Here Are The Best Wines To Pair With Pizza, According To An Expert

While we tend to think of wine as something that should be paired with particular types of meat or pasta, wine can also make the perfect accompaniment to pizza. Traditionally pizza tends to be thought of as a fast food item that's more akin to being paired with soda than anything else, but if you're having a sit-down meal in a restaurant or even a meal with friends that includes something a little more gourmet, knowing which wine is going to bring out the best flavors is a great idea. 

Chef Dan Richer, author of "Joy of Pizza" has spent his professional career attempting to discover "the holy grail of pizza" and has managed to at least come close since the New York Times named his pies one of the best in New York — even though it's not even located there! To accompany the "holy grail of pizza" it seems only fitting that it also needs the perfect wine. Richer says, "There's actually a certain "bliss factor" when the pizza + the right wine meet in the mouth and harmonize. There are so many different styles of wine and pizza, each with different regions of origin and individual flavor and textural notes, that the possibilities are endless."

It's all about balancing acidity

Much like pairing whites or reds with pasta, Richer believes which style of wine you pair your pizza will depend, not only on the toppings but on the season. "If I'm enjoying pizza in my backyard on a summer evening, I will go for a crisp white. If it's wintertime...I'd reach for a bottle of pinot noir." He suggests that you want to avoid anything "intensely favored" or "heavily oaked" as this will overpower the pizza flavors. Instead, the chef suggests a beverage that's going to compliment the palate.

For a tomato and mozzarella topped Margherita he suggests something like a  "bubbly Prosecco" as this "cuts the pizza's saltiness and cheesiness, and it has the acidity to pair with the tomatoes." For a richer-based pizza with cured meats, the chef recommends something like a Claret which is "a more substantial wine"  and is the key to "stand up to those intense flavors."

Of course, if you're ordering a variety of pizzas for the table and are after a wine to share, Richer says that a Prosecco Rosé makes a good "all-around pairing". However, he also suggested that if none of these wines were to your taste, he believes that you should go with your "personal preference" in order to have the most "enjoyable experience." The main thing he says to look for is balanced acidity.