Pizza and Wine – The Perfect Pairing?

Pizza and Wine – The Perfect Pairing?

The ultimate food has to be pizza, surely. It can be adjusted to suit every occasion, from shared whilst watching a football match with mates, to a dinner party with friends. It can be adapted to suit meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans a like. There really is no end to the pizza possibilities. So what wine would compliment this most heroic of food?

Well first of all, let’s take a look at the styles of wine that work with pizza.

Thanks to the earthy flavours of the cheese and tomato combination, and the dough base that predominantly make up the pizza, generally it is easier to pair pizza with red wine. There are of course exceptions such as the white pizza (where there is no tomato sauce present) or a veggie pizza, but in general red wine is the way to go.

Then we have to take in to consideration the fat in the melted cheese. According to kitchn.com, to counter balance the fat levels found in the cheese, it is best to take a wine with a medium-high to high acidity content.  

Then the tomatoes. Because tomatoes are high in acidity, you need a fairly high-acid wine. Avoid reds that are high in tannin, as the combination of the tomato flavor and lots of tannin can be quite metallic.

The next thing to take in to consideration when pairing wine and pizza are the toppings themselves, of course they can play a rather significant role when choosing the perfect wine.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular pizza toppings:

The plain cheese pizza

Experts all over seem to agree that the classic cheese and tomato pizza requires a good red wine to compliment it. Chianti seems to be the most popular choice, although the general consensus is a red wine, with a high-acidity so as not to fall flat when paired with the high-acidity in the tomato sauce.

The Hawaiian pizza

Wine folly recommend a Riesling to compliment this popular pizza combination, advising that a slightly sweet Riesling will match surprisingly well with Canadian bacon. Don’t worry, the Germans have been pairing their Rieslings with all kinds of meats so it’s no surprise that this is a great pairing. The acidity in the Riesling acts as a palate cleanser and the sweetness of the Riesling will elevate your ham pineapple experience to a new level. Experts also seem to agree that aside from a Riesling, a Lambrusco or a Zinfandel would work well too. If you are looking to try something a little different, a Prosecco is also a recommended pairing according to Vine Pair’s wine and pizza pairing app, that’s right there is a wine and pizza pairing app – you can thank me later!

The Veggie Pizza

When it comes to the lighter veggie pizza, experts seem to agree that a red wine is a little heavy, therefore recommending a white or rosé wine pairing. A Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc are the most popular recommendation here.

The Pepperoni Pizza

Arguably the most famous of all pizzas, the pepperoni has a strong and spicy flavour, demanding a strong wine to contend.

babble.com‘s advise here is to try pairing pepperoni pizza with a bold peppery syrah. Its signature flavor profile of black pepper and currant will match beautifully with pepperoni, making it perfect for washing down slice after slice. However, if you prefer white wines, try pairing pepperoni with a sauvignon blanc. The sharp acid and bright citrus stand up perfectly to strong, spicy meat.

Both pizza and wine are firm favourites with many of us, put them together and ta-dah, magic. There are many, many combinations of both topping and pairings to be tried. So the next time you take that slice of heaven known as pizza, why not try it with your favourite wine and test out the combination. We would love to hear about your favourite pairings.

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