Pizza and wine: Not a natural marriage

Pizza is actually a tough dish to pair with wine. In fact, most Italians drink beer with their pizza rather than wine, and for good reason. Pizza is primarily bready, yeasty, fermented bread. Beer is mostly … well, yeasty fermented grains. The two match up wonderfully based on the bridge of yeasty, grainy flavors that each has.

 

Having said that, pizza is often greater than the sum of its parts. For a basic pizza, the combination of acidic tomato sauce and creamy cheese calls out for a wine with good acidity and plenty of fruit. A fine Sangiovese or Barbera are the usual recommendations, which work well with this style of pizza. The flavors and texture of the wines tend to mirror that of the pizza.

 

Keep adding ingredients and you’ll generally want to move up to a more intense wine. Richer examples of Sangiovese and Barbera work well with things like sausage and pepperoni, but also open the doors to wines like Zinfandel and Malbec, which work well with intense, meaty flavored pizzas.

 

If you’re looking at a pizza with peppers on it, something with a green edge, either Cabernet Franc for a red of Sauvignon Blanc for a white would work well, again mirroring some of the flavors of the pizza.

 

Mushrooms, or exotic cheese on a pizza will call for an assertive wine with aged flavors that can work with the savoriness. Consider a Rioja Reserva or Chianti Riserva as a good choice, or even better a nice mature bottle of Nebbiolo would really do the trick here!

 

(Source: SNOOTH)

 

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