Did you know that Italians traditionally pair their favorite pizza with a glass or two of delicious wine? This combination may not seem obvious at first to other wine fans. However, it makes a lot of sense when examined more deeply.
The richness of a typical wine should blend well with the complex flavors and ingredients found on pizza. Let’s break down the 12 best wines for pizza, including the best brands and types for your favorite high-quality kind of pizza.
Other Italian food pairings you may be interested in: Lasagna, pasta or spaghetti.
Pizza And Wine Pairing Considerations
Pizza is a complex food type and requires a pretty careful balance between various ingredients.
For example, you may choose the traditional tomato sauce or a creamy white or pesto sauce.
The wine you choose will vary based on this choice, though most of the wines we found below typically paired best with tomato sauces. We note when other sauces work better for your wine.
As for toppings, the combination can vary and include very simple options or very rich and adventurous types.
For example, pepperoni and various meats provide a relatively simple range of tastes that fit well with most types of wines.
More diverse and dense options include mushrooms, olives, and even peppers.
But, again, try to find a wine that doesn’t overpower these sometimes complex tastes to avoid the issue. We’ll touch on each of these elements below to give you a better idea of what kind of wine you may enjoy the most with your pizza.
Before discussing these pairings, though, a debate must be settled: red wines vs. white wines.
You’re going to hear a lot of people make bold claims that only reds or whites go best with pizza. So we’re going to throw our hat into the ring and end this conflict once and for all.
Are Red Wines Or White Wines Better With Pizza?
So, are red wines or white wines better with pizza?
Well, that honestly depends on what type of pizza you prefer and how you prepare it.
The traditional Italian pizza with a thin crust, tomato sauce, and cheese is almost always paired with a bottle of red wine.
In Italy, they almost exclusively drink red wine with pizza. However, what about pizza in other parts of the world? How well does red wine blend with your thick, Chicago-style pizza? Pretty well, actually, and for several different reasons.
Even with a thicker and doughier crust (especially with a large number of toppings), red wine is likely to be a great option. It simply pairs well with this type of meat-rich and flavorful pizza option.
However, there are times when a bottle of white wine is a better choice for your pizza.
For example, American-style pizzas with a heavy array of vegetables often go best with a glass of white wine. That’s because whites typically bring out the flavors and textures of vegetables more thoroughly than a bottle of red wine.
Generally, then, a glass of red wine is probably the best type for a vast majority of pizzas.
It is mainly a good choice if you’re blending it with meats and tomato sauces and traditional cheeses, like mozzarella.
However, if you’re more into newer-style pizzas, such as alfredo sauces and other types, you may find yourself pulled towards a bottle of white wine.
So here’s a good hint: if you have a creamy sauce, like pesto, on your pizza, you need a glass of white wine. That simple guide should help you avoid making any bad wine selection choices.
12 Best Wines With Pizza
We tried a large variety of wine options to come up with the best wines to pair with pizza.
Our list includes 12 of the finest and most delicious wines on the market today! Each listing includes information about the wine, what kind of pizza pairs best with it, and a suggestion for the best option for your needs!
You can’t go wrong with this list if you’re a pizza and wine lover! Disclaimer: we are not associated with any of the wine brands or manufacturers suggested on this list.
Pizza: Mushroom, white sauce or green herbs
Pinot Noir is a relatively subtle and nuanced red wine that provides a wonderful sense of support for just about any food you eat.
It also contains some herbal and earthy undertones that pair well with many types of pizza. Our suggestion is to pair it with a mushroom-rich pizza or one with green herbs: vegetarians and vegans, take note!
And a bottle of 2017 Pinot Noir Anadel Gap Sonoma County should do the job just fine, thank you very much!
Pizza: Meat lover’s or chicken
Are you one of those pizza fans who need two or more meats piled high on each slice?
Then, a great Merlot should be a perfect pick for you! The tannins in this red wine should match the meat taste and texture, producing a unique sensation that works perfectly for any meat lover’s pizza.
It goes particularly well with sausage and pepperoni, though bacon and even chicken lovers will enjoy it!
A 2015 Merlot SBR Vineyard should hit the spot for most pizza fans.
Pizza: Cream-based sauces, chicken alfredo, cheese pizza or hawaiian
If you’re more of a white wine fan, you can’t go wrong with a Chardonnay for most types of cream-based pizza sauces.
For example, any kind of chicken alfredo pizza should go well with this type of wine.
It also pairs well with any cheese pizza, as it adds touches of lemon, pear, peach, passionfruit, and pineapple to the pizza. Hawaiian pizza fans will love a Chardonnay for their meals!
