The Absolute Best Wines To Pair With Different Types Of Pizza

It's hard to think of a more comforting and versatile duo than a piping hot pizza and a bottle of wine. With endless pizza toppings to customize your pie and more grape varieties than you could try in a lifetime, suffice to say you should never be at a loss for what to serve. While you can't really eat pizza every single night (though the sheer variations preclude any significant vitamin deficiencies ... right?), as far as we're concerned, it should definitely make an appearance on your weekly menu.

To assist you in enjoying your best pizza and wine life, we've compiled our favorite pairings. From classic pies like Margherita and pepperoni to pesto bases and seafood toppings, every single pizza deserves a chance. And while you should drink wine from around the world to taste the vast assortment available, we've highlighted a number of Italian options because, you know, pizza. Let this be a shopping list or the inspiration you need to add more pizza and wine to the table.

Marinara pizza & Nero d'Avola

Seemingly simple and largely dependent on quality ingredients, marinara, aka red pizza, is all about the sauce. Rich tomato sauce, its acidity perfectly balanced by the subtle sweetness of San Marzano tomatoes (if you're working with the real deal), is complemented by thin slices of garlic, a sprinkling of oregano, and olive oil. A little tangy, a little sweet, and an earthy note to tie it all together, marinara is far more complex than the sum of its parts.

Since this pizza skips out on the typical cheese topping, your palate is awarded the full attack of the tomato sauce. And to go with that kick, you're going to want an equally high acid wine, or else whatever is in your glass is going to be completely muted. Sicily's Nero d'Avola grape is the perfect match for a tomato-centric marinara.

A graceful streak of acidity counterbalances the vibrant sauce with edgy yet smooth tannins. Notes of dark fruits, licorice, and tobacco are commonly tasted in this medium-bodied wine. Together, they add depth to the red sauce, turning the experience into much more than pureed tomatoes and pizza dough. Feudo Maccari produces Neré, an excellent version of Nero d'Avola with a price to guarantee it becomes a mainstay in your cellar.

Pizza bianca & sparkling rosé

While some people can't imagine eating pizza without cheese, others can't envision the concept of pizza with no tomato sauce — yet both are classic pies. Pizza bianca (or white pizza) eliminates any chance of staining your clothes, which is already a bonus in our books. Clean wardrobe aside, the combination of warm, stretchy dough, cheese, and the occasional addition of garlic or a drizzle of olive oil is about as comforting as it gets. While mozzarella is a common topping, variations with Parmesan, burrata, and Alfredo sauce are all classified under the white pizza label.

Since the rich cheese and yeasty dough are the stars of this pie, pairing it with a creamy sparkling rosé is an obvious win as far as we're concerned. While you could opt for a novel Prosecco DOC rosé (the style was approved in 2020), choosing a bubbly made following the traditional method of secondary fermentation will provide you with an enhanced experience.

When effervescence is produced in the bottle, the wine has the chance to mingle with dead yeast cells. While this sounds like something you'd want to avoid, it actually adds depth of flavor and rich biscuity aromas to the wine. Paired with the yeasty dough, the match is meant to be. Any traditional method of sparkling wine would work here, but rosé really holds its own to the cheesy delight of a pizza bianca. Louis Bouillot's crémant de Bourgogne brut rosé proves this is the right choice.

Margherita pizza & Valpolicella

Seemingly the most basic pizza on any menu, Margherita demonstrates that simplicity goes a long way. A tomato sauce base (usually seasoned with garlic, salt, and olive oil) is topped with fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves to garnish. It's a pizza about compromise as neither the tomato nor the cheese takes over.

This icon of a pizza (it is named for a queen, after all) has qualities that make it a seamless pairing with a number of wines. Our favorite is a young and fruity Valpolicella wine made with a blend of a few grapes indigenous to the Veneto region of Northern Italy: corvina, corvinone, molinara, and rondinella. Although the wines must meet certain requirements regarding the ratio of grapes, you'll find a fair bit of variability regarding the flavor and overall quality.

Masi's Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico is an excellent contender that offers bright cherry notes and silky tannins to highlight the sweet and tangy tomato sauce and delicate cheese.

Pepperoni pizza & Chianti

Glistening slices of pepperoni perch on top of pools of mozzarella cheese in this American favorite. If you're looking for a pizza loaded with meat, you can't go wrong with pepperoni. Although the Italian rendition is made with salami, the concept is the same: thin crispy slices of salty meat come together with the stretchy cheese for neverending (we wish!) bites of bliss. When paired with the subdued flavor of mozzarella, pepperoni adds the perfect amount of flavor and salt to make each slice stand out.

Our favorite pairing to go with this decadent slice is a good old glass of Chianti. Made with Italy's prized sangiovese grape, this Tuscan wine is famous the world over. That being said, you'll find lots of duds since this wine sells itself from sheer recognizability.

