Pairing wine with pizza doesn’t have to be hard.
I’ve ordered pizza twice in the last week.
Once when I got home from the cottage – fridge empty, a mountain of unpacking and laundry to do, and zero energy to hit the grocery store. The next time, I was having a swell time with friends on my sunny balcony, sipping rosé, and had zero desire to leave my lawn chair.
Pizza delivery to the rescue.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “This is the part where she tells us the perfect wine to go with pizza.”
Got’cha. I’m not.
So often in my business, we wine reviewers cheap out a bit by deeming wines the perfect “picnic” wine, or “bistro” wine, or “Tuesday night” wine. Like we really know how you spend your Tuesday nights. And for Pete’s sake, can we just admit that no one, except for actors in rom-coms, actually picnics? “Pizza” wine, by the way, falls right into that ridiculous, occasion-specific “perfect” category.
Here’s the thing about pizza and wine:
White sauce, red sauce, meat lovers, veggie lovers … and then there’s the weirdo who adds arugula to theirs. That’s a lot of flavours and components to consider. But just like when I wrote about Thanksgiving Dinner, trying to pick the one perfect wine for all the ingredient options will make you want to slap yourself with a hot pepperoni slice.
So, here is my counter offer: how about wines that are simply pretty good for any pizza?
Ya. I went there.
Flexibility, as with yoga and dating, is key to a good wine and food pairing match. So, no matter what your flavour of the week, I think these are pretty good wine options for your pizza.
A slightly off dry, and full-flavoured rosé with rich, fruit-forward notes does wonders for salty, fatty meats like prosciutto, pepperoni and bacon. Plus, the delicate sweetness of the wine helps temper any heat from fiery spice. And the knock-out punch to this ultimate pairing trifecta? The salt in the pizza really pumps up the fruit in the wine. Delicious.
Try: Hex Vom Dastenstein Pinot Noir Rosé, Baden Germany $18.55 LCBO #237536
You knew we couldn’t side-step this one, right? There’s a reason Chianti has a guest starring role in all those old-time mobster movies set in New York taverna’s decorated with red checkered tablecloths.
Chianti is the classic pizza wine: medium bodied, bright red fruit, savoury spice, and bright acidity make this a can’t-go-wrong pairing. This especially works with your classic tomato sauce and meat pizza, but Chianti also has an herbal note that is delish with veggie-based pies.
Try: Carpinetto Riserva Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $30 Vintages #47118
Sparkling wine is your get-out-of-jail-free card for just about everything. (Including when you forget to take out the trash and the whole kitchen reeks the next morning, but that’s a topic for another day. And another website, for that matter.)
Something really magical happens when you pair fizz and pizza.
If you’ve been following The Wine Sisters for a while on Instagram, you know how much we adore the high-low pairing of bubbly and chips or popcorn (especially when you throw some on some truffle oil). The mouth-watering brightness and effervescent bubbles of the wine marries brilliantly with the fat, salt and richness of the food for a truly delightful match.
Try: Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Extra Brut Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy $45 Vintages #105353