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Apr 15, 2008 11:35 AM

Best wines with pizza? Best pizzeria wine lists?

Obviously what wine is best varies with what's on the pizza.

For your basic tomato & pork products pie, I like a high-acid red such as Chinon or Saumur, some rustic southern French blends, or zweigelt, or a spicy, rich red such as Côtes du Rhône, some zinfandels, or an old-school California field blend (what winemakers used to call "dago red"). In a place without a decent wine list, maybe Chianti.

Some good pizzeria wine lists:

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  1. How about Rosso De Montalcinos? I find them to have a bit of acid and last one I had showed a lot of nuances as I ate it with my pie.

    1. Because I tend to favor plain margherita pizzas, i look to wines that are full-flavored & complex as a counterbalance. In many ways the bottle I drink upstages the pie. I love classic-styled zins in the Ridge vein (nothing beats that Draper perfume!), but fruitier Southern Rhones & richer Beaujolais crus (Moulin-a-Vent, Morgon) hit the spot too. I'm sure it's not the best match if you want to enjoy the nuances of pizza, so to each his own.

      For meatier pizza's i like Sagrantino di Montefalco, Lagrein Dunkel and some Nebbiolo della Langhe's (depending on vintage/producer). For me Italian reds aren't my go-to wines for casual meals since there's so much vintage variation & of course the price creep with the weak dollar.

      The best pizzeria wine list I've come across so far is at Silverton/Batali/Bastianich's Mozza in LA:

      It shouldn't be a surprise considering that Batali/Bastianich run a premier Italian wine shop in Manhattan and Bastianich wrote the Italian wine bible "Vino Italiano".

      1 Reply
      1. re: zinFAN

        That Pizzeria Mozza list (interesting, but like all their lists weak on Sicilian and Sardinian wines) reminds me of another good match: dry Lambrusco.

      2. Barbera is my go to pizza wine. Great acidity.

        1. Of course it depends alot on the ingredients, and fortunately you can craft a pizza to match a wine very nicely.

          But for "garden variety" cheese-sauce-sausage-mushrooms-herbs.... in reds barbera is pertty consistent. V.N. de Montepulciano is a very pizza-friendly sangiovese blend, nebbiolo is surprisingly good with alot of pies...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chicago Mike

            Yes, even with my tomato sauce (see other post), a Barbera would hold up to the acid nicely.


          2. Robert,

            Nice to see you posting. I have missed your insight.

            I agree with your first paragraph. As I am more inclined to go with a tomato sauce, there is the acid element. My first pick will probably be a Chianti, or some other version of Sangiovese.

            If the tomato element is down, then the Zins & Syrah/Shiraz wines come to my mind. Again, and depending, I think that the Côtes du Rhône call is a good one.

            I've also had some good luck with a few Cru BJs.

            Around these parts, the tomato component is not that often used, and sometimes, we'll grab for a white, just be cause of the abundance of the cheeses.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              I agree with the opinions on Barbera. I have often heard it referred to as pizza wine. Another wine that I often have with pizza is Aglianico -- classic red from Campagnia to pair with a classic dish from the region.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Oh yeah, Morgon's a good match, especially slightly chilled, outside, on a hot day.

                I have issues with Chianti since I started drinking it before they started making Bordeaux / Napa knockoffs out of their best grapes.