Frescobaldi is a reliable producer that has been making wine in Tuscany since the 1300s. Its Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva is a savory example of the iconic wine, brimming with aromas of berries, dark cherries, spices, balsamic, and coffee. With richly balanced tannins and a lively mouthfeel, this wine will highlight the salty pepperoni and its meaty, smoky flavors.

Four-cheese pizza & sparkling wine

If you say yes to all things cheese, you're probably enthusiastic about a pizza that boasts four kinds of it. Although recipes vary, the standard quartet in an Italian pizzeria is mozzarella, Gorgonzola, fontina, and Parmesan, melted over the base with or without tomato sauce. It's certainly a loaded pie, and the flavor profile is equally broad depending on the type of cheese used. In any case, you're dealing with some pungent flavors, some that are mild and creamy, and others on the saltier end of the spectrum.

The answer to all your pairing woes is sparkling wine. The bubbles and acidity are natural palate cleansers, and the common citrus, apple, and floral aromas are easy matches with cheese and yet more cheese. While you could do worse than enjoying your cheesy pie with a glass of Prosecco, if you truly want to elevate your pizza night, pop another darling from Northern Italy: Trentodoc. Ferrari's brut Trentodoc is made with chardonnay grapes following the same method used to make Champagne, yet it comes at a fraction of the price.

Spicy sausage pizza & Lambrusco

It might be a fiery hot sliced sausage like chorizo or a chili pepper-infused home recipe. Or perhaps, it's a fennel-heavy Italian style with minimal heat and maximum flavor. No matter the specifics, meat lovers take note: Sausage is a game-changer when it comes to pizza toppings. You're sure to see lots of variations as to the remaining ingredients, and while tomato sauce and vegetables like peppers and onions are common, you could just as easily be served a white pizza with fennel sausage and rapini.

Regardless, there is a type of Lambrusco that fits the bill. From lighter blood-orange styles to wines that are deep shades of purple with the stewed fruit flavor profile to match, you'll wonder why you haven't sipped on more red bubbles. Medici Ermete's Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano is a rich wine teeming with aromas of dark fruits, berries, and subtle spices. Drink it chilled to highlight the effervescence and keep this sipper pleasantly refreshing. It's the ideal complement to your slice of spicy sausage pizza.

Vegetarian pizza & Beaujolais

Whether your vegetarian pizza is loaded up with broccoli, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, or any other creative combination, it sure lends credence to the fact that pizza can be a wholesome meal. Vegetable-focused pies are typically slathered in tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese, be it the melty mozzarella variety, chunky feta, or other delicious options. Meanwhile, the veggies can be grilled, adding a smoky char to this flavorful pizza.

Given the wide range of toppings that you might find on your vegetarian pie, you'll want a versatile wine that doesn't steal the show with weighty tannins or an overwhelming oak essence. Our top pick is a Beaujolais from southern Burgundy, France, where wines are made with the easy-to-love gamay grape.

These wines showcase juicy red fruits, subtle floral and spice aromas, and some earthiness. The higher acidity pairs smoothly with the cheese and tomato sauce, while the fruit and earth notes make it an easy match for assorted vegetables. Try a Beaujolais Villages by Louis Jadot for a reliable mid-range bottle that won't break the bank.

Pesto pizza & Soave

It's hard not to love pesto with its rich basil taste, light nuttiness, and olive oil-infused flavor. Not to mention, if you're not a fan of basil or pine nuts, the traditional recipe has seen countless recreations using various herbs, nuts, and seeds. In that vein, pesto rosso is an Italian classic and another common version of the mouthwatering sauce made with sundried tomatoes.

For simplicity's sake, we like our pizza with standard basil pesto and mozzarella cheese, but don't let that stop you from experimenting with different types of cheese or additional add-ons. Zucchini or mushrooms would blend right in, and pesto with chicken is a beloved duo.

To wash down all of that herbal flavor, we're reaching for a Soave wine made with Northern Italy's indigenous garganega and trebbiano grapes. Our top pick for an easy pizza night is Otto Soave Classico by Prà winery. This refreshing wine is brimming with floral aromas and stone fruits. The fruitiness is balanced by a streak of minerality, which is the perfect palate cleanser for the rich pesto.

White clam pizza & rosé

It may be a divisive choice in some circles, but clam pizza recipes are still a standard menu option in many places — particularly in Connecticut, where it is said to have originated (via Atlas Obscura). As the story goes, Frank Pepe invented the concoction when he whipped up an appetizer of clams and served it atop a white pizza at his Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven. Nowadays, the concept has spread far and wide, though it's not traditional in Italian cuisine. Nevertheless, the creamy, cheesy base perfectly complements briny littleneck clams.

