The Best Wine for Pairing with Pizza

Are you into drinking wine with every meal—even when that meal is pizza? If so, you may be interested to find out just what types of wine are best for different varieties of pizza. Below, we’ll list some of the most common and popular pizza toppings and combinations out there and give you an idea of which wines you might want to stock up on before making (or ordering) your favorite. Wow your friends and family at your next party by showing off your wine knowledge in an unexpected way!

  1. Plain Cheese Pizza
    You might not have ever even considered having a glass of wine with plain cheese pizza before, but you should give it a try—you’ll be surprised at just how nicely the two pair together. After all, wine has been being paired with cheese for centuries, so why not throw a few extra pizza ingredients into the mix with that pairing and see what happens? Pick up a plain cheese pizza and don’t forget to grab a nice Syrah or Shiraz to go with that. A Chianti might be a better option depending on the type of cheese you’re working with, too. Stick to wines with a medium body for best results, and don’t forget to try a glass of champagne with a plain cheese pizza sometimes too, especially if it’s a white pizza.
  2. Sausage Pizza
    Sausage comes in many different varieties, and depending on the type of sausage you’re using in your pizza, you may want to go with a couple of different wines. In the end, however, sausage is almost always a fatty and flavor-packed topping for pizzas that will require a bold wine to pair with it. Sausages often contain fennel, which tastes especially nice with bold red wines, and oregano, which goes well with any mild to intense wine options out there. For this reason, we recommend going with a Syrah in most sausage pizza situations. However, if your pizza also contains other types of meat, you might prefer to choose a Cabernet Sauvignon instead. Consider the toppings as a whole to make this decision.
  3. Pepperoni Pizza
    One of the most classic types of pizza out there, the pepperoni pizza goes great with a few different types of wine. Pepperoni has an overpowering flavor that may not go well with mild wines, and it’s greasy and generally the most noticeable part of any pizza it may be on. Because of all this, you should stay away from all but the strongest wines out there if you’re working with pepperoni on your pizza. A Cabernet Franc is a good choice for pepperoni-only pizza, but go with a Cabernet Sauvignon if there are other meat toppings on the pizza as well. You might also be able to get away with using a Shiraz for this type of pizza, but choose wisely if you go this route.
  4. Hawaiian Pizza
    With its unique combination of Canadian bacon and pineapple on a traditional cheese pizza, a Hawaiian pizza poses some challenges when it comes to picking the right wine. However, the savory flavors of the salty Canadian bacon and the sour taste of the pineapple are both nicely offset by a sweeter wine, so you can’t go wrong with a Riesling. You might not think it’s best to pair a Riesling with any type of meat, but it actually works very well with this particular combination of toppings. Best of all, it’s also fairly acidic, so it will make the pineapple really pop with every bite. If you’re not a fan of Riesling, you can always go with a sweet and juicy red wine, like a Zinfandel, to get a similar effect.
  5. Veggie Lovers Pizza
    The good old veggie lovers pizza is often topped with any number of vegetables ranging from common pizza finds (olives, mushrooms, tomatoes) to more unique options (broccoli florets, salad greens, carrots). You’ve got to look for a wine that will work with the types of vegetables you’ll be eating. If your veggie pizza contains salad greens, chances are you’re going to have a little bit of a tart or bitter flavor in every bite, so pick a wine that will work with this. A Sauvignon Blanc is a good call for a pizza with salad greens. A more traditional veggie pizza with mushrooms or olives needs a milder wine to balance out these strong flavors, so go with something like a Chardonnay instead.
  6. Chicken Pizza
    Picking the right type of wine to go with a chicken pizza is all about knowing what kind of chicken pizza you’re dealing with. If it’s a general grilled chicken pizza without a lot of other flavors going on, a white wine like a Pinot or even a good old-fashioned glass of champagne is a nice touch. However, if you’re pairing wine with a barbecue chicken pizza instead, you should stick to something that will go with the smoky flavors of barbecue without overpowering the chicken. Malbec is a good choice here, because it’s sweet enough to go nicely with barbecue sauce and mild enough that you will still be able to taste the chicken when you enjoy these two together.
  7. Tomato Basil Pizza
    Also sometimes known as Margherita pizza, this is very popular and common combination of fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and juicy tomatoes. It’s a favorite among many, but it’s got a lot of flavors going on that may make it challenging to find the right wine to pair it with. There are many different fats in this type of pizza—from the variety of cheeses present—so you’re going to want to go with a lighter wine to help balance out the heavier flavors going on in the meal. For this reason, we recommend sticking with a rosé whenever possible. Not everyone is going to be a fan of this type of wine, but it is the perfect match for Margherita pizzas—especially when served for brunch!

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