Pairing wine and pizza is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when choosing what to serve with dinner. After all, your memories of pizza probably revolve around have a 2-liter of soda delivered with the meal or perhaps enjoying some beer and pizza while cramming for your finals.
Wine and pizza is a great way to celebrate a big occasion or liven up a night in with friends. No matter if you are a newcomer to wine or a connoisseur, there is a wine that will suit your needs when pairing it with pizza.
Pepperoni & Fruity Blends
If you enjoy the spice of pepperoni, choose a fruitier wine that will tone down the pepperoni bite. A Syrah or Grenache blend may work well. A Cabernet Franc, which is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, would also work well as some varieties have a savory and bell-pepper like flavor. Another full-bodied variety to try with a pepperoni pie is a Primitivo, which is of the Zinfandel family.
Howie Maui & a Red or White
If you enjoy a Hungry Howie’s Howie Maui, pair it with a Riesling or Zinfandel. The sweetness from a Riesling pairs well with the saltiness of the bacon and ham. If you enjoy reds, a Zinfandel, not of the white variety, pairs well with the bacon due to the fruitier flavor of the Zinfandel grapes.
Hungry Howie’s BBQ Chicken Pizza & Malbec
Malbec is a crowd-pleasing red wine that is easy to drink. Malbecs are typically fruit-forward, meaning whichever fruit it incorporates is the first flavor that hits your taste buds. Argentine Malbecs typically use darker fruits, such as blackberries and plums, along with Malbec grapes. European and American Malbecs usually use black cherries and raspberries. The fruit-forward flavors pair well with the sweetness of the BBQ sauce on the pizza.
Veggie Pizza and Rosé
One of the current wines du jour is Rosé, a floral and citrusy wine usually featuring citrus zest, melon, and strawberries. The wine pairs well with a Veggie Pizza, as it is light and easy to drink.
Cheese Pizza and a Blend
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing meal, Cheese Pizza is often the way to go. Pair that with a nice blend, such as a GSM, which blends Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre. Don’t worry, this sounds fancier than it is. Some GSM wines are as low as $16 per bottle. Search for a Côtes du Rhône blend at your local grocery store next time you plan to serve cheese pizza.
Pairing wine and pizza does not have to be difficult or expensive. Choose a wine that best fits the mood and style of pizza you intend to order. If you’re choosing something different, such as an Asian Chicken Pizza or the Howie Special, don’t be afraid to ask a professional at a wine shop to determine which wines will work best.