Pairing wine with pizza is a mixed bag. Of course, you probably won’t hate your favorite wine paired with your favorite delivery pie. And, any pairing that you enjoy is a good pairing (at least for you).
But creating balance and harmony between wine and your favorite slice can be tricky. The acidity in traditional tomato sauce requires a wine with plenty of acidity, but something overly tannic can overwhelm a cheese pizza. If you’re typically a red wine drinker, that can make things complicated. On the other hand, white wines can get a little sharp or flat when paired with pizza.
For tips on how to master the iconic pairing, we asked some of the country’s star pizzaiolos to tell us their wine of choice to drink with pizza. From Champagne to Sagrantino, read on for their favorites.
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The Best Wines to Pair With Pizza, According to Pizzaiolos
- Fermina Spanish Red
- Krug 168th Grande Cuvée (2012)
- Casale del Giglio Faro della Guardia ‘Biancolella’
- Domaine des Ardoisières ‘Silice’ Rouge
- Matthew Fritz Pinot Noir
- Recchia Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
- Tenuta del Cerro ‘Colpetrone’ Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
- White Burgundy
- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
“Spanish reds are amongst my favorites to pair with wine because they often have a spicy, smoky character that pairs equally well with everything, from the tomato sauce to the char on the crust to the smoky bacon or pepperoni topping the pie, while cutting through the fat of the cheese. My current favorite is Fermina Spanish Red, a delicious and very affordable bottle made from Monastrell grapes.” —Silas Pollitt, Stone’s Throw Pizza, Richmond, Vt.
“Marta has an amazing Champagne list and that is my go-to wine pairing for our pizzas. I love how the acidity and effervescence balances the cheese, sauce, and oil. The character of Champagne yeast also enhances the flavor of the sourdough starter in our pizza dough. Our half-bottle of Krug, currently the amazing 168th Grande Cuvée (2012), is the perfect complement to our spring pizza of shaved asparagus, house-made pancetta, mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, and slow-cooked egg yolk.” —John Poiarkoff, Marta, NYC
“I would choose to drink the Casale del Giglio Faro della Guardia ‘Biancolella’ with our Romana pizza. Biancolello grapes are native to Campania, the birthplace of pizza. It is fresh and quaffable [and] tastes of sea breezes and volcanic soil, so it complements the flavors of the Romana: tomato, garlic, olives, goat horn peppers, anchovies, and chili oil. We also like to add bufala mozzarella, which is also traditionally made in Campania.” —Jerry Corso, Bar del Corso, Seattle
“I’m obsessed with everything Domaine des Ardoisières makes. They recently introduced a newer cuvee as part of their ‘Silice’ line, and it has become our go-to chillable pizza red year-round. It’s 100 percent Mondeuse and it’s crunchy, bright, and comes in at 10.5 percent ABV, so you can easily split a bottle on a weeknight without feeling the effects too hard the next day. I think it pairs especially well with our subtly spicy Wrath of Kahan pizza, which features a piquillo pepper and tomato base, Spanish chorizo, shallots, medjool dates, and house-made mozzarella.” —Nayda Hutson, Renzo, Charleston, S.C.
“Our Shaved Mushroom pizza pairs perfectly with the Matthew Fritz Pinot Noir. This medium red has notes of lush red cherry, ripe wild strawberry, and rose petal that complement the earthy mushrooms and rosemary on this popular pizza. The wine’s acidic finish balances the richness of the parmesan cream and Gruyère.” —Leanne Murakami, Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Santa Monica, Calif.
“When it comes to Italian red wines, there’s nothing quite like a bottle of ripe, bold Recchia Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. It pairs beautifully with the fresh mozzarella, homemade sausage, smoked gouda, and pecorino found in our signature Umberto Neapolitan pizza. Now that’s Italian!” —Mehrdad Alviri, Porta Via Ristorante, Nashville
“I love our Pizza Margherita paired with a glass or two of Sagrantino from the Còlpetrone Estate. It is made by the Tenuta del Cerro estates, located in [the] Montefalco area in the state of Umbria, where the lake Trasimeno is located. It is a very tannic wine, which pairs beautifully with the simple, delicious Pizza Margherita. The people in Umbria have a very distinctive hand gesture when referring to Sagrantino to express how big the wine is. I can’t talk about Sagrantino without making it.” —Sabine Langer, Pizzeria Trasimeno, Memphis, Tenn.
“I think most white Burgundy would pair quite well with our Mais, a white pizza made with a four-ingredient crust, fermented overnight, stretched by hand, and baked in our super-hot oven. Mais has mozzarella, crème fraîche, ham, corn, [and] garlic oil — and these wines pair well with white pizzas, especially this one because of the richness of the cream and ham.” —Jordan Wallace, Pizzeria Locale, Denver
“I love spicy food, I love pizza, and I love red wine!! Those three things rarely go together well, sadly, but for a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The rich, soft fruit and ultra-low tannins of this wine can stand up to one of my favorite pizzas, the half #3, half #1 at Black Sheep Pizza. The hot salami and chili flakes on the #3 side are the yin to the yang of the fatty, sweet tomato of the #1. The velvety flavor and texture of this wine makes a perfect pair for this pizza.” —Jordan Smith, Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza, St. Paul, Minn.