Ciao bella! Okay so I’m not Italian, but after years of studying pies and vino, I have nailed down what wines go best with pizza.
What wine pairs with pizza is an age-old question with a ton of pretty valid answers. Pizza is a versatile food with many different styles and topping options, but I wanted to share with you all my all-time favorite types of wine to have with pizza. Whether you love anchovy, white pizza, deep dish, or Neapolitan: there’s a wine on this list for you.
I’ve eaten a lot of pizza in my life. So much that it’s only rivaled by how much wine I’ve consumed. And after a whole lot of trial and error, I can promise you won’t be disappointed with these wine recommendations.
A lot of people think you need a red wine with pizza, but that’s totally not true. Pizza goes amazingly well with wines of all types. That means there’s no lack of options when it comes to choosing a bottle, so to narrow it down, we can follow the below criteria:
- Lighter pizzas: choose a crisp white, sparkling, or rosé
- Meat-heavy pizzas: choose a red with some spice and body to it
- Vegetable-heavy pizzas: choose a light white
- Saucy pizzas: choose a spicy or juicy red
With this criteria in mind, I’ve included wines of every color from a variety of regions, and I even threw in some bottle recommendations that are under $20. You should be able to find these bottles at Total Wine or your local grocery store to make it extra easy to plan your next pizza night.
So enough with the prologue, let’s get right to it!
Primitivo is just Italian Red Zinfandel. It goes well with pizza for two main reasons: First, it’s Italian, and often food and wine from the same region are a natural pairing. (Spoiler: most wines on this list are Italian). Second, it’s medium bodied, has nice fruit, and can be served chilled.
I LOVE chilled reds with pizza because they beautifully complement the pizza’s hot, melty, cheesiness soooo well. Primitivo would stand up nicely to a thick slice of Sicilian or a thin Neapolitan with prosciutto. If you aren’t feeling that fancy, a pepperoni pizza from Domino’s would also be fab.
Personal recommendation: Caleo Primitivo Salento ($10)
2. Cabernet Franc
Cab Franc is my go-to red if I’m having a pepperoni pizza OR a pizza with any type of pepper on it. Roasted, raw, red, green… whatever your favorite is, cabernet franc has a light pepperiness and spiciness that pairs super well with peppers of all types. It’s also fairly light-bodied for a red, so it wouldn’t overwhelm a vegetable pizza with red sauce.
I recommend choosing a bottle from the Loire valley in France, because the style from this region is light, refreshing, and subtly peppery.
Personal recommendation: Reserve des Vignerons Saumur Champigny ($15)
3. Nero d’Avola
Nero d’Avola is the most popular red grape in Sicily. It makes a gorgeous dark red wine (almost black) that pairs amazingly well with pretty much all southern Italian food, including pizza! It used to be mostly a blending grape, but it’s increased a ton in popularity as a single varietal, and for good reason.
You can expect a medium bodied wine with lots of dark fruits, high acidity, and a silky texture. I recommend pairing it with a rich, meaty deep dish pie.
Personal recommendation: Cusumano Nero D’Avola Sicilia ($8.50)
I would be remiss if I didn’t add Gamay to this list. It’s a pretty obvious choice when it comes to pizza because it’s basically the pizza of wine. It’s approachable, affordable, and utterly crushable.
Gamay is produced primarily in France and is the grape used to make Beaujolais. It’s full of red fruits and tastes a little bit like candy… but in a good way. You can serve it chilled and it goes with literally any type of pizza, but it will complement earthier flavors (like mushrooms or potatoes) especially well. Also yes: potatoes on pizza is a thing and it is fantastic.
Personal recommendation: Jadot Beaujolais Villages ($12)
Lambrusco is a type of red grape and also a type of sparkling wine made from this grape in Northern Italy. Most of the wines are sparkling reds, which makes them hard to beat when you’re looking for a good pizza wine. Though many are off-dry (aka: semi-sweet), there are also a ton of dry Lambruscos in the USA market. Either are delicious with pizza and relatively inexpensive.
Taste-wise, Lambrusco is insanely refreshing and fruity, but also has great body and a little bit of tannin. In short, it’s the best of all worlds. If you’re looking for a wine that goes with truly any type of pizza, this is probably your best bet. For a super fun pairing, go for an anchovy and caper pizza and feel the magic unfold in your mouth.
Personal recommendation: Lini Lambrusco Rosso ($15)
6. Sparkling Vouvray
Vouvray is one of my favorite types of wine in general, and it just happens to go really well with pizza. It’s a French wine from the Loire valley region made with the Chenin Blanc grape that can be still or sparkling.
I recommend the sparkling specifically because it has a yeastiness that goes soooo well with pizza dough, while the bubbles and higher acidity will cut through the cheese without issue. Try it with a Gruyère, mushroom, & onion pizza and thank me later.
Personal recommendation: Bougrier Pure Loire Sparkling Vouvray ($20)
7. Sangiovese Rosé
Sangiovese in general goes quite well with pizza, but a Sangiovese Rosé is even better in my opinion! Originally from Italy but now made around the world, Sangiovese Rosé is fruit forward, fairly full-bodied, spicy, and acidic.
For me, this makes it a perfect wine for almost any type of pizza, but I especially like it with a hand-tossed sausage and feta cheese. The acidity will cut through the salty cheese like a dream, while the spicy notes will complement the sauce and sausage.
Personal recommendation: Barnard Griffin Rose Of Sangiovese ($12.50)
Vermentino is a grape grown primarily in Italy that’s starting to get trendy in the south of France as well. It’s similar to Sauvignon Blanc in that it’s dry with tons of grapefruit, citrus & tropical fruits, as well as a hint of saltiness.
This makes it an amazing wine with a white pizza OR a pesto pizza. The fruitiness meshes well with the creamy cheese, and the light pithiness would work wonderfully with pesto. As a bonus: since it’s fairly unknown compared to other Italian whites, you can also find bottles for pretty great prices.
Personal recommendation: Dolia Vermentino Di Sardegna ($14)
If you’re more of a Chardonnay fan, then Viognier is the perfect white pizza wine for you! Viognier is a type of grape mostly grown in southern France, but you can find it produced all over the world. It’s full-bodied, extremely aromatic, and has a round, silky texture.
Since it’s full-bodied and packs a ton of flavor, it would hold up to a heftier pizza that you wouldn’t usually pair with a white wine — think: BBQ chicken. It would also pair beautifully with a creamy white pizza if that’s more of your thing. Either way, a Viognier is super versatile and will not disappoint.
Personal recommendation: Les Piliers Viognier ($20)
Welp, I am now starving. Time to practice what I preach and make a quick run to the wine store that happens to be conveniently located next to my favorite pizza place…
Have you ever tried any of these wines with pizza? Or do you have a favorite pizza wine that you think should’ve made the list? If so, let me know in the comment section below.
Otherwise, cheers to pizza and the wine that makes pizza somehow even better!