It’s been a long week, and you simply don’t feel like cooking. There’s nothing more comforting than ordering pizza from your favorite takeout spot. Or maybe you’re just pulling a frozen pie out? Now comes the fun part: pairing your delicious pizza with wine. But which to choose?
Don’t wait for an important event to dust off that bottle of Cava or hearty red. The low brow/high brow combination of a slice of pizza oozing with melted cheese paired with a fancy bottle of wine makes for some Friday night perfection.
Here are some of the best wines to pair with pizza:
PIZZA & WINE PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
- Sparkling Wine & Mushroom
- Italian Reds & Pepperoni
- White Wine & Veggie
- Fruity & Hawaiian
- Aged & Anchovy
- Aromatic & Cheesy
- …and more
No matter the variety, bubbles with pizza is an unexpecting pairing that really hits the spot. The most exaggerated combo when it comes to posh-drinks-meet-comfort-food, there’s nothing better than drinking a glass of sparkling wine on the most mundane of evenings: a relaxing night at home. And with pizza! The delicate effervescence won’t take away from the bold flavors of the pizza, and highlights the earthiness of the mushrooms.
If you’re a sausage and pepperoni pizza fan, crack open a bottle of strong Italian red, like a Sangiovese or Nebbiolo. It’s true that most strong red wines will perfectly combine with those meaty flavors, (if a California Cab is all you’ve got, go for it) but keeping with the Italian theme always adds a bit of fun to a pizza night in. Salute!
If you’re into peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes or other veggies on your pizza, consider a light white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or branch out with an Austrian Grüner Veltliner. The fresher, crisper taste will perfectly pair with the subtleness of the vegetables and the mozzarella cheese.
A crisp, fruity white blend will highlight the fruity tones of the pineapple and complement the salty ham. A great choice is Vinho Verde from Portugal. This zesty, acidic and friendly white wine typically has a light sparkle, which also brings out the bold flavors in this unique style of pizza. Certain rosés can also highlight the juxtaposition between the sweet pineapple and the salty ham. Ideal Rosé expressions to consider range from Provence, France to Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Anchovies are salty, fishy and strong, so an aged red works best to hold its own alongside these bolder flavors. Consider wines from Spain’s Rioja region or an oaked, dry Argentinian Malbec. Both are often aged long enough to contain tertiary flavors that counter the intense taste of this cured pizza topping.
Sometimes, the simplest of pizzas is the most complicated when it comes to wine pairing. Cheese pizza has few ingredients, but is often more acidic because of the tomato sauce. Since the flavor isn’t super intense, a light or medium-bodied red matches the vibe perfectly. A French Pinot Noir or a South African Pinotage are both light enough to not overpower a pizza with simple, delicious ingredients, but are acidic enough match, and to cut through the oil and grease the melted cheese adds. If you’re eating a heavier style of cheese pizza, go bolder with a Washington State Merlot.
But drink what you love with any pizza
While wine can be complicated, pizza is easy. It’s a comfort food perfect for when you simply don’t have the time or energy to make or order anything else.
So, don’t sweat your wine pairing too much. Try different varieties and blends and see what best brings out the flavors of your elected toppings. Pull out whatever you have at home and taste test, it’s often a fun experiment. And don’t worry — if you’d prefer to save your wine to pair with a lightly seared salmon or hearty steak, beer is also a perfect match for any kind of pizza.
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