About Time: You Learned To Match Your Wine To Your PizzaBy amelia richards
Wine and cheese, sure. But pairing wine with pizza? Never really thought about it. We weren’t sure where to start so we asked the experts to tell us how they pair wine with pizza. Pizza may be a no-fuss affair, but it can be easily elevated with the right tipple.
Restaurants are still closed and, as we turn to food delivery for a slice of variety during the easing of lockdown, for many of us, pizza is the takeaway of choice. The team at exclusive wine and champagne club, Winebuyers, have put together a selection of wines perfectly suited to your topping tastes and readily available via delivery.
Without further ado, this is how the team suggest you go about pairing wine and pizza:
The original from which all other pizzas are born, a Neapolitan (Margherita) is often overlooked but is most definitely a classic, which remains a firm favourite. Fittingly coloured like the Italian flag after unification, for the wine, it ought to be Italian.
Terre Di Giumara, Caruso E Minini, £12.50
Country/ Region: Italy, Sicily
Grapes: Frappato, Nerello Mascalese
This red wine can handle the acidity of tomatoes and cut through the mozzarella, while not overpowering the pizza’s flavour. The blend of two Sicilian grapes with huge character, Frappato and Nerello Mascalese, give the wine a freshness and weight that makes it eminently drinkable and satisfying with every sip.
Pizza Bianco (White pizza)
This cheese topped choice, devoid of tomato sauce and often drizzled with olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and garlic, and topped with mozzarella or parmesan cheese, pairs best with a bottle of Italian bubbles.
Artigianale Natural Prosecco, £15.95
Country / Region: Italy
Pale in appearance, the ultra-fine bubbles in this prosecco perfectly cut through the pizza dough and cleanse the palate. Floral notes of Acacia, Wisteria and apple are complemented by apple, peach, and white flowers on the palate. A natural vegan prosecco, the fresh, fruity, and floral flavours will balance the stronger ingredients of salt and garlic on the pizza.
A pizza which is all about the tomato. For those who applaud the logic of Pizza Bianco but not the execution, this is a fresh tomato, garlic and basil pizza, without the cheese. The simplicity of the tomato sauce calls for a wine that won’t overpower the flavours of the sauce.
Cantine Lombardini – C’era Una Volta, 2019, £7.82
Country/ Region: Italy, Email Romagna
Grapes: Lambrusco, Salamino
A tart and exuberant sparkling wine that flatters a whole gamut of foods, including Pizza Marinara, this Lambrusco bears no resemblance to the sparkling Ribena taint of the eighties. Ruby red in colour, with intense aromas of red berry, this is a full-bodied, pleasantly round, and well-balanced delicate sparkling wine.
An American variety of salami, pepperoni is a joy on pizza. Already effectively cooked, the high heat from the pizza oven just renders and softens them and releases their slightly spiced oil. When pairing with wine, look to a red with cherry notes and soft tannins that can cut through the fat of the meat.
Vignano Vineyard – L’unico 2016, £13.67
Country / Region: Italy, Tuscany
From a biodynamic estate south of Florence, this chianti has a proportion of Pinot Noir that softens some of the Sangiovese gravelly tendencies. A dry, medium-bodied wine, with notes of cherry, lavender and subtle minerality with chalk and caramel on the nose. On the palate, it is fruit forward with good balance and finish, excellent for cured meats and pizza.
Pizza al Funghi (Mushroom)
A true Trattoria staple, Pizza al Funghi requires the mushroom to be cooked separately before being lightly roasted atop the pizza. Although a red wine works with the earthy flavour of mushroom, for something a little different, a fresh, weighty white is a winner.
Biscardo, Oropasso, Veneto, Italy, 2017, £10.99
Country / Region: Italy, Veneto
Grapes: Chardonnay, Garganega
An unoaked blend of Garganega and Chardonnay, this wine takes on a bit of weight from maturation on yeast prior to bottling. Crisp and zippy with a citrus driven acidity, this wine boasts delicate floral notes alongside yellow plum and ripe apricot. Although not overtly fruity, it nevertheless has the weight required to handle the depth in flavour of the mushrooms.