Try any Mumm Napa Chardonnay, particularly from 2015-2018.
Pizza: Cheese or vegetables
You might not immediately think of sparkling red wine as an excellent option for pizza.
However, Lambrusco’s sparkling texture bubbles so well that it enhances the richness of your cheese and makes your pizza more delicious.
We strongly suggest this for any cheese lover’s pizza or those with a rich variety of vegetables. The bubbly texture will help them pop in a way you can’t get otherwise.
Storchi “Pozzoferrato” lambruso should be an excellent option for most pizza tastes.
Pizza: Mozzarella cheese or pepperoni
What if you’re someone who likes their pizza simple and plain?
You can’t get enough mozzarella cheese paired with pepperoni and a thin crust. Is there a wine that works for your taste?
Of course! A California Zinfandel blends very well with the rich tomato texture of the sauce and should bring out the sugary texture of the tomato with ease.
It also pairs well with pepperoni and helps bring a little more kick to already potent meat.
Try a Ridge East Bench Zinfandel to get a delicious taste with your pizza.
GSM Blend (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre)
Pizza: Cheese pizza
Blending these three red wines is an excellent option for cheese pizzas, particularly if you don’t plan on adding a lot of other toppings to your pie.
The light tannins help balance the tomato sauce a little, as heavier tannins may counter the heavy sauce texture you get with a cheese pizza.
With your cheese pizza, you’ll get a variety of tasty flavors, including fruit, raspberry, cinnamon, blueberry, plum, and black olives. The brands you choose don’t matter much because you’ll be mixing flavors, but try to keep the brands consistent between each wine.
Pizza: Margherita or herb-based
If you’re someone who likes a lighter pizza (such as a thin crust of any type or the tasty subtlety of a Margherita pizza), you may enjoy a dry rose.
They produce a variety of strawberries, honeydew melon, citrus, and even rose petal taste for your pizza. All these tastes and textures blend perfectly with the decadent herbal Margherita pizza.
If you tend to enjoy more herb-based pizzas, this option is the best choice for your needs.
A Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose is an excellent choice for your needs.
Pizza: Vegan or vegetarian
Vegans and vegetarians take heart! There are plenty of excellent wines that go well with your specialty pizza.
For example, a Syrah blends beautifully with vegetarian and vegan meats by adding a richer texture that introduces spices like anise, thyme, oregano, olive, plum, and blueberry to your meats.
Even if you prefer an all-vegetable pizza with vegan-style cheese, this wine will still bring out its flavors perfectly.
Try an Onesta Mentida Red Blend for the best results.
Pizza: Salad pizza
Salad pizza: an increasingly popular trend that is taking the pizza world by storm and by surprise!
If you love layering rich salad greens on top of your pizza, including spinach and arugula, you’ll love a dry or sweet Sauvignon Blanc!
It brings out a subtly array of different flavors, blending well with lime, kiwi, and green apple aftertastes. The slightly tart texture will give your pie a bit more of a kick.
Try a Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017: you won’t be disappointed.
Pizza: Any pizza with fruit
Riesling wines remain incredibly popular for a reason: they’re diverse and blend well with many types of food.
For example, this semi-dry wine (we suggest a Poet’s Leap Riesling or an Eroica Riesling for pizza) should highlight sweeter pizza ingredients, such as pineapple, and produce a rich array of flavors.
So if you love fruit on your pizza, you need Riesling in your life. The wine’s acidic nature also helps cut through the density of pizza flavors.
Pizza: Any pizza
Buy a Basilica Caffagio Single Estate Chianti if you want to boost the taste and flavor of just about any pizza.
Chiantis provide a lovely savory and spicy taste that easily supports most meats, notably pepperoni. However, their undertone of red fruit, balsamic vinegar, smoke, leather, and herbs also help them blend well with a vegetable-rich pizza.
Few wines are as diverse as a Chianti with pizza! Find one with a blend of at least 80% Sangiovese to get the best results.
Beaujolais Cru Wines
Pizza: Cheese, meat or vegetable
Here’s another wine that produces a relatively dense and mushroom-style taste and texture when served with pizza.
It’s an excellent alternative for Pinot Noir if you’re not a fan of that wine or can’t afford a bottle of the best stuff. You usually don’t need the top brands when pairing pizza with wine, so don’t overspend if you can avoid it.
Any Cru from Moulin-a-Vent should be a great option for your pizza, whether you prefer cheese pizzas, meaty pizzas, or vegetable-rich options .
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