Pizza and wine were made for each other, but not just any bottle of red, white or rosé can complement the iconic dish.
When choosing a type of wine to pair with one of Italy’s most famous exports, you must consider the toppings, sauces and cheeses you’ll be eating.
It’s crucial that the bottle you choose enhances the flavors of the pie, instead of clashing with them.
If you’re a sausage or pepperoni fan, a strong Italian red with dark fruits will complement the meaty dish. The tannins in most strong red wines will balance out the high fat content in meat toppings and provide more depth to the meal. Mille Gradi Sangiovese or Poggiotondo Chianti are wonderful choices when paired with meat-covered pizzas.
If you enjoy your pie topped with vegetables like peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, or other veggies, consider a light white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. The bright, acidic nature of wines like the Crossings or Decoy by Duckhorn will complement the light ingredients on a veggie pizza.
A mushroom pizza is paired best with a champagne or Prosecco. The delicacy of bubbles like La Marca Prosecco won’t take away from the deep, umami flavors of a mushroom pizza and can highlight the earthiness of the fungi.
Pinot Noir or Chardonnay are the go-to pairings for white with garlic pizzas. A white pizza is one of the richest and most indulgent pizza selections you can chose and usually topped with herbs.
You will want to select wines that enhance the creaminess of the cheeses and work well with the herbaceous ingredients that are generally used. Candoni or Chalk Hill are suggested.
When trying different varieties and blends of wine, you’ll learn what flavor combinations your palate likes best when pairing with pizza.
Hector Godinez is culinary manager for Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.