Pizza is a big part of modern living, and many can’t even imagine their lives without it at least once per week. When it comes to drinks and pizza, a big percentage of the people opt for coke, beer, or some other soft drink.
Serving pizza with wine may not be as popular as pizza and beer, but that’s okay. Simultaneously, just because wine is not the default drink served with pizza, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a try.
If you match the right wine with the right pizza, you can elevate your pizza experience to another level. The most important considerations when matching pizza with wine are sauce and topping. Considering that pizza is a heavier meal, red wine pairing is the obvious choice. But then again, pizza has evolved a lot throughout time, which means white wines can be a pretty good match as well.
In any case, here is a selection along with their pizza matches.
#1 Dry rosé
Dry rosé is best matched with a lightly flavored pizza such as Margherita. The rosé wine is so light that it perfectly supports the basil while at the same time packs a stronger punch than white wine to deal with the acidity coming from the sauce. Some of the most common flavors associated with rosé wine are citrus zest, strawberry, honeydew melon, and rose petals. All of them are complementary to the simplicity of pizzas, such as Margherita.
#2 Syrah & Grenache
These red wines contain enough acidity to stand against the tomato sauce while at the same time contain enough tannin to enable sufficient structure to each sip. But know that too much tanning doesn’t play well with pizza because it can produce a not so pleasant metallic taste. In addition to the Syrah and Grenache, you might consider Mourvèdre and GSM blends as they are also well balanced and contain the right amount of tannin.
Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine that goes nicely with pretty much any pizza. Thanks to its bubbles, you can clear the cheesy richness from your mouth. It plays perfectly into pizza’s savoriness.
#4 Pinot Noir
If you got a white pizza with mushrooms and white sauce waiting for you to fill your belly, and your mouth is dry for some red wine, then Pinot Noir should be your first choice. Pinot Noir is best suited because of its earthy and herbaceous notes that pair well with the mushrooms.
Chianti is great with pretty much every pizza. But if there is one pizza that feels like made for pairing with Chianti, then that must be a vegetarian pizza with fresh herbs. A well-made Chianti is spicy as it is savory with leather and herb notes. That’s why it goes so well with veggie pizza. The best Chianti for pairing with pizza is Chianti Classico, made from a minimum of 80% Sangiovese.
If you are into cream-based pizza, then Chardonnay wine is a textbook match. This full-bodied wine perfectly supports pizza’s density. At the same time, the creamy sauces tend to elevate the Chardonnay’s natural notes.
#7 Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is the ideal match for a salad pizza in which greens such as arugula and spinach are stacked on top of the pizza. Sauvignon Blanc is a good pair because it can deal with the vegetal qualities. Furthermore, thanks to its tart acidity, your mouth will always be fresh between each bite.
A full-bodied wine such as Syrah is an excellent pair with a pizza loaded with vegan meats. That’s the case because veggie meats often include spices such as oregano, thyme, anise, and fennel, to reinforce the flavor. At the same time, Syrah matches these savory profiles by adding its fruit flavors of blueberry, plum, and olive.
Fans of salty and sweet pizza, such as pineapple pizza, will find the perfect match in Riesling. The sweetness of the Riesling matches the sweetness of the pineapple, which makes it a good pair.
#10 Beaujolais cru
Thanks to its earthiness, Beaujolais cru is the perfect wine for pizza packed with potatoes and mushrooms. Beaujolais cru is a quite affordable light red wine, which is good to know, yet at the same time, it way better than Beaujolais Nouveau.
Still looking for inspiration? Check out the FineWineMaster guide to top 10 white wine varieties if you’d like to pair a white wine with your pizza, or our sister article top 5 red wine grape varieties if you’d prefer red!