Pizza and wine. They are two of the most chosen at lunchtime, although they are rarely seen together. This has more to do with the custom of accompanying pizza with beer or soda.
It is known that thanks to the influence of Italian immigrants and the rise of delivery, pizza has become a popular dish. Easy to prepare at home, it is as economical as it is attractive. In addition, throughout the country there are more pizzerias than grills, allowing a diversity of proposals unheard of, even in Italy itself. This means that there are pizzas for all tastes and pockets.
And although it is enjoyed all year round, its practicality makes it one of the most popular summer meals. In addition, it allows anyone to show off and entertain many guests at the same time.
Believe it or not, very few tend to enjoy pizzas with wine, even though it is the most appropriate beverage to do so. At the time, sparkling wine had become fashionable to accompany it, the famous “pizza with champagne” of the nineties. And beyond politics, that trend hid some logic, since sparkling wine is drunk very fresh and has bubbles like beer, even though it contains twice as much alcohol.
However, the combination of bubbles and dough, whether stone-baked or molded, is not the most advisable for good digestion. That is where wine emerges as the most appropriate companion.
The point is that wine implies a certain complication for many, and it is far from the practicality proposed by beer. But if the point of the dough, the flavors of the combined ingredients, and the textures matter, then the wine is the ideal partner to enhance all the attributes of the pizza.
The best wine with pizza
For their freshness and versatility, it’s a tie between a medium-bodied Shiraz, a Malbec Rosé, and a Sauvignon Blanc, which will balance and enhance the elemental flavors in a pizza: the tomato and the cheese.
Pizza and wine pairing
It is the most traditional of all and the easiest to make at home. Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, simple, as the wine should be. A Malbec rosé, light, subdued looking and of the year (2019), is ideal, because it is fresh and vibrant, with moderate flavors that do not compete with the pizza. This wine is also appropriate for the Margherita version, which comes with fresh basil leaves.
Ham and bell pepper pizza
Some people baptize it with another name because of some other added ingredient. But in general, it has tomato sauce, mozzarella, cooked ham, and bell peppers. It is evident that here there is more preparation, and it is necessary a white wine with body and a certain character, but at the same time refreshing, like a Viognier.
In any of its versions (even stuffed with ham) mozzarella and onion predominate. These more intense and even spicy or pungent flavors and textures are best served with a wine that cleanses but does not compete, such as a Semillon, with freshness and austerity.
Arugula and prosciutto pizza
Whether or not it has brie cheese and/or sundried tomatoes, the wine must be balanced and tense. It cannot be read, because it does not go well with the saltiness of the ham (it enhances the tannins and the sensations of roughness) or with the bitterness of the green. That is where a Chardonnay is needed, because although it is usually a not very expressive white, it has body and freshness, and has everything in its place.
This pizza has a strong flavor given by the Pepperoni that has a spicy touch, combined with the creaminess of the mozzarella cheese. It requires a wine that balances the flavors, medium-bodied, smooth texture, with gentle tannins, the aroma of red fruits, intense and elegant; Merlot will be your best choice.
On the coast, they are offered a lot in summer, based on tomato sauce, with mussels, clams, shrimps, etc. Having all the sea on the plate, a glass of refreshing and almost sparkling wine is necessary, not for bubbles but freshness and acidity, such as a young Sauvignon Blanc.
This pizza with mozzarella and tomato sauce is usually served with mushrooms, the most used mushrooms. And to enjoy it more, you can choose a fresh and enveloping red wine, such as a Malbec or a Merlot, but they have to be young, unpretentious, and without oak.
To accompany any pizza that combines vegetables, whether seasonal or not, it is clear that red wine is not appropriate. Therefore, you can resort to any rosé or white wine, even a Torrontés with its expressive and effusive character, and its floral and fruity perfumes.
Leaving aside the bittersweet controversy, some like this kind of combination. And although it usually comes with cooked ham, the only wine that can combine well is a sweet white wine, served very fresh, because it does not confront the sweetness of the fruit, and thanks to its acidity it is not too sweet.
Many believe that it is impossible to pair the same wine with different types of pizza, but the reality is that just as there are thousands of wines for every pizza, there are thousands of pizzas for every wine. The key is to let yourself go and not be so purist, since it is not a sophisticated food, but rather a highly entertaining and tasty proposal, to which the wine can add new sensations.
Another issue to take into account is that hot cheeses generally go better with fresh white or rosé wines than with reds, although there are occasions when a very fresh red wine is the best option.
And it doesn’t matter if it is about the most known tastes or more risky and prepared combinations, anyone can choose the ideal wine for their pizza.