The Best Wines with Pizza

An unavoidable truth: pizza moves me. I sing songs about pizza, make up dance moves that mime pizza delivery, and try very hard not to buy pizza emblazoned socks and underwear.  I also believe this truth to be self-evident: the only thing better than pizza alone is pizza with a glass or two of wine. 

Whether you’re eating straight out of the cardboard takeout box or dining at your local pizzeria, wine adds a little extra something to the pizza experience. As a (mostly) vegan pizza eater, I’m thrilled to share wine pairing knowledge that goes beyond the traditional chicken, sausage, Canadian bacon, meat lovers’ playbook. Here are ten favorite wines to drink with a slice of vegetarian or vegan pizza.

Important considerations for pizza and wine pairings

It all comes down to the toppings and the sauce. Toppings can be simple (tomatoes, cheese, and fresh basil) or adventurous (rich, earthy, or spicy like vegan pepperoni, mushrooms, green olives, or jalapeños). The same goes with sauce which range from  traditional tomato-based reds to more alternative creamy whites and herbaceous pesto sauces. All of these options bring us to the next question:

are red or white wines better with pizza?

Traditionally, pizza is composed of a thin crust with tomato sauce and cheese. Based on this ingredient profile, pizza generally calls for a red wine. Regardless of toppings, pizza tends to be earthy with a doughy, yeasty crust. Pizza is also a heavier meal (especially when compared to something like a salad), all of which add more support for a red wine pairing.

However, pizza has evolved over time, with a growing multitude of options available at your nearest pizzeria. I recently read an article that Pizza Hut, a classic American fast food pizza option, is even rolling out its own vegan pizzas. 
So while red wine is a classic pizza pairing choice, there are now enough ingredients and combinations to break open our wine pairings options. Have a favorite wine or a bottle already on hand? 

Keep reading below for tips on how to match it with its pizza soulmate. Whatever your wine choice, make sure that you have some good wine glasses to fully capture the aromas and flavors. My go-to’s are these Libbey wine glasses that work well for reds and whites.

10 best Wines with Pizza

1. grenache, syrah and mourvèdre (gsm) blend

Pizza Suggestion: Classic cheese

Bottle Suggestion: 2014 Larner Elemental GSM

2. dry rosé

Pizza Suggestion: Margherita

Bottle Suggestion: 2017 Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rosé

3. pinot noir

Pizza Suggestion: White sauce or mushroom

Bottle Suggestion: 2016 Saintsbury Lee Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 

4. chardonnay

Pizza Suggestion: White pizza

Bottle Suggestions: 2015 Rutherford Hill Chardonnay

5. sauvignon blanc

Pizza Suggestion: salad (leafy greens)

Bottle Suggestion: 2014 Grieve Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc

6. lambrusco

Pizza Suggestions: Anything and everything

Bottle Suggestions: 2017 Cavicchioli Vigna del Cristo Lambrusco

7. chianti

Pizza Suggestion: Veggie (especially with savory, fresh herbs)

Bottle Suggestions: 2015 Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico

8. beaujolais cru

Pizza Suggestions: Mushroom, potato, or veggie

Bottle Suggestions: 2014 Stephane Aviron Morgon Cote du Py Vieilles Vignes

9. riesling

Pizza Suggestions: Pineapple or dessert Pizzas

Bottle Suggestions: 2016 Karthauserhof Karthauserhofberg Riesling Kabinett

10. syrah

Pizza Suggestions: Anything with vegetarian or vegan ”meats”

Bottle Suggestion: 2015 K Vintners Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah


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