Choosing the Best Wine for Pizza

The best wine for pizza depends on what kind of pizza you are going to eat! Pizza and wine are a match made in heaven. There are many different types of pizza, which require different styles of wine. The best wine with pizza margherita might not be the same as the best wine for your pepperoni pizza. In fact, you can drink red, white and even sparkling wine with pizza.

Best wine for pizza next to a pepperoni pizza and olives

Published May 6th 2020

Pizza and wine are perfect partners. Pizza is very versatile, with countless different topping options. For this reason, there are many different wine styles that pair well with pizza. Red is the most popular wine pairing and usual choice, but white and sparkling can create lovely pizza pairings. In this guide you will learn how to pair wine with pizza, including our pairing suggestions for the seven most popular pizzas.

 

General guidelines when paring wine with pizza

A pizza traditionally consists of a thin, crispy dough with tomato sauce and melted cheese. Other than these base ingredients, numerous different toppings can be added. When pairing wine with pizza you must always take into consideration the basic ingredients of the dish. That is key to finding the best wine with pizza.

Choose a wine with high acidity

Wines with high acidity and moderate tannins are usually a good match with pizza. High acidity is key when finding a good wine for the pizza, because it balances the fat of the melted cheese. Also, tomatoes are naturally high in acidity which needs to be matched by the acidity in the wine. If the wine does not have enough acidity, it will taste flat and boring. Choose a wine with good freshness and enough acidity. Light or medium bodied red wines with fruity and earthy flavours are usually the best wines with pizza. Sangiovese with pizza is a classic pairing. Many people love a light-bodied Barbera or Pinot Noir with pizza.

Avoid very tannic wines

Regarding the tannins in the wine, try to avoid very tannic full-bodied wines. Lots of tannins, in combination with the delicate tomato sauce, can give a metallic taste and overwhelm the pizza flavours. That is the reason why many people prefer light or medium-bodied red wines with their pizza.

Red or white wine depends on the toppings

In general, red wines are the best choice for pizza, but it depends on the toppings. Sparkling wine and pizza can make a great pairing. Champagne and other sparkling wines with high acidity are delicious with lighter pizzas. Even full-bodied white wines with high acidity, such as Chardonnay, are delicious with cheesy pizzas.

Pizza Margherita with Prosecco

Pizza Margherita is the most classic pizza. This simple pizza consists of only the basic ingredients: dough, tomato sauce and cheese. The best wine with Pizza Margherita is a light red wine, such as Barbera or Pinot Noir. If you like the combination of sparkling wine and pizza, try a Prosecco or a Blanc de Noirs Champagne. The red fruit flavours in the wines go well with the tomato flavours. For the same reason, a dry rosé wine like Provence Rosé will also be a good choice for your Pizza Margherita. 

Pepperoni Pizza with Syrah

Pepperoni Pizza is one of the most popular pizzas. For a pepperoni pizza wine pairing, it is important to remember that this is a spicy pizza which needs to be balanced with a spicy and meaty wine wine. This pizza needs a rich wine with intense flavors to balance the flavourful and spicy pepperoni. A Syrah, Grenache blend or Sangiovese are perfect wine parings for pepperoni pizza.

White Pizza with Pinot Grigio

White pizzas are becoming increasingly popular. This style does not have any tomato sauce, only cheese. Therefore, the white pizza is best paired with a crisp white wine with high minerality. A Pinot Grigio or a Chablis are excellent wine choices for your white pizza. 

Hawaiian Pizza with Riesling

Hawaiian is a sweet and sour pizza with pineapple and bacon toppings. A versatile wine like Riesling perfectly pairs with the sweetness, acidity and the tropical flavours of the Hawaiian Pizza. The sweetness of the wine will elevate the flavours of the pineapple and it will taste delicious. Other wines that pair well with this pizza are Zinfandel, Lambrusco and Primitivo (commonly known as Zinfandel, called Primitivo when from Italy).

Meat Pizza with Sangiovese

Pizzas with lots of meat, charcuterie or sausages. For charcuterie wine pairing, it is important to think what kind of topping it is. In general, meaty toppings like salami, prosciutto and bresoala need a full-bodied wine with good acidity. The classic wine pairing with prosciutto pizza is Sangiovese, but a Nero d’Avola and Pinotage hold up to the richness of the meaty pizza.

Mushroom Pizza with Pinot Noir

A mushroom pizza has lots of umami and earthy flavours. The best wine for this type of pizza is a Pinot Noir. The acidity, fruitiness and earthy flavours of the wine will balance, but not overwhelm the delicate mushroom flavours. 

Veggie Pizza with Sauvignon Blanc

Pizza Vegetariana, often called Veggie pizza, can consist of all different types of vegetables, but usually onions, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms and olives. The best veggie pizza wine pairing is a crisp and herbaceous white wines or dry rosé wines. A Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice for your vegetarian pizza.

Enjoy your wine and pizza!