What Type Of Wine Pairs Well With Pizza?

David J Sharp
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Are you a wine lover who also enjoys a good slice of pizza? If so, you may have wondered what type of wine pairs well with this classic comfort food.

Wine pairing can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little knowledge and experimentation, you can discover the perfect wine to complement your favorite pizza toppings.

When it comes to wine pairing, the key is to find a balance between the flavors of the food and the wine. Pizza is a versatile dish that can be topped with a variety of ingredients, from classic pepperoni to more adventurous toppings like goat cheese and arugula.

This means that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what wine to pair with pizza. However, by understanding the basics of wine pairing and considering the flavor intensity of your pizza toppings, you can narrow down your options and find a wine that enhances the flavors of your meal.

Understanding the Basics of Wine Pairing

Before diving into the complexities of wine pairing, it’s essential to understand the basics so that you can elevate your pizza eating experience to the next level.

The first thing you need to know is that wine acidity is a significant factor in pairing wine with pizza. A high-acid wine like Chianti complements the acidity of tomato sauce, while a low-acid wine like Pinot Noir can be overwhelmed by the acidity in the sauce. The acidity of the wine also helps cut through the richness of the cheese, making it a perfect pairing for pizza.

Another essential factor to consider when pairing wine with pizza is the tasting notes of the wine. For instance, a fruity wine like Zinfandel pairs well with a pizza that has sweet toppings like pineapple and ham. On the other hand, a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with a pizza that has spicy toppings like pepperoni and jalapenos.

By taking into account the tasting notes of the wine and pizza, you can create a perfect pairing that will delight your taste buds.

With this understanding, let’s move on to matching wine intensity with pizza flavor.

Matching Wine Intensity with Pizza Flavor

Matching the intensity of your wine to the flavor profile of your pizza can elevate your dining experience to a whole new level. When it comes to pairing wine with pizza, it’s essential to consider the intensity of the wine and the flavor of the pizza.

Spicy pizza pairs well with bold wine, while light pizza goes well with light wine. If you’re serving a pizza with a spicy tomato sauce and hot toppings, consider pairing it with a bold red wine such as a Zinfandel or a Syrah. These wines have high alcohol content, spicy notes, and bold flavors that can complement the heat of your pizza.

For a lighter pizza with a simple tomato sauce and mild toppings, opt for a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Chianti. These wines have a lower alcohol content and a more delicate flavor that can enhance the taste of your pizza without overpowering it.

When it comes to exploring red wines for pizza pairing, there are many options to choose from. Whether you prefer bold and spicy or light and delicate, there’s a red wine out there that can perfectly complement the flavor profile of your pizza.

So, let’s dive deeper into the world of red wine and discover the best pairings for your favorite pizza flavors.

Exploring Red Wines for Pizza Pairing

Let’s explore the diverse world of red wines and discover interesting statistics that can elevate your pizza experience.

When it comes to pizza pairing, red wines are a great option that can enhance the flavors of your favorite slice.

Exploring fruity reds like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais can complement toppings like mushrooms or vegetables, while bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec can stand up against heartier toppings like pepperoni or sausage.

Here are some tips to consider when pairing wine with different pizza toppings:

  • For meat lovers’ pizza, try a bold red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah/Shiraz.
  • For vegetarian pizza, try a lighter, fruitier red like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
  • For pizza with spicy toppings, try a red with lower tannins like Zinfandel or Grenache.
  • Experiment with Italian vs. non-Italian reds to see which ones complement your pizza preferences best.

Now that you’ve explored the world of red wines for pizza pairing, let’s move on to discovering white wines in the next section.

Discovering White Wines for Pizza Pairing

Now it’s time to enhance your pizza experience by discovering the perfect white wine to complement your favorite toppings and add a refreshing twist to your meal.

While exploring Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio for pizza pairing, it’s essential to consider the flavors of your pizza toppings. A light and crisp Pinot Grigio complements lighter toppings like vegetables or seafood, while a buttery Chardonnay pairs well with a richness of flavors like mushrooms or chicken.

For a more celebratory experience, trying sparkling wine with pizza is an excellent option. The effervescence of the wine matches the texture of the pizza crust, while the acidity helps cut through the oiliness of the cheese and toppings.

Opt for a dry sparkling wine like Champagne or Prosecco to avoid overpowering the flavors of your pizza. A sparkling Rose also offers a fun twist to the traditional pizza pairing, particularly with spicier toppings like sausage or pepperoni.

Trying Alternative Wine Pairings with Pizza

You can broaden your pizza palate by branching out to different beverages that beautify the flavors of your favorite toppings. While white wine is a classic pairing, there are other options to explore.

