Pizza and wine is a combination as old as time. There is just something so right about it. But sometimes, even something as established as this iconic pair needs a bit of a refresh. We have worked and worked (read: eaten and drank) on perfecting your pizza and (American) wine pairings, so you never have to guess again!
Bianco and Melon Blanc
What may come across as the simplest of pizzas, just a cheese and bread base with some well placed herbs, can actually be surprisingly intense and delicious. If you’re feeling fancy, these do sometimes come with thinly sliced potatoes, hopefully with a nice sprinkling of salt. With all this, you’re going to need a wine where a good minerality brings out the salt and herbs of the pizza, and a creamy backbone which will lift the cheeses. Melon Blanc has it all, especially ones made in Willamette Valley, Oregon. It’s saline note is just what we are looking for, not to mention the creamy peach flavours which work perfectly with the soft cheeses. A match made in heaven.
Shop our pick: Bow & Arrow’s Johan Melon Blanc, £27
Margarita and Barbera
There is nothing more classic than the Italian grape Barbera and the Italian staple pizza. This fragrant, medium bodied, cleanly structured wine will perfectly match with the simplicity of the herbs in a good margarita. Look for a bottle with good acidity, and a bit more juice and richness than some basic styles, as you’ll need it to stand up to a strong tomato base. America is known for adding their own twists to the classic Italian styles and in doing so they have perfected this match. Just a drop more body and fruit than their Italian counterparts really helps level up this pairing.
Shop our pick: Oak Farms' Barbera, £28
Mushroom and Pinot Noir
There is a natural connection between earthy foods and Pinot, so a pizza with mushrooms (my personal go-to) will always compliment a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir, especially one with a few years on it. While Pinot is a good match for many autumnal vegetables - aubergine, beetroot and butternut squash - we believe the best for a pizza topping are mushrooms (although if you want beetroot pizza, we won't stop you!). The good acidity and red fruit flavours Pinot brings will also compliment the tomato base, so it’s a great match all around. Look for a bottle from 2018 or earlier, as Pinot will start showing its age from around then, a little earlier than most wines.
Shop our pick: Foxglove’s Pinot Noir, £20
Meat Feast and Syrah
Salami, sausage, pepperoni, beef, chicken… all on one, jumbo packed pizza base. Bigger is always better. That’s Syrah’s motto anyway. If you love an overloaded pizza, especially with sausage, then you’re going to need to grab a big bottle to go with it. Syrah is full of rich spices and intense dark fruit, meaning a pizza with lots of herby and spicy pork toppings isn’t going to overpower it at all. This pairing will be an epic experience, going from strength to strength as you work your way through it. Our American Syrah collection is full of great matches, but we have picked one with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, to add a little more complexity to the wine. It’s a go-to weeknight staple for us.
Shop our pick: Terre Rouge Garrigue, by Terre Rouge & Easton Wines, £20
Pineapple and Riesling
Okay okay, I know some of you are going to be upset about this one. But even people who eat pineapple on pizza deserve a good wine pairing! A Riesling with just a touch of residual sugar will really bring out the best of the pineapple (that is a thing, we promise!), and the acidity will help to balance it all out. We recommend getting one with some bacon on it, as the caramelised fats will suit the sugar in both the pineapple and wine. In fact, we think this pairing might help to convert a few of you to the dark side of pizza. For that, we are sorry!
Shop our pick: Benevolent Neglect’s Riesling, £37