What Wines Pair with Pizza?

Staff Writer
7 wines go up against 4 popular fast-food pizzas
What Wines Pair with Pizza?

Pizza and wine: It’s a natural combination, right?

In my ongoing quest to find what wines go with fast food, I turn now to my favorite fast food of all, pizza. What epitomizes fast food — and I’m talking New York City fast food — more than pizza? Grabbing a slice on the go is as natural as hopping on the subway or taking a stroll through Central Park. It’s what we do.

This should be easy then, right? Pizza, after all, is one of the quintessential Italian restaurant staples. All that tomato sauce, cheese, and herbs mean this is a classic pairing for chianti and barbera, of course. But is that really true? Let’s find out.

The Pies

I want to be able to include as many people as possible in this exercise, which means that in addition to classic New York City street pizza, I included both upscale and chain iterations of my two favorite pies: plain and pepperoni. While we don’t have a Pizza Hut close at hand here, we do have both Domino’s and Papa John’s, so in addition to the “gourmet,” super-thin crust pizza that has become all the rage here in New York City, I included both of those nationally available staples.

The Wines

As always, I caution against interpreting the results of this tasting too narrowly. These are the wines I chose, but only to represent the general styles of wine. I am not suggesting that these are specifically the “ideal” wines.

2010 Folonari Pinot Grigio: A light, crisp white

2009 Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay: A moderately rich chardonnay

2010 Cono Sur Pinot Noir: A light, fresh pinot noir

2010 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti: A classic chianti

2007 Cantine Valpane Barbera: A rich barbera

2008 Tamas Zinfandel: A lighter, fruitier style of zinfandel

NV Cleto Chiarli Pruno Nero Lambrusco: A relatively dry style of lambrusco, a lightly sparkling Italian red wine.


Click here for the Pairing Wine with Pizza Slideshow.

— Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth