Best Wine to Drink with Pizza: Top Pairing Tips

When it comes to finding the best wine to drink with pizza, the right choice can elevate your meal to a new level. A bold Shiraz from the Barossa Valley pairs wonderfully with pepperoni or sausage pizza, bringing out the spiciness of the meat. Cheese pizza, on the other hand, shines when enjoyed with a light, fruity Pinot Noir.

best wine to drink with pizza
Best Wine to Drink with Pizza: Top Pairing Tips 7

Wondering if you can eat pizza with wine? Absolutely! For a classic Margherita pizza, a dry Rosé from the McLaren Vale provides the perfect balance without overwhelming the delicate tomato and basil flavours. If you prefer vegetarian pizza, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills is a fantastic option.

If you’re looking to impress with a more luxurious pairing, mushroom pizza fares remarkably well with a refreshing Sparkling Wine. Exploring how to pair wine with pizza can turn a casual meal into a delightful culinary experience. Discover the best wine to drink with pizza and transform your next pizza night into a celebration of flavour.

Understanding Wine Pairings with Pizza

best wine to drink with pizza
Best Wine to Drink with Pizza: Top Pairing Tips 8

Pairing wine with pizza can elevate your dining experience. By considering the basics of food and wine pairings and understanding the factors that influence these choices, you can select the perfect wine for any pizza.

The Basics of Wine and Food Pairings

Matching wine and food is all about finding harmony between flavours and textures. For pizza, this means choosing wines that complement the ingredients of the pizza without overpowering them. For a Margherita pizza, a light red wine like a Pinot Noir works well. Pizza with meat toppings like pepperoni pairs nicely with a Shiraz.

White wine can also be a good choice depending on the pizza type. For example, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc complements a veggie pizza. Some even prefer a sparkling wine like Prosecco for a more refreshing pairing, especially with lighter pizzas.

Factors Influencing Wine Pairing Choices

Several factors play a role in choosing the right wine for pizza. The toppings are crucial. Spicy toppings go well with wines that have high acidity and low tannins. A Grenache/Syrah blend meets this requirement. Cheese-heavy pizzas benefit from full-bodied wines like a Chardonnay.

You should also consider the crust. Thick, doughy crusts can handle bolder wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, while thin crusts are better with lighter wines. Another key aspect is the sauce. Tomato-based sauces match well with acidic red wines, whereas creamy white sauces pair beautifully with wines like Pinot Grigio.

Selecting Wine for Different Types of Pizza

best wine to drink with pizza
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Choosing the best wine to pair with pizza can elevate your dining experience. The right wine complements the flavours of different pizza toppings, creating a symphony of taste that can transform a simple meal into a gourmet delight.

Cheese Pizza Wine Selection

Cheese pizza is simple but delicious. The key is to pair it with a wine that enhances the creamy and tangy taste of the cheese. A young and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from Australia is an excellent choice. Its crisp acidity balances the richness of the cheese.

You might also consider a light-bodied Pinot Noir. This red wine has a subtle fruitiness that complements the mild flavours of cheese without overpowering them.

For a different experience, try a sparkling wine. The bubbles cut through the cheese’s creaminess, making each bite more refreshing.

Pepperoni Pizza and Wine Matches

Pepperoni pizza has bold, spicy flavours. It pairs well with wines that have enough strength to stand up to the spice. An Australian Shiraz is a superb option. Its deep, rich notes of dark fruit and pepper complement the smokiness of the pepperoni.

If you prefer white wine, go for a Chardonnay. Look for one that isn’t too oaky to avoid overwhelming the pizza’s flavours. The slight acidity and fruitiness of a well-balanced Chardonnay can enhance the taste of the pepperoni.

Another excellent choice is a Grenache/Syrah blend. The blend’s spiciness and fruitiness harmonise well with the pepperoni’s zest.

Matching Wine with Specialty Pizzas

Specialty pizzas, like seafood or veggie pizzas, require specific wine pairings. For veggie pizzas, a Riesling is perfect. Its light sweetness balances the earthiness of the vegetables, creating a pleasant contrast.

For seafood pizza, such as a prawn-topped pizza, choose a Semillon from Australia. Its fresh citrus notes and acidity complement the briny and sweet flavours of the seafood.

When it comes to meat-heavy pizzas like sausage or meatball pizzas, an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon works well. Its robust tannins and dark fruit flavours balance the richness of the meat, enhancing every bite.

