What Wines Go With Pizza? 10 Picks of Amazing Pairings.
A masterpiece of the Italian tradition that conquered the hearts of millions of people, pizza is now considered a national food in more than one country. We often serve it with beer, but the truth is Italian master chefs suggest pairing it with wine. But what wines go with pizza?
Italy is known for both the delicious food and exquisite wines; and since pizza originates in this country, it only makes sense pairing it with fine Italian wines.
Check out my top 10 suggestions of amazing pairings below and don’t be afraid to replace the wine with a similar beverage if you find it hard or too expensive to source it.
Pizza – A Very Brief History
The first pizza in the world was a classic Margherita made from simple dough, tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella cheese. It is believed the dish was invented in the nineteenth century and soon people started topping it with different ingredients.
We all know baked pizza, but the fried pizza is another exquisite dish capable of delighting the palate.
Although many believe the dough and ingredients of a pizza pair better with beer, the truth is pizza, and wine is an amazing combination.
Trying to stay as true as possible to the Italian tradition, my selection of pizza includes variants served in the sunny European country I’m sure you’ll like.
10 Wines To Pair With Pizza
Margherita and Chardonnay
Margherita is the classiest pizza, the first to ever be baked. Characterized by a decisive flavor of tomato, this delicacy goes heavenly with the fruity and light notes of a good Chardonnay. Delicate, elegant, and tasty, this wine complements the delicate and slightly acidic flavors of the dish.
The Margherita is the quintessential Neapolitan pizza topped with just tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
Although it seems simple, it is the most complex to make, and only the hands of the best pizza makers are capable of harmonizing these simple ingredients in a tasty mixture. Try this pairing in a good pizzeria, and I promise it won’t disappoint.
Marinara and Barbera d’Asti
Another classic that’s even simpler than the pizza above, Marinara contains only garlic, oil, oregano, and tomato. This is a difficult match with most wines, mainly because garlic can be a very picky ingredient.
Nonetheless, there is a wine able to enhance the taste of this pizza in a burst of flavor. And that wine is called Barbera d’Asti.
This splendid red wine has a full body similar to Merlot but is characterized by an intense harmony that complements the taste of this pizza without being too intrusive.
Capricciosa and Sangiovese
One of the most popular pizzas in Italy, the original Capricciosa is often made with a variety of ingredients but can’t miss the artichokes, mushrooms, and baked ham. This rich pizza combines flavors difficult to match in another context and needs adequate wine.
Your best bet is red, and from all reds, Sangiovese represents the perfection.
This fragrant red wine has a complex structure and blends a wealth of aromas that match perfectly with the complex structure of a Capricciosa.
Diavola and Amarone della Valpolicella
Diavola pizza is nothing but the traditional variant of the beloved pepperoni. It features a type of very spicy salami enriched with tomato sauce and mozzarella. It’s hard to find someone who says no to this goodness, but the rich flavor of pepperoni needs a matching wine.
The Amarone della Valpolicella is perhaps the best. This beverage waves an intense dialog with the pizza, complementing its spicy notes with an incredible balance and body.
The vague fruit echoes and a robust finish soften the impact of the pepperoni, giving your dinner a twist that is hard to match.
Carrettiera and Bonarda
Pizza Carrettiera is topped with sausage and broccoli and before you say no, give this goodness a bite. This is one of the most flavorful pizzas despite the quite unusual choice of ingredients, and often lacks the tomato sauce, which results in a perfect harmony of this dish.
The ingredients of this pizza are the expression of the most rustic cooking, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of Bonarda.
This wine brings balance to the pizza, pairing with the fatty aftertaste of the sausage and enhancing the flavors of the veggies, outlining the perfect success of this combination.
Cheese Pizza and Sparkling Pinot
In case you were wondering, sparkling wines go with pizza, as long as you pick your ingredients wisely.
The exuberance and fullness of a sparkling Pinot Brut, for example, pair amazingly with the fatty cheese pizza. Pick your pizza in the Italian style, with a mix of four or more cheeses that complement and enhance one another.
The usual absence of tomato in this kind of pizza widens the possible wine choices, although a Brut will always be your best bet. As for the cheeses, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan blends, together with another type of cheese at your choice, will provide the greatest taste.
Anchovies Pizza and Pinot Grigio
This one is not for the faint-hearted. The anchovies pizza is a classic, but the strong flavor of fish could be too much for some. Nonetheless, I love this kind of pizza. Topped with tomato, salted anchovies, capers, oregano, and virgin olive oil, this dish is an expression of perfection.
Classic ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine, this pizza goes wonderfully with a classic Italian Pinot Gris.
This elegant Pinot comes with an intriguing fragrance and intense charm. Marked aromas of fruit soften the flavors of this bold pizza, adding balance and freshness to the dish.
Ham & Mushroom and Barbaresco
Another popular pizza is the prosciutto e funghi, or ham and mushroom. Tomato sauce and mozzarella complete this delight, giving this rustic and tasty pizza an interesting twist. Tasting this pizza is simply charming in fall when the flavors of the topping blend with the aromas in the air.
This rich and intense topping asks for a wine bold enough to complement its aromas but mild enough to not obscure the taste of the pizza.
A splendid pairing comes from Piedmont. The red Barbaresco impresses with a full, persistent, and complex aroma. The imposing flavors of the wine go perfectly with this significant dish.
Vegetable Pizza and Merlot
Don’t be fooled by the lack of meat in this dish. The vegetable pizza is not just a great choice for the vegetarians, it can actually satisfy the taste buds of the greatest foodies. This is a real treat combining a flavored vegetable pan with aromas of garlic and herbs.
There are no fixed ingredients and this pizza change with the seasonality. Yet, this dish always tells a story of authentic flavors which can only be enhanced by an authentic, flavorful wine.
As odd as it may seem, Merlot is an interesting choice. Choose an exclusive Gold Label from Tuscany to see how the full body of red wine can complement the taste of this pizza.
Olive Pizza and Primitivo
Wine and a pizza that perhaps is unknown outside their country but that bring surprising flavors to the table. The olive pizza combines the Neapolitan tradition with the rich flavors of Apulia combining peasant ingredients like onions, black olives, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
Sweet and spicy at the same time, this combination creates a tantalizing taste balanced by the fuller taste of the olives.
Since these ingredients are characteristic to Apulia, we can only pair this pizza with an Apulian wine. Primitivo is a fine example of a rich and versatile beverage and one of the most exquisite reds. Just taste this pairing to discover an unforgettable combination.