Poised between clichés and traditions, pizza is a concentrate of Italianness: it has the beauty of simple things and can also be refined and innovative. And who said that pizza is only perfect when paired with beer or (for those who love it) Coca-Cola? It's time to go outside the box: pizza is the food with the most variations, ingredients and condiments there is. You can play with your imagination and pair it with great satisfaction with a glass of wine. Or even two.
Let's see together the four pairings between pizza and wine that are absolutely worth trying.
Types of pizza
The pizza is divided into two: red and white.
The red pizza is rich in tomatoes and toppings. Its main characteristic is the acidity (given by the tomato) combined with the sweet tendency (of the pasta). In the pairing we will look for a medium-bodied white or rosé wine that can compensate for the acidity of the tomato; alternatively, you can opt for a red wine with soft tannins.
The white pizza, on the other hand, is rich in cheese. When paired, it requires white wines that are basically acidic and mineral; if the fatness of the ingredients is marked we will look for bubbles capable of balancing.
4 pizzas and wine pairings from the Sommelier Wine Box
1. What wine should you pair with margherita pizza?
Margherita pizza expresses the most direct and sincere Italian excellence.
If the first time the word "pizzaiulo" is found in documents was in 1799, in Naples, it was in the nineteenth century that pizza exploded in the Neapolitan city: it was a healthy food because it was made with simple ingredients and cooked for a few minutes at a high temperature (which eliminated any bacteria in the water). The Margherita pizza was born in June 1889 with the chefs Raffaele Esposito and Rosa Brandi who, having to cook for Queen Margherita of Savoy, invented a pizza for her with tomato, mozzarella and basil. The colors were immediately associated with the Italian flag and from that moment on the Margherita pizza became the very emblem of Italian cuisine in the world .
Given the freshness of the ingredients, to pair the Margherita pizza we recommend a medium-bodied white or rosé wine , which in terms of structure and acidity balances the Margherita pizza. Try Chardonnay , Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio .
2. Which wine should pair with a capricciosa pizza?
La Capricciosa is a rich and tasty pizza, with artichokes, mushrooms, olives and ham. The recommended pairing to contrast all these ingredients is a red wine with soft and elegant tannin such as a Valpolicella Ripasso , Morellino di Scansano or Ruchè di Castagnole del Monferrato .
3. What wine should you pair with a Neapolitan pizza?
Neapolitan pizza has anchovies, mozzarella and tomato as the predominant elements. We undoubtedly recommend a fruity and intense white wine capable of counteracting the flavor of the anchovies, the acidity of the tomato and the fattiness of the mozzarella. Definitely worth trying are Greco di Tufo , Fiano di Avellino , Pinot Grigio , Riesling and Gewürztraminer .
4. What wine should you pair with a four cheese pizza?
The 4 cheese pizza is one of the tastiest pizzas that exist. There are numerous variations and to combine them perfectly they must be divided based on the persistence of the cheeses. In general, the pairing requires a fine, elegant bubble with significant acidity to counteract the fattiness of the cheeses. If we are talking about a gorgonzola all these characteristics go together with a bubble also with a notable flavour. Excellent examples are Franciacorta and Trento Doc , which can be gradually more complex, characterized by long refinements, based on how intense the notes of the cheese are.
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