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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.

              2. I find Champagne and Barbera can pretty much handle most of the pies out there. They have wide enough ranges of styles and age that you can simply adjust to the specific ingredients of the pizza.

                Zweigelt sounds like a good idea. I'll give it a shot next time.

                1. Forgot my current pizza wine: cellar-temerature 2006 Blason Isonzo cab franc. High acid, very aromatic, same general profile as zweigelt. I think K&L is the only source in the US.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Thanks for the rec--the profile's exactly what works for me with pizza. Along the same lines, but not region, a Frappato from Sicily, Monica from Sardinia, Rosso Conero from Marche or one of the uva di troia-based Pugliesi. Old line Neapolitans always seem to insist on a fizzy gragnano or a lemon acid asprinio d'aversa, but I'd take a simple young aglianico or piedirosso from Campania instead.

                    1. re: obob96

                      Not too easy to find gragnano or asprinio d'aversa outside of Naples.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Meno male, as they would say in Naples.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      The current 2011 vintage of the Blason Cabernet Franc didn't impress me so much.

                    3. I tend to like any Montepulciano d'Abruzzo with pizza...especially home-made pizza :)

                      1. Along with a Saumur, or Chinon, I often lean to a Chianti (to me, the Sangiovese grape has the acid to work well with a tomato-based pizza sauce). Then, much depends on the exact pizza.

                        Just depends,