Pizza Recipes

Pizza Recipes
Photo by Photo by James Carrier, Sunset


Pizza is actually a tough dish to pair with wine, in fact most Italians drink beer with their pizza rather than wine, and for good reason. Pizza is primarily bready, yeasty, fermented bread. Beer is mostly, well, yeasty fermented grains. The two match up wonderfully based on the bridge of yeasty, grainy flavors that each has.
Having said that, pizza is often greater than the sum of its parts. For a basic pizza, the combination of acidic tomato sauce and creamy cheese calls out for a wine with good acidity and plenty of fruit. A fine Sangiovese or Barbera are the usual recommendations, which work well with this style of pizza. The flavors and texture of the wines tends to mirror that of the pizza.
Keep adding ingredients and you’ll generally want to move up to a more intense wine. Richer examples of Sangiovese and Barbera work well with things like sausage and pepperoni, but also open the doors to wines like Zinfandel and Malbec, which work well with intense, meaty flavored pizzas.
If you’re looking at a pizza with peppers on it, something with a green edge, either Cabernet Franc for a red of Sauvignon Blanc for a white would work well, again mirroring some of the flavors of the pizza. 
Mushrooms, or exotic cheese on a pie will call for an assertive wine with aged flavors that can work with the savoriness here. Consider a Rioja Reserva or Chianti Riserva as a good choice, or even better a nice mature bottle of Nebbiolo would really do the trick here!


  • 98135Isaac42 I lived in Italy for two years, and I don't recall ever seeing an Italian drink beer with pizza. In fact, I don't recall seeing an Italian drink beer, period, but maybe that was just the region I was in.

  • 262583Richard Foxall I was only there a little over a week, but I saw beer and wine being drunk with pizza--not that I was eating in anyone's home, so maybe it was all tourists. But Italian beer is no great shakes, IMO. In any case, just one recommendation to add: If you aren't too worried about the slightly lower acids but need a hearty, slightly rustic wine, I like Salice Salentino with pizza. Trader Joe's sells a decent one from Epicuro for about $5 and it is rare to see one for much more than $12, so they go well with casual, inexpensive meals.

  • 863297Erokthered Chilean Carmenere works out great. Its lively herbaciousness pairs well with the fresh and dried herbs in many a Neapolitain style pizza.

  • 177719vinovito Gragnano is the true pizza wine,served chilled...surprised the author didn't mention it...go to Naples where pizza was invented

  • 387105masau80 I lived in Italy (Napoli) for three years and the only people that didn't drink wine with their pizza were some beer-drinking Americans. Simple house reds were the wine of choice. A young, fruit-forward red works well. A Dry Lambrusco, if you can find one, also is surprisingly good with pizza.

  • 94767Tamar1973 What you you recommend for a kimchi pizza? :)

  • 762698italian scallion All the comments are right on. In my experience, Italians do not typically drink beer with pizza. DaMichele in Naples is by far the best and the most popular pizzeria in that city, and if my memory serves me, they only sell water and Coke. Wine is usually the beverage of choice, and a hearty red like those mentioned by other commenters works nicely, except for pizza with peppers. However, at least according to the New York Times (which also states that Italians prefer beer, specifically Peroni, with pizza), the BEST wine to drink with pizza is - drum roll - gragnano (from the city of the same name, just outside of Naples). Pairing wine with food is a lot of fun, and there's plenty of room for personal preferences. whether it's pizza or the grilled scallops with champagne-vanilla bean sauce I served the other night with a barolo (YES, a barolo). Might a different wine have paired "better" with the scallops? Maybe. For me what is more interesting is how DIFFERENT the impact is of one wine vs. another on food and food flavors - and on the taste of the wine as well. Next time I fix that scallop dish, I might try a big oaky chardonnay with lots of maleolactic acid, or even a Marlborough sauvignon blanc and see what happens. Viva la difference - eat, drink wine, and enjoy!

  • 816597ednovak I've tried a number of wines with pizza and haven't been dazzled until I tried a Portuguese wine, Monte Velho Red. I prefer my pizza simple, cheese only. First time I had it, I finished the whole bottle with about 1/2 a pie. Obviously more that I should have eaten. Average price about $11... Giant Eagle Market District carries it.

  • 762698italian scallion Wait. You drank an entire bottle of wine with only half of a pizza and you ATE too much?

  • 1157824malc Thank you for a most interesting discussion. In enjoyed it all, from the article down to ed's and i.s.'s comments re 1 bottle = half a pizza. Sounds about right to me! I am not the travelling gourmand that most of your respondents are, but right here, a meaty, cheesy, tomato and anchovy pizza couples just fine with good old Australian Cab Sav / Shiraz blends.

  • 101255mkrpa For the past 2-3 years, I have introduced many friends and relatives to my personal favorite pizza wine - montepulciano d'abruzzo. Readily available and inexpensive. Citra makes one for $5 per bottle (750ml) and $9 for 1.5 liter. Young (1-2 yrs), fruity with enough acidity to handle even spicier sauces, and just enough tannin to soften the edge, making it very drinkable.

  • 1180508Klaus A very nice wine with Pizza is a medium bodied red wine, the Santa Maddalena (Schiava with Lagrein)

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