classic cheese pizzas, and it includes a tangy tomato sauce and fresh basil. The best wine to pair with simple yet elegant pizza is zesty Pinot Grigio, as it's strong enough to match the pizza flavor without overpowering the taste. However, when enjoying a Margherita Pizza, it's better to avoid pairing wine with the Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz as they will likely overpower the subtle flavors.
b). Meat Lover's Pizza
The meat lover's pizza combines sausage and pepperoni, creating a spicy meat combination. The bold pizza will need a rich wine to match the cheesy richness of this classic pizza, and the best wines for a meat lover's pizza are Syrah or Merlot. To stand up to the intense meat flavor, it is necessary to get a bold wine with a high tannin profile. However, it would be better to avoid white wine with pizza pairing as the meat will overpower its taste.
c). Pepperoni Pizza/ Sausage Pizza
Pepperoni Pizza is a fav for many people, and it can be found in all pizza shops around the globe. The best wines for this pepperoni pizza are a Syrah, Cabernet Franc or a classic Italian Chianti. At the same time, it's heavy enough to cut through the richness of a pepperoni flat flavor profile. However, you should avoid a pepperoni pizza wine pairing with white wines and a Rosé.
d). Hawaiian Pizza
Hawaiian Pizza is a controversial pizza choice, and it combines salty pork and sweet juicy pineapple, and it is also known as pineapple pizza. Even though it's not your traditional pizza, some people enjoy it. The best pizza pairing with Hawaiian pizza, which is sweet and savory, is a Riesling which will match the pineapple sweetness and the saltiness of the ham. However, avoid pizza wine pairings with rich Italian reds such as Merlot or Shiraz as their sweetness overpowers.
e). Vegetarian Pizza
Veggie pizza is a good food option to indulge in without caring about the heaviness and calories, and this healthy pizza includes peppers, mushrooms, olives, and other favorite vegetables. It makes a great pairing with a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as the pizza wine matches the light body of the vegetables and enhances the flavor combination. However, avoid full-bodied red wines such as Merlot or Shiraz when pizza wine pairing.
f). White Pizza
White pizza is a cheese pizza made from creamy sauce instead of the usual tomato sauce base, and removing the tomato sauce opens up plenty of possibilities. The best wines for white pizzas wine pairing are Champagne or a Prosecco as they lighten the heaviness from the cheese pizza. However, when pizza wine pairing, avoid reds overpowering your white pizza.
g). Salad Pizza
A salad pizza is a healthy pizza option for vegans or people who prefer a healthier option to the heaviness of a traditional pizza. A salad pizza is just like it sounds: a fresh bunch of green, usually arugula and spinach covered with a vinaigrette on top of a pizza crust. The best wine pairing for this salad pizza is a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc, as it will match the acidic taste of the salad pizza. However, avoid red wines, as they will interfere with the delicate flavors of the greens.
Which is Better with Pizza? Red or White Wines?
Traditionally, pizza has a thin crust with melted cheese and tomato sauce and based on this ingredient profile, the white pizza calls for a sparkling red wine. Regardless of the toppings, pizza is earthy with a doughy and yeasty crust, and it's a heavier meal when compared to foods like salads.
While the full-bodied white wines, champagne, and sparkling wine are generally delicious with the right pizza, you generally look at red wine. Regardless of the toppings, pizza has an earthy fare that is better with red wine than white wine, especially when served chilled, and it is welcomingly refreshing.
High Acidity + Moderate Tannin
Now that you have decided the color of your wine with pizza, the other thing to account for is the fat in the melted cheese. To contrast this, your go-to should be a medium-high to high acidity, and then there are tomatoes.
Since tomatoes are high in acidity, you will need a fairly high-acid wine, and you should avoid the reds that are high in tannin as the tomato flavor and tannin combination can be very metallic. In addition, high acidity helps balance the fat in the cheese, and it stands up to the acidity in the tomatoes and highly acidic foods balanced with salty foods. Notably, pairing wine high in acidity will work well with salty cured meats such as pepperoni pizza.
You will know the wine is acidic if:
- It feels light in weight than other wines
- It causes a tingle sensation in your mouth
- It makes your mouth feel wet
Tannins are the bitterness and dryness of wine or its ability to make you pucker, and the tannins usually come from the stems, skins and seeds of grapes used to make the wine. Red wines tend to have a high amount of tannins, and you will know you are tasting tannins when:
- The wine tastes bitter
- Your tongue dries out
- You remain with a dry bitter feeling in your mouth after you swallow.
What are The Tips to Help you Decide on the Best Wine for Pizza?
These wine pairings are for the traditional pizza types, but if you prefer the more adventurous pizza toppings, you can still find a better wine pairing for your pizza. Notably, there are a few tips to help you decide on the best wine to enhance your favorite pizza.
- Red wine matches best with red meat
- White wine matches best with seafood
- Wine should be sweeter than your pizza toppings
- Wine should be less acidic than other pizza flavors
- Full and medium-bodied red wine goes well with fatty meats
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Wine for Pizza
If you are already hungry and want to start date night, choose your pizza wine as quickly as possible. Once you know which flavors are on your pizza, you will be ready to pick the best wine that will enhance its qualities.
To enjoy your pizza and wine, there are various factors to look out for, including:
1. Toppings: What toppings do you want on your pizza? Are you choosing a vegetarian pizza or a meat-centric pizza?
2. Sauce: It is important to know the type of sauce your pizza will have. Will it be tomato sauce or creamy-based? Do you intend on adding a lot of garlic to your pizza?
3. Cheese: Do you want a cheese pizza, and what kind of cheese do you want on your pizza? Is it Feta or Mozzarella cheese or maybe a grated Parmesan cheese?
4. Herbs: Do you want your pizza to be covered with herbs like basil, parsley or oregano?
What are Important Terms to Know When Wine Pairing?
These are wines with over 13.5% alcohol, and they feel heavier in your mouth. They are mostly red.
These wines feel fuller in your mouth than the light wines, but they are not as full as full-bodied wines. These wines have between 12.5% alcohol and 13.5% alcohol.
c). Oaked or unoaked
Oaked wines are the ones that have been aged in oak barrels, whereas the unoaked wines are usually aged in steel barrels. An oak barrel affects the flavor of the wine.