Best Wines To Pair With Pizza
Peanut butter and jelly, burger and fries, fish and chips. These classic combinations are beloved all over the world -- but do any of them taste quite as delicious or dignified as wine and pizza?
In the minds of many foodies, there’s no more versatile, fun, and scrumptious food and wine pairing than a delicious glass of your favorite bottle matched with its perfect pizza counterpart.
Unlike classic pairing partners like red meat or white fish, pizza easily adapts to practically everyone's flavor and wine preferences. From a traditional Neapolitan Margherita pie to a funky California BBQ chicken pizza, the diverse and expansive range of pizza styles, toppings, crusts, and flavors make it an easy and flexible companion for many types of delicious vino.
Whether you love your local neighborhood spot, a guilty-pleasure national chain, or a classic, homemade pie, this Wine Insiders guide will help you find the best wines for your favorite style of pizza:
Cheese and Margherita Pizza
Though many will debate the merits of an old-fashioned Margherita pie against a cheese pizza’s timeless simplicity, few can deny the wonderful flavor and nostalgia associated with both.
In addition to their shared ancestry and related ingredients, these two pizza styles usually pair well with similar kinds of wine. They pair well with a wide variety of red, white, and “pink” wines as they lack the assorted veggies or hearty meats of the styles below, making them an ideal and reliable crowd-pleaser.
If Margherita is your go-to pie, we recommend checking out refreshing, medium-bodied whites like Pinot Grigio, light reds like Chianti that highlight your pie’s tomato sauce, or a dry Rosé to brighten your meal.
Suppose you opt for a standard cheese pizza or a greasy, ultra-thin New York slice. In that case, we suggest trying a crisp white like a Sauvignon Blanc or medium-bodied reds like Syrah and Grenache that perfectly complement your slice’s hearty, acidic tomato sauce.
As you can tell by our wide range of endorsed varietals and blends, these related styles of basic but yummy pizza open you up to a diverse selection of wine.
Whether you prefer a medium-bodied red or a crisp, refreshing white, it won’t be hard to find a wine that brings out the beautiful simplicity of red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and warm bread.
If you like a nice helping of vegetables on your pie, there’s no shortage of wines that will heighten the fresh taste and colorful appearance of your favorite veggie pizza.
Like pairing wine with a salad, finding the right bottle for this type of pizza is about heightening the flavor and aroma of your veggies without overpowering them.
To accomplish this pursuit, we first recommend avoiding heavy, full-bodied reds or Super Tuscans (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah) that will overshadow your pie and create an unbalanced dining experience.
Instead, opt for light, easygoing whites such as a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, sparkling Prosecco. If you’re looking to stray from whites, fruity and floral Rosé can also make for an excellent, refreshing pairing.
These delicate, fruity wines will add a splash of tantalizing acidity and notes of herbaceous flavor to your veggie pizza, emphasizing its light, fresh taste without shortchanging your varied selection of vegetables.
While pepperoni pizza varies only slightly from a typical cheese pie, the savory spice of pepperoni opens you up to an entirely different world of wine.
Fatty and salty with a dash of heat, pepperoni has a strong, distinct flavor profile that pairs excellently with rich, fruity Italian wine.
Like most well-spiced meats, pepperoni tends to overwhelm light or medium-bodied varietals and blends, so our first piece of advice is to avoid light white or “pink” wines that lack the strength in flavor and texture to hold their own against a slice of pepperoni pizza.
In addition to their dominant personality, these bottles pack the hearty taste and moderate acidity needed to match the intense flavor and spice of pepperoni while also highlighting your robust tomato sauce, buttery mozzarella cheese, and toasty crust.
Meat Lover’s Pizza
Pairing wine with your meat lover’s pizza is just like matching a bottle of vino with a tender steak, juicy hamburger, or spicy sausage.
To give your healthy serving of hearty meat, tomato sauce, cheese, and bread the alcoholic companion it deserves, you need to pick a wine with strong tannins, rich texture, and fruit-forward flavor. In other words, you need red wine.
We recommend medium to full-bodied reds with the flavor, aroma, and texture profile to balance out the fat, salt, and spice of your meat. To this end, we suggest checking out Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, or even a Zinfandel -- especially if you like a barbecue tang to your meaty pizza.
These bold reds offer a mix of peppery, jammy, and spicy notes that can masterfully complement any summer grilling session with fruit-forward flavors that come alive with each bite of grilled meat.
While it might seem obvious now, we also recommend avoiding white wines or even light-bodied reds, as even those with a summer flair or fruity notes won’t hold their own against the bold flavors of this pizza.
Last but not least, we have the most straightforward of pies: the white pizza.
Making up in cheesy, bready goodness for what it lacks in meat, veggies, or other toppings, this pizza style inspires a diverse and devoted fanbase who love its simple taste, effortless pair-ability, and lack of red sauce.
In contrast to a hearty meat lover's pie, the white pizza requires a bottle of wine with a creamy texture, bright acidity, and maybe even some sparkling bubbles to match the pie’s yummy cheese, subtle cream sauce, and airy crust.
On that note, we recommend skipping full-bodied, hearty reds and, in place, recommend a classic, creamy white wine like a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, which pack the perfect amount of acidity and match well with any herbs, seasonings, or dressings drizzled over your pie.
If you’re in a celebratory or bubbly mood, Prosecco or Champagne can also make exciting companions to a white pie.
Wine Insiders: Pair With Ease
Now that you know the essentials of pizza-wine pairing, it’s time to find the perfect wine to pair with your next pie!
From the lightest of whites to the heartiest of reds and the brightest “pinks” in between, our wide-ranging selection of diverse, affordable wines offers you the chance to explore the best world’s greatest wine regions have to offer!
From Old World classics in Southern France and Tuscany to New World favorites from New Zealand and Napa Valley, our finely curated selection will prepare you for every meal and occasion you can imagine.
For more information about wine, food pairing, and more - check out our full library of Wine 101 Guide.