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Pairing wine and pizza

wine and pizza

Question from Harrison: There’s heaps of info out there on what wine to drink with restaurant food but what about everyday meals? What wine should I drink with my Friday night pizza?

In a nut shell: Return to the mother land of pizza and grab an Italian red. When in doubt it’s best to go for a wine that comes from the same place as the food. Although I know buying an Italian red can be daunting for us Aussies so read on for plenty of common grapes you can pair with your pizza.

In a clam shell: Your best bet is an Italian red (fuller Italian whites can be great too, with the right topping) because generally speaking pizzas require something a little heavier with all that melted cheese, tomato sauce and crispy dough (drooling).

Go with a high acid, low to medium tannin red (I’ll point you in the right direction soon). Why? Firstly, there is a lot of fatty cheese on the top of a pizza and to cut through those cheesy flavours you’ll need something high in acidity. Then there’s the tomato which is high in acid itself so again a wine higher in acid than the tomato is needed to still pack a bunch. I’d go for something low to medium in tannin as highly tannic wine with highly acidic food isn’t the greatest combination. Italian reds are also nice and fruity which compliments all those yummy pizza flavours. So what are some delish Italian reds to pair with your Friday night pizza (which are pretty easy to get here in Australia)? Barbera from Piedmont in northwest Italy or Chianti (aka Sangiovese as Chianti is made from 100% Sangiovese) would complement 95% of all pizzas.

If you’re looking for something a little closer to home or you’re a fussy wine drinking and want to pick the wine first and then the pizza topping stick to this guide.

Grenache, Pinot Noir or Rosé – stick with a lightly flavoured red

Grenache, Pinot Noir, Gamay – again a light red is fab

Something slightly sweeter will go beautifully with the ham and the pineapple. Try a slightly sweet Riesling or something really fruity like Chenin Blanc or Gewürztraminer. If you must drink red stick with a fruity and sweeter red like a Zinfandel or Primitivo

You’ll need a medium bodied red to stand up to the spices and fat of the salami. Try a Sangiovese, Merlot or Tempranillo.

Mushrooms and Gorgonzola
Again a medium red to compete with the gorgonzola which will also go great with some stinky mushrooms – Sangiovese, Merlot, Tempranillo

A light red like a Pinot Noir, Grenache or Gamay

I’d stick with a light red like a Pinot Noir or a rich white like a Chardonnay, Viognier or Sémillon

White sauce

Go with a rich white like a Chardonnay or a light red like a Pinot Noir, Grenache or Gamay


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