Everything you need to know about matching wine and pizza

By Roberto Damante June 13, 2018

These pizza and wine pairings will elevate your palate and impress your friends

Of course, there really are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing wine and pizza. However, if you’re ever at a loss, Wine Selectors Panellist, Adam Walls says:

“When it comes to pizza, I stick to the old theory of what grows together, goes together. Most Italian-style wines like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, Fiano and Vermentino are all going to be good options with pizza.”


Featuring the simple and classic flavours of tangy tomato, creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil, a margarita pizza lends itself to light/medium-bodied wines. The zesty flavours of a Pinot Grigio are just enough to bring out the pizza’s flavours, without overpowering it. Pair with: Pinot Grigio or Sangiovese, Rosé. Best to avoid: Heavy bold wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.


To balance out the strong spice of pepperoni, opt for a wine with rich, fruity flavours like a Sangiovese. Its savoury qualities and moderate acidity will cut through the pepperoni’s fat and saltiness, providing the perfect moreish match. Pair with or Sangiovese or Barbera, Nero d'Avola, Nebbiolo. Best to avoid: Lighter-style wines such as Rosé.


When it comes to pairing wine and Hawaiian pizza, it really is a case of opposites attract. A reasonably sweet Riesling will work beautifully as a counterbalance to the saltiness of the ham, while also enhancing the pineapple’s punch. The high acidity of a Riesling also provides a great palate cleanser to boot. Pair with: Riesling or Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano. Best to avoid: Rich, fruity reds such as Shiraz.


With these intense meaty flavours, you’re going to need a wine that’s up to the task and one never-fail variety is Cabernet Sauvignon. Its elevated tannins will match perfectly with the fattiness of the meat and the rich fruity flavours will provide an undeniable flavour combination. Pair with: Cabernet Sauvignon or Tempranillo, Shiraz, Malbec. Best to avoid: White wine.


The smokiness and sweetness of the barbeque sauce will pair perfectly with the fruitiness of a Pinot Noir. Its light body and fine tannins will work beautifully with the chicken, without overpowering it. Pair with: Pinot Noir, or Dolcetto, Merlot, Chardonnay, Rosé. Best to avoid: Light-bodied white wines.


If you like your vegetables where you can see them on a pizza, think about a wine that’s not going to compete with the mix of components going on in a Vegetarian pizza. An unoaked Chardonnay is a good place to start. With its gentle notes of citrus and herbs, it complements the similar flavours of the vegetables perfectly. Pair with: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco, Fiano, Rosé. Best to avoid: Deep, full-bodied reds like Shiraz, which will overpower the humble veggies.

Here at smoothfm we are passionate about great wine, hear Cameron Daddo reveal which famous 90’s actor introduced him to rose in our new smooth selects podcast series A Moment In Wine, click here to listen.