Pizza, in any form, is delicious. I mean, Americans eat 3 billion pizzas a year, so there's no denying that. When we think of a drink that goes well with pizza, we immediately think of beer. But while many beers pair well with many types of pizza, so does wine. Whether your crunchy treat of choice is a Meat Lovers, a Margherita, or a Veggie, trust me when I say that pairing it with the right vino will completely transform the way you eat pizza. So try following our guide to choose the best wine to pair with your favorite pizza and see for yourself.
Top Pizza and Wine Pairings
Margherita Pizza with a Dry Rosé, Beaujolais or Lambrusco
What wine goes best with margherita pizza? Margherita pizzas are known for their light and fresh ingredients, mozzarella, tomato and basil and their crispy crust, all in all a typical Italian dish. Since the flavor of this pizza is light, we want to pair it with an equally light wine that doesn't overshadow it, but still has the tanginess and fruit flavors to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, bringing out their sweetness. For this reason, margherita pizzas pair well with dry rosés, Beaujolais and Lambruscos (slightly sparkling wines).
Cheese Pizza with a Côtes du Rhône Grenache, Tempranillo or GSM Blends
Cheese pizzas can be quite creamy, and while this is a good thing, we need a wine with just the perfect amount of acidity to cut through the creaminess and balance it out. Grenache is a popular grape in southern Rhone, either alone or as part of the GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre) blend. It has a distinctive taste of red fruits and spices as well as the proper amount of tannins to cleanse your palate and give your bites structure. Tempranillo is a Spanish variety known for its savory qualities that will make a great wine pair for a cheese pizza.
Hawaiian Pizza with a Gewurztraminer, Prosecco, Pinot Gris or Riesling.
I know, Hawaiian isn't everyone's favorite and whether pineapple goes on pizza or not is a decades old debate. However if you enjoy this sweet and savory dish you're looking for a wine that can match the saltiness of the ham and the pineapple's sweetness. Prosecco is a sparkling wine that is made primarily for the Italian Glera grape that gives wines sweet in taste, with aromas of sweet fruit and honeysuckle. Pinot Grigio and Riesling are both light bodied wines with aromas of citrus and stone fruit.However, Rieslings have a significantly higher acidity. Finally, Gewurztraminers have aromas of rose petals and tropical fruits, full texture and low acidity. Each of these wines, while tasting different, will help balance the distinct flavors to pair perfectly with Hawaiian Pizzas.
Meat Lovers with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage or Malbec
A pizza like this definitely needs a strong red wine with high tannins that won't be overpowered by the flavors of the meat so it is definitely best to avoid white wines. An aged Cabernet Sauvignon, a South African Pinotage, or an Argentinian Malbec would be the best red wines with pizza. All of these wines have noticeable scents of red fruit and spices, full bodies, and a lot of tannins, which will go great with the fattiness of the meats and offer an incredible taste combination.
White Pizza with a Sauvignon Blanc, a Cava or Sekt Muscated or a Chardonnay from Chablis.
White pizzas are lighter and less acidic than the ones with tomato based sauces, therefore crisp white wines or even sparkling ones will pair nicely. Sauvignon Blancs are high in acidity and have a characteristic minerality. The terms "Cava" and "Sekt" both refer to sparkling wines. "Cava" is the term used in Spain and "Sekt" in Germany and Austria. A sparkling, higher quality Muscadet has notes of flinty minerality. Finally Chardonnays that come for Chablis are not oak-aged, thus they lack the "buttery" aromas that come from barrel aging that could make the whole experience unpleasantly creamy. All of these wines will cut through the creamy sauce on a white pizza, while also cleansing the palate before each bite.
Veggie Pizzas with a Dry Rosé, Gruner Veltiner or Sauvignon Blanc.
When it comes to veggie pizzas, the best wine to pair them with depends on the toppings. In general, a Gruner Veltiner goes well with veggie pizzas since it has spicy, white pepper, and mild vegetal notes that pair with vegetables. A dry rosé is also a good choice because it is not too strong to mask the tastes of the dish, but not too light to be lost in the bite. If you like peppers, olives, onions, and mushrooms on your pizza, a Sauvignon Blanc is ideal since its acidity will properly complement the variety of veggies.
Neapolitan Pizza with a Pinot Noir, Amarone, Chianti or Barbera d'Asti.
What kind of wine goes with Neapolitan Pizza? A Neapolitan pizza is similar to a Margherita in that it is simple and delicious. This typical Italian pizza goes well with Italian wines, as you might expect. Amarone della Valpolicella, or Amarone, is a full-bodied wine with rich aromas and strong overtones of red fruits, spices, and chocolate. Chianti is a medium-bodied, acidic wine with cherry and earth characteristics. Barbera d'Asti is a one-of-a-kind wine with an almost black hue and unique sour cherry aromas due to the Barbera grape. Try any of these wines with a Neapolitan pizza for the whole Italian experience, as their bright fruit scents will balance the acidity of the tomato and the creaminess of the mozzarella. However, if you don't feel like searching for Italian wines, a Pinot Noir will do just fine.
Pepperoni pizza with Zinfandel, Primitivo, Syrah or Meritage Blend.
If you like pepperoni pizzas, the wine to pair with is a medium-bodied, acidic wine that can balance the strong spice of the pepperoni. Zinfandel and Primitivo, sometimes called the Italian Zinfandel, are two very similar wines. They both have mild tannins and medium to high acidity that gives them a robust flavor, making them a great match for pepperoni pizzas. A Syrah is a terrific fit as well, but in a different way as it’s strong and full-bodied, with undertones of smokiness and pepper spice. It won't take away from the pepperoni's spiciness, but it will certainly intensify it. Finally, a Meritage blend is also an option. A Meritage blend is made up of two or more of the red "noble" Bordeaux grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Saint Macaire, Gros Verdot, and Carmenère. However, these wines are more expensive. If you want to serve them with your pizza, go for it, but if you don't want to break the bank, any of the other wines will still pair perfectly.
Pizza Wine Pairing Conclusion
Look, we always say it's important to drink what you like. However, if you are a fan of lots of varieties of wine then these are the perfect wine pizza pairings. Let us know your favorites. Also if you haven't been able to drink wine due to headaches, etc. we got your covered.