Top Red Wine Choices for Pizza

best wine to drink with pizza
Best Wine to Drink with Pizza: Top Pairing Tips 10

If you’re looking to enjoy a delicious pizza night, pairing it with the right red wine can elevate your meal. Below are the best red wines to consider based on the type of pizza you’re having, including both versatile options and more robust choices for heartier dishes.

Versatile Red Wines for Any Pizza

For a pizza with a variety of toppings, you need a red wine that can match different flavours:

Shiraz is a great choice. Its fruit-forward profile and spicy notes make it suitable for pizzas topped with pepperoni or even vegetarian options. With its balanced tannins and acidity, Shiraz pairs well with tomato sauce without overpowering it.

Pinot Noir is another versatile option. Look for an aged Pinot Noir with at least five years, which can provide a subtle earthiness that complements mushroom or truffle pizzas. The wine’s high acidity and light body make it suitable for many types of pizzas, from Margherita to meat-laden pies.

Full-Bodied Reds for Hearty Pizzas

When you’re indulging in a pizza with rich, meaty toppings, a full-bodied red wine is ideal:

Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre (GSM) blend is a fantastic option. Known for its bold flavours and smooth tannins, this blend can handle spicy sausages and pepperoni. Originating from regions like the Barossa Valley, these wines balance well with hearty pizzas.

Cabernet Sauvignon is another excellent choice for meat lovers. Its rich tannins and deep fruit flavours complement pizzas with BBQ meats or substantial cheese. A well-aged Australian Cabernet Sauvignon can elevate the experience by adding layers of complexity to each bite.

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White Wine Options When Dining on Pizza

best wine to drink with pizza
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Choosing the right white wine for your pizza can elevate the dining experience. Whether you prefer something light and crisp or need to match more flavourful toppings, there are excellent Australian varietals to consider.

Light and Crisp Whites

A light and crisp white wine pairs beautifully with simpler pizzas. Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice, with its bright acidity and citrus notes complementing toppings like mozzarella and basil. Another good option is Riesling, which offers delicate floral aromas and a clean, refreshing finish.

A Semillon from the Hunter Valley also works well. It’s not overly heavy, making it perfect for a classic Margherita. These wines cut through the richness of the cheese and enhance the fresh ingredients.

White Wines for Flavourful Toppings

Heavier, flavourful toppings like chicken or seafood need a white wine with more body and complexity. Chardonnay from Margaret River, with its balanced acidity and notes of stone fruits, is excellent for barbecued chicken pizza. It can hold up to the stronger flavours without overwhelming them.

For seafood pizza, consider a Pinot Grigio. Its light body and zesty flavour complement seafood toppings beautifully. A Vermentino from the King Valley is another good choice. Its mineral quality and crisp acidity enhance the delicate taste of seafood without overpowering it.

Enhancing Your Pizza Experience with Wine

To make the most of your pizza and wine pairing, focus on the right temperature and decanting method, as well as the proper glassware and presentation. These elements can elevate your dining experience and bring out the best in both the wine and the pizza.

Temperature and Decanting

Serving wine at the right temperature is crucial. Red wines like Shiraz or Grenache should be served slightly cooler than room temperature, around 15-18°C. Whites like a crisp Riesling can be chilled to about 7-13°C. If your wine is too warm or cold, it won’t taste as good.

Decanting isn’t just for fancy dinners. It helps to aerate the wine, especially the reds, allowing the flavors to open up. For a full-bodied Shiraz, pour it into a decanter and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This also helps to remove any sediment, giving you a smoother pour.

Glassware and Presentation

Using the correct glassware can make a big difference. For red wines, choose a glass with a wide bowl to increase oxygen contact, enhancing flavor. A narrow glass is better for white wines, keeping the wine cooler for longer. Sparkling wines, like a Prosecco, are best in flutes to maintain the bubbles.

Presentation is also key. Serve your wine alongside the pizza, not after, so the flavors can mingle. A chic, clean decanter can add a touch of elegance to your setup. Pair your pizza with a robust Grenache to highlight the spices or a light Riesling to contrast the richness of the cheese.

Creative Pairings: Unconventional Wines with Pizza

While traditional pairings like Chianti with Margherita pizza are well-known, exploring less conventional wine choices can offer a new and delightful dining experience. Consider regional Australian wines and sweet or dessert wines to elevate your pizza nights.

Exploring Regional Wines

Diving into regional wines from Australia can bring unique flavors to your pizza pairing. For white pizzas, you might want to try a Semillon from Hunter Valley. This wine has bright acidity that contrasts well with creamy white pizzas, making each bite refreshing.