Here are some alternative wine pairings to try with your next slice:

  • Lambrusco: This sparkling red wine from Italy has a slight sweetness that pairs well with tomato-based sauces and meats like pepperoni and sausage.
  • Chianti: A medium-bodied red wine with a dry finish, Chianti complements earthy toppings like mushrooms and olives.
  • Rosé: A light and refreshing wine that pairs well with vegetable toppings like bell peppers and artichokes.
  • Pinot Noir: This red wine has a fruity aroma and a light body that pairs well with meaty toppings like ham and bacon.
  • Prosecco: This sparkling wine from Italy has a crisp acidity that cuts through the richness of cheese toppings like mozzarella and ricotta.

If you’re not a wine fan, there are also beer alternatives to consider. A light lager or pilsner can be a refreshing pairing with a classic pepperoni pizza, while a hoppy IPA can stand up to bold flavors like spicy sausage or jalapeños.

And if you prefer a sweeter option, try a hard cider or even a fruity cocktail to balance out the savory flavors of your pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common mistakes to avoid when pairing wine with pizza?

When it comes to pairing wine with pizza, there are some common mistakes you should avoid.

One of the biggest mistakes is assuming that red wine is always the best choice. While red wine can pair well with meaty or spicy pizzas, a light-bodied white wine can be a better match for vegetable or seafood pizzas.

Another mistake is not considering the sauce when choosing a wine. If you have a pizza with a tomato-based sauce, look for a wine with high acidity to complement it. On the other hand, if your pizza has a creamy sauce, a wine with lower acidity can balance out the flavors.

To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to have a few pairing strategies in mind. Experiment with different wines and pizzas to see what works best for your taste buds, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from a wine expert or sommelier.

How does the type of crust affect the choice of wine pairing?

When it comes to pairing wine with pizza, the type of crust you choose can make a big difference in your choice of wine.

Thin crust pizzas tend to pair well with light-bodied red wines, such as Pinot Noir or Chianti, as they won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the crust and toppings.

On the other hand, deep dish pizzas with their heavier and more substantial crusts call for bolder red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, to stand up to the heartiness of the pizza.

If you prefer white wine, go for a crisp and refreshing option like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to balance out the richness of the pizza toppings.

Ultimately, the key is to experiment and find your perfect wine and pizza pairing.

Can sparkling wines be paired with pizza, and if so, what types work best?

Sparkling wines can definitely be paired with pizza, and it’s a great way to add some fun and sophistication to your meal.

When it comes to pizza toppings, you’ll want to consider the acidity and saltiness of the toppings when selecting a sparkling wine. For example, a pizza with salty cured meats, such as prosciutto or pepperoni, will pair well with a dry Prosecco or Champagne. On the other hand, a pizza with sweeter toppings like pineapple or barbecue sauce might call for a sweeter sparkling wine like Moscato d’Asti.

As for the pizza crust, wine pairing is less affected by the type of crust, so feel free to experiment with your favorite sparkling wines and crusts.

Overall, a sparkling wine and pizza pairing is a great way to elevate your pizza night and impress your guests.

Are there any pizza toppings that are particularly challenging to pair with wine?

When it comes to pizza toppings, there is a wide variety to choose from, and some can be more challenging than others to pair with wine.

For example, spicy toppings like jalapenos or hot sauce can overpower a delicate wine, so it’s best to look for wines with bold flavors and higher alcohol content, such as a Zinfandel or Syrah.

On the other hand, toppings like mushrooms or bell peppers can pair well with a lighter-bodied wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Chianti.

When selecting a wine to pair with pizza, it’s important to look for notes that complement the flavors of the toppings, such as fruity or earthy notes for mushroom toppings.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding a balance between the flavors of the pizza and the wine to create a harmonious pairing.

How does the choice of sauce, such as tomato-based or oil-based, affect the choice of wine pairing?

When it comes to pairing wine with pizza, there are a few factors to consider based on the type of sauce. Red vs white, acidity vs richness are important factors to consider when selecting a wine to complement your pizza.

A tomato-based sauce, for example, pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine with moderate acidity, while an oil-based sauce is better suited for a white wine with a higher acidity.

Additionally, the choice of toppings can also affect the wine pairing options. Classic toppings such as pepperoni and mushrooms pair well with a bold red wine, while gourmet toppings like truffle oil and prosciutto may call for a lighter, fruitier wine.

By taking into account these factors, you can elevate your pizza and wine pairing experience to new heights.


Congratulations! You’re now well-versed in the art of pairing wine with pizza.

You’ve learned that wine pairing is about finding a balance between the intensity of flavors in both the wine and the pizza.

You’ve also discovered that red wines like Chianti and Pinot Noir and white wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are excellent choices for pairing with pizza.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t be afraid to try alternative wine pairings with your pizza.

Sparkling wines, rosés, and even beers can also complement the flavors of your favorite slice.

So next time you’re enjoying a slice of pizza, grab a glass of your preferred wine and experiment with different pairings.

You never know, you may discover a new favorite combination that will elevate your pizza game to a whole new level.


David J Sharp is a wine equipment expert, having previously worked with some of the best wine cooler manufacturers within the USA. Today he works as a full-time wine cooler and wine cellar consultant for small and large clients alike. You can find out more about LoveCraftWines here.

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