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Jul 26, 2008 08:50 AM

Pesto Pizza

Anyone have ideas for a wine to serve with Pesto Pizza w/ sausage?

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  1. Zinfandel first, among others.

    16 years ago, I was assigned a Zinfandel wine-pairing project and once I tried pesto pizza with Zin, I was sold. The two work so well together. The pungency of the basil and garlic, working with the Parm, are magic with Zin's fruit and peppery spice. (And, it's best if the Zin has a slight peppery-ness, which it will if it's true to form.) Sausage will only add, though it seems like pesto + sausage is a wild flavor-topia thing.

    In truth, many red wines will work. Chianti, Barbera, and on and on. Even a cold Rose will work, or better yet, Rose Champagne, especially with the sausage.

    Some white wines will work, with qualifications. Pesto is from Liguria, where Vermentino is king, and that crisp white wine works well with it -- provided the pesto is more Genovese or Ligurian in character, and not like American-Italian pesto. The Genovese/Ligurian pesto is a luscious, silken green paste and not nearly as pungent or thick as US pesto. It has less garlic and less cheese -- so the Vermentino white wine works. It might work even with the sausage added too. As the intensity of flavors on your pizza builds, the wine will have to match accordingly. Have fun and report back.

    Please see this post
    Wines with pesto...aioli
    (with commentary by the brilliant Melanie Wong):

    1 Reply
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Ch√Ęteau-Neuf-du-Pape would be great here, too. Hmm, not to hijack the thread, but I wonder where a good Cali Zin would work but a C-N-d-P wouldn't, or vice versa...

    2. Listen to Maria Lorraine . . .

      1. Just looking at Pesto in isolation, I personally tend to favor whites.... my favorite probably being sauvignon blanc. Gavi and Pinot gris also quite interesting...

        But when you start adding "pizza" ingredients, sausage, cheese, etc. the wine pairings can get blurry, and red wine opportunities open up. While I can see zinfandel here, I'd also look at a somewhat softer and pesto-friendly wine, Valpolicella superiore.

        Actually, this would be a great pizza to serve BOTH a red and white with.

        1. I would serve a Nero d'Avola but I can also see a Barbera or one of many other reds, actually. A super rich, rustic white such as a Simcic Sauvignon Reserve or a Dettori Bianco might work, too.

          7 Replies
          1. re: whiner

            mmmm dettori bianco... if the sausage is spicy, i would even suggest the dettori tuderi

            1. re: bowmore36

              Bowmore, where are you? Slovenia? Boston?

              If Slovenia, any good Slovenian swill you can recommend?
              Or any good Friuli wines?


              1. re: maria lorraine

                beantown... just happened to be guzzlin some ribolla from movia. and the only other suggestions i have are those you do see on interesting wine lists out there. radikon, gravner, i clivi etc...

                1. re: bowmore36

                  mmmmmm.... Gravner, Radikon.... bowmore, you speak my language! :-)

                  1. re: whiner

                    always fun stuff... wish there were more out there

                  2. re: bowmore36

                    Great suggestions. Verdicchio can work too.

                2. re: bowmore36

                  I LOVE the Tuderi... I prefer it to the Rosso, actually!

              2. I vote Amarone or Barolo. I make pesto and potato pizza with roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes all the time and I think they pair nicely. A traditional Irish Stout ain't bad either!