When it comes to meat lovers’ pizzas, Mourvèdre from Barossa Valley is an excellent choice. Its earthy and spicy tones balance the richness of meat toppings like sausage or pepperoni, offering a complex and satisfying taste.

For a vegetarian pizza, Vermentino from McLaren Vale can be a fantastic match. This wine’s citrus notes and herbal undertones complement the veggies and fresh herbs often found on these pizzas, providing a light yet flavorful experience.

Sweet and Dessert Wines with Pizza

Pairing pizza with sweet wines may seem unconventional, yet it can be surprisingly delicious. Consider having a Moscato with a spicy pizza, as the wine’s natural sweetness can balance out the heat, creating a delightful combination.

For white pizzas topped with ingredients like prosciutto and arugula, a Botrytis Semillon from Riverina can be an inspired choice. The wine’s honeyed sweetness contrasts beautifully with the salty and slightly bitter toppings.

If you’re indulging in a dessert pizza with chocolate or fruit, try a Late Harvest Riesling. Its sweet and fruity character can enhance the flavors of the dessert without overwhelming them, making it a perfect end to your meal.

Pairing Wine with Vegetarian and Vegan Pizzas

Pairing the right wine with vegetarian and vegan pizzas can enhance your dining experience. Discovering suitable wines for veggie toppings and vegan cheese will ensure a harmonious blend of flavors.

Best Matches for Veggie Options

Vegetarian pizzas, such as Pizza Margherita or those loaded with bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, pair well with wines that complement their fresh ingredients. Crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling from Australia are excellent choices due to their acidity and versatility. They balance the sweetness of caramelized vegetables like onions and peppers.

For rosé lovers, Grenache Rosé with its fruity notes is a superb option as it goes well with the tangy flavor of tomatoes and olives. A lighter red wine, like Grenache or Pinot Noir Rosé, pairs well with pizzas that have zucchini or roasted capsicum, offering a nice contrast to the sweetness of the vegetables. If you prefer red wine, try Cabernet Franc, which matches well with pizzas featuring green bell peppers or green olives.

Pairing Wine with Vegan Cheese

Vegan cheese tends to have a different texture and flavor profile compared to traditional cheese, so choosing the right wine is essential. Unoaked Chardonnay from Australia, with its crisp and clean taste, pairs wonderfully with vegan cheese pizza to highlight the light and fresh flavors without overpowering them.

Another good option is Prosecco, known for its light bubbles and refreshing acidity, which can cleanse your palate between bites, making it a fantastic match for rich, cashew-based vegan cheeses. If you prefer red wine, a light Australian Pinot Noir works well, as it’s not too tannic and complements the subtle flavors of nut-based vegan cheeses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pairing wine with pizza involves choosing the right type of wine to enhance the flavors of your favorite pizza toppings. From red wines with Margherita pizza to white wines with seafood pizza, different wines bring out the best in each type of pizza.

Which red wines pair well with a classic Margherita pizza?

For a classic Margherita pizza, light to medium-bodied red wines work best. Consider a Sangiovese or a Pinot Noir. These wines have balanced acidity that complements the tangy tomato and creamy mozzarella, enhancing the pizza’s overall taste.

What type of white wine is recommended when enjoying a pizza with seafood toppings?

When enjoying a pizza with seafood toppings, a crisp, light-bodied white wine is ideal. Wines like Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay from Australia’s cool climate regions bring out the fresh flavors of the seafood without overwhelming the palate.

Is there a preferable wine to complement a spicy pepperoni pizza?

A bold red wine such as Shiraz or a Grenache/Syrah blend is perfect for a spicy pepperoni pizza. These wines have rich, spicy notes that can stand up to the strong flavors of the pepperoni, providing a balanced and enjoyable dining experience.

Are there specific wine varietals that enhance the flavors of vegetarian pizzas?

Vegetarian pizzas go well with bright, fresh wines. Consider pairing them with a Sauvignon Blanc or a light red wine like Grenache. These wines highlight the earthy and fresh vegetable flavors, adding a vibrant touch to your meal.

Can a Merlot add value to the pizza-eating experience, or should one lean towards a Cabernet Sauvignon?

Both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can add value, but it depends on the pizza. Merlot is smooth and pairs well with a variety of toppings, while Cabernet Sauvignon, being more robust, is better suited for meatier pizzas like barbecue chicken or beef.

What alcoholic beverages, besides wine, are considered suitable for pairing with pizza?

Besides wine, craft beers and certain ciders are excellent choices for pairing with pizza. An IPA or a refreshing cider can complement the rich, cheesy flavours and different toppings, providing a great alternative to wine.

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