Pizza and wine – a duo that has stood the test of time. Whether you're a pizza purist favoring the classic Margherita or an adventurous soul diving into the flavors of a Meat Lover's Feast, finding the right wine can elevate your pizza experience. Join us on a delightful journey across Europe as we explore the art of pairing pizzas with wines that go beyond borders. Grab a slice, pour a glass, and let's embark on this unpretentious culinary adventure!
1. The Classic Margherita
Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio (Italy), Albariño (Spain), Vinho Verde (Portugal)
The simplicity of a Margherita demands a wine that won't steal the show. Enter the scene with a Pinot Grigio from Italy, offering crispness and a touch of citrus. Alternatively, the Spanish Albariño adds a hint of sea breeze, while a Portuguese Vinho Verde with its light effervescence enhances the freshness. Sip and savor the harmony.
2. Pepperoni Passion
Wine Pairing: Chianti (Italy), Tempranillo (Spain), Touriga Nacional (Portugal)
When pepperoni takes center stage, a robust wine is the perfect partner. Dive into a Chianti from Italy with its cherry notes, or embrace the boldness of a Spanish Tempranillo. For an unconventional twist, opt for a Portuguese Touriga Nacional, bringing depth and dark fruit flavors to the party.
3. Mushroom Magic
Wine Pairing: Barbera (Italy), Baga (Portugal)
Mushrooms add an earthy touch, and the wine should complement without overshadowing. An Italian Barbera, light and lively, dances with the mushroom melody. Alternatively, a Portuguese Baga, with its red berry notes, creates a harmonious duet with the fungi.
4. Hawaiian Happiness
Wine Pairing: Vermentino (Italy), Vinho Verde (Portugal), Assyrtiko (Greece)
For the tropical notes of Hawaiian pizza, an Italian Vermentino brings a zesty kick. A Vinho Verde from Portugal, with its light and refreshing profile, enhances the pineapple sweetness. Venture into Greece with an Assyrtiko for a citrusy, Aegean-inspired pairing.
5. Meat Lover's Feast
Wine Pairing: Primitivo (Italy), Douro Red (Portugal), Bull's Blood (Hungary)
With an array of meats, a bold wine is a necessity. An Italian Primitivo, rich and full-bodied, stands up to the meaty medley. Portuguese Douro Red brings a robust character, while Hungarian Bull's Blood (Egri Bikavér) adds an intriguing Eastern European flair to the feast.
6. Vegetarian Delight
Wine Pairing: Sangiovese (Italy), Alvarinho (Portugal), Assyrtiko (Greece), Riesling (Germany)
For a vegetable-packed pizza, a versatile wine is key. Sangiovese from Italy complements the garden flavors. Alvarinho from Portugal adds a touch of floral elegance. From Greece, Assyrtiko's bright acidity enhances the freshness. Venture to Germany for a Riesling, offering a hint of sweetness to balance the vibrant veggies.
7. BBQ Bliss
Wine Pairing: Nero d'Avola (Italy), Touriga Franca (Portugal), Agiorgitiko (Greece), Kadarka (Hungary)
Barbecue sauce demands wines with depth and character. An Italian Nero d'Avola brings dark fruit and smoky notes. Portuguese Touriga Franca adds complexity, while Greek Agiorgitiko contributes a robust character. From Hungary, Kadarka brings a spicy kick, making it a perfect partner for barbecue-infused pizza.
8. Truffle Temptation
Wine Pairing: Verdicchio (Italy), Encruzado (Portugal), Furmint (Hungary)
Truffle-infused pizzas call for wines that can match their luxuriousness. An Italian Verdicchio brings a crisp edge, while a Portuguese Encruzado adds depth. Venture to Hungary with a Furmint, offering a unique aromatic profile that complements the truffle essence.
9. Pesto Perfection
Wine Pairing: Soave (Italy), Arinto (Portugal), Moschofilero (Greece), Silvaner (Germany)
Pesto's herby notes need a wine that won't overwhelm. Italian Soave, with its floral and almond nuances, creates a delightful combination. Arinto from Portugal adds zesty acidity, while Moschofilero from Greece brings aromatic freshness. From Germany, Silvaner's subtle profile allows the pesto to shine.
10. Dessert Delights
Wine Pairing: Moscato d'Asti (Italy), Port (Portugal), Tokaji (Hungary), Ruster Ausbruch (Austria)
For sweet dessert pizzas, indulge in an Italian Moscato d'Asti with its light effervescence. Portuguese Port adds a rich and fortified sweetness. Hungarian Tokaji brings honeyed notes, and Austrian Ruster Ausbruch offers a luscious, sweet ending to your pizza feast.
In the world of pizza and wine, there are no strict rules—only delightful discoveries waiting to be made. So, next time you order your favorite pie, grab a bottle of one of these European wines and let your taste buds embark on a flavorful adventure. Cheers to the perfect pizza and wine pairings – a match made for sharing, laughter, and good times!
Image credits: Nick Owens