Pizza. Wine. Can anyone name a better duo? We’ll wait…
Pizza and wine, both red and white, are staples in our house. They represent comfort and security. They feel like home. Pizza and wine evoke the same feeling as cozying up under a warm blanket while watching Law & Order: SVU, and that’s probably because it’s our favorite way to consume both of those things.
Whether you’re a homebody having a pizza party of 1, enjoying slices with friends or are gathering a whole crew to do a little pizza-wine tasting, we’ve got the perfect pairings for every pizza, from tried-and-true tastes like Chardonnay and Rose to more obscure varietals like Montepulciano and Cabernet Franc. Remember, it all comes down to the toppings, so be sure you know what you’re ordering before you pick a wine.
Show off your wine knowledge, baby, because we’re coming for you!
What to Consider When Pairing Pizza and Wine
The most important things to think about when pairing wine with pizza are a. pizza toppings and b. sauce. There are moments to keep it classic, and ones to be adventurous, so be sure you’re considering these details when a, like whether your pizza has a traditional tomato-based sauce or something more creamy, or whether it’s a simple cheese pizza or loaded with Italian meats.
Are Red Wines or White Wines Better with Pizza?
Whether red wine or white wine pairs better with pizza completely depends on the above – what toppings and what sauces you have on your pizza! Traditionally, when you think of pizza you think of red wine and red sauce, but pizza is incredibly versatile and there are many options that pair nicely with wine wine, rose wine and even sparkling wine.
Pizza and Wine Combinations
We were born to be matchmakers, so it’s only right that we pair types of wine with pizza toppings, creating a perfect marriage between the two. Check out which flavors have met their match in the ever-flowing wine pool. We’ve considered everyone from meat lover’s to vegetarians to vegans, too.
Here’s the only list you will ever need for your next dinner party. We’re telling you exactly which wines to pair with which kind of pizza including pepperoni, sausage and chicken as well as cheese, white pizza, margherita, roasted veggie and the sinless salad pizza.
You are welcome in advance.
Cheese Pizza + Montepulciano
When it comes to a classic cheese pizza, you want something with acidity and an intense flavor that pairs well with a red sauce. Enter: Montepulciano. This grape varietal is grown in Italy, east of Rome, so they clearly know what they’re doing when it comes to pizza pairings. You’ll be able to fully enjoy the delicate mozzarella cheese and gently spiced marinara sauce with this wine varietal.
Pepperoni Pizza + Cabernet Franc
Pepperoni is a hella strong flavor — beef, pork and sometimes, chicken that’s loaded with spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder and sugar. Because it’s high in fat, it’s best to partner with a strong wine that counterbalances the effect but stands on equal footing. Cabernet Franc, which is similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon but is a French grape, does just the trick with its full-bodied yumminess. Spicy, bold, reds, baby. Hear them roar.
Margherita Pizza + Rose
Margherita, made with light ingredients like fresh basil, handmade mozzarella, tomato sauce and an airy crust, needs a soft, gentle co-star. Rose has a crisp, refreshing flavor with hints of sweet and tart, so it’s the perfect compliment to a delicate pizza pie like this one. If you’re feeling crazy, make it a sparkling Rose. Those tingy tangy bubbles and subtle fruits are *chef’s kiss* perfection.
Sausage Pizza + Syrah
A bold, full-bodied Syrah has met its match in a spice-forward sausage. The dark, intense fruit flavors of Syrah, with notes of plum, olive, blackberry and blueberry, work incredibly well with rich meat, especially sausage that’s filled with fennel, anise, thyme and oregano. Sometimes, opposites attract, but in this case, we have a dreamy, double-alpha couple.
White Pizza + Chardonnay
Let’s chardonnay and get it on, baby. A white pizza, filled with rich, decadent cheeses including ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella and more, begs for a natural white wine, particularly one with creamy notes like Chardonnay. Bonus that this versatile wine thrives in an herbaceous environment, so those green herbs drizzled on top of your pie (read: oregano, basil, parsley, tarragon) will have your taste buds dancing.
Salad Pizza + Sauvignon Blanc
Salad pizza is the ideal pizza when you want to actually *have your salad* and eat it too. Leafy greens including spinach and arugula land atop a pizza pie and are tossed with a lemon, herb and olive oil vinaigrette. Sometimes you’ll find extra vegetables on top like onions, olives, mushrooms, green peppers, roasted peppers and more, as well as shaved parmesan, but generally, you’re looking at a salad that’s covering a crispy pizza crust. These tart, sweet and sour flavors have found a BFF in Sauvignon Blanc. The chilled white wine complements the salad while celebrating that beautiful crust.
Vegetable Pizza + Pinot Noir
Veggie-topped pizza calls for a light-bodied, chillable red, and the versatile Pinot Noir is just the ticket. This crisp, medium-bodied wine is as drinkable as they come, particularly when accompanied with lightly roasted vegetables and fresh greens like zucchini, broccoli, yellow squash, bell peppers, eggplant, kale, arugula and more. Finish that pizza with a little fresh basil, red pepper flakes and a little parmesan cheese for an extra kick. Your Pinot Noir was born ready for that zest.
Hawaiian Pizza + Riesling
Canadian bacon (or ham) and pineapple is the love-it-or-hate-it pairing that we just simply can’t ignore. If you’re a fan of this sweet and salty combination, you’re going to need something that enhances the sweetness but also balances the meaty flavor. What’s more is you need a palate cleanser to enjoy the next bite, since these particular toppings can be rich. Riesling understands the assignment, delivering an acidic, fruity flavor that’s semi-dry.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza + Malbec
Barbecue chicken tends to be sweet, smokey and spicy, so you’re going to need something with a big ole kick. A Malbec from Argentina is the ideal choice as this fruit-forward wine is both naughty and nice, with tasting notes of tobacco, dark chocolate, oak and vanilla. Pair it with a sweet BBQ sauce and you’ll be wanting another bottle or two to wash it down.
Time to organize a wine club with your friends and get to drinking, eating and cheesing!