Rosé with seafood is consistently delicious, whether it's a dry style to go with a delicate piece of white fish, bubbles to wash down greasy fish and chips, or a fruitier style to go with a ceviche. And it certainly pairs well with a white clam pizza. Monte del Fra's Chiaretto di Bardolino from the Lake Garda area in Northern Italy offers depth while maintaining liveliness on the palate. Some red and stone fruits mingle with floral aromas and subtle spices in this elegant rosé. Balanced by generous acidity, every sip highlights the creamy seafood pie while simultaneously cutting through the richness.

BBQ Chicken pizza & grenache

First created at the California Pizza Kitchen, BBQ chicken pizza is all about in-your-face flavor (via Williams Sonoma). Slathered in barbecue sauce and loaded with grilled chicken, onions, layers of cheese, and cilantro, this American classic is a favorite among poultry lovers. There's no doubt that BBQ chicken pizza offers up a sensory experience for your tastebuds unlike any other. With the sweet, smoky, and tangy sauce, oozing melted cheese, lightly charred chicken, and a sharp bite from the onions and fresh cilantro, this pie isn't for the fainthearted.

This flavor bomb will completely obliterate any subdued wine, so we've paired it with a wine made with grenache grapes. Grown on the Italian island of Sardinia, the grape is known as cannonau, and Argiolas winery produces an excellent example. Bold from the sunny climate, this wine displays rich notes of ripe berries and cherries, herbs, and spices. Harmoniously balanced with a full body and integrated tannins, this wine is sure to complement the savory flavors of your BBQ chicken pizza.

Hawaiian pizza & riesling

People are usually firmly in one of two camps: those who think that pineapple shouldn't be a topping and those who love Hawaiian pizza. While it's not for everyone, there is a certain satisfying duality between the salty ham and the sweet fruit. The remaining ingredients tend to stick to a couple of fundamentals (mozzarella and tomato sauce), and some recipes call for other add-ons, such as cooked bacon bits.

Pairing wine with sweet food requires a delicate hand. Pour something too dry, and it will taste bitter and lacking flavor. Meanwhile, although dessert wines with high residual sugar have a place in the food and wine world, we're not really fond of the idea of serving them with pizza. The perfect intermediary to remedy the issue is an off-dry white.

Riesling offers the solution since its notable acidity often comes in tandem with sweetness and, at any rate, plenty of aromatic notes. In this case, the subtle sugar from the pineapple (it's not cake, after all) is pleasantly complemented by the sweetness in the wine. And since some acidity is still present, nothing is cloying about the duo, which acts as a palate cleanser for the remaining salty, fatty ingredients.

Our easy weeknight pizza pairing pick is Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl riesling. The delicious aromas of stone fruits, lime, and flowers are balanced by a streak of acidity, keeping this wine lively and fresh in your glass.

Mushroom pizza & pinot noir

Mushrooms work really well on pizza, whether the base is covered in red sauce or oozing with cheese. Their earthiness and subtle sweetness contrast with tangy tomatoes, while these features are further enhanced when combined with cheese. Herbs like thyme, sage, and oregano often go hand in hand with a mushroom topping, adding another layer to the earthy aromas.

Both mushrooms and cheese come in a multitude of varieties, each unique in its qualities. Button mushrooms, as opposed to locally foraged fungi, are a different experience. Compared with ordinary mozzarella, funkier cheeses with a more pungent taste do especially well in a mushroom pizza recipe.

With so many nuances of flavor, a crowd-pleasing pinot noir is our answer. Its moderate acidity pleasantly contrasts the layer of cheese —meanwhile, the combination of earthy and fruity flavors in the glass pair wonderfully with the mushrooms. Salentein Wines in Argentina produces Portillo pinot noir, which is brimming with red fruits like cherries and cranberries, complemented with spices like clove, nutmeg, and pepper. Smooth and vibrant, the tannins are gentle enough to avoid overwhelming the delicate mushrooms.

Supreme pizza & barbera

Per its name, a supreme pizza is undoubtedly a loaded option. While every pizzaiolo makes their own rendition, classic toppings include tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, olives, and onions. In other words, it's a meat and veggie lovers all-dressed pizza that will satisfy any hunger pang. With so many ingredients, a supreme pizza offers the full range of the flavor spectrum.

You're going to want a wine that can stand up to the hearty flavors of this meat and deluxe veggie pie. Barbera d'Alba is our go-to choice here, and a bottle by Batasiolo winery in Piemonte is a winner. This lovable wine pairs seamlessly with countless dishes, which makes it an obvious selection for this loaded pizza. Fruity and herbal aromas are highlighted in this smooth, medium-bodied wine. The balanced acidity complements the tomato sauce, and the gentle tannins make this wine an easy sipper.

Spinach ricotta pizza & sauvignon blanc

Spinach and ricotta pizzas tend to stick to a white base to avoid detracting from the delicate flavor of the ricotta. Creamy and mild in taste, this smooth cheese is a welcome change from saltier varieties. That being said, if you're used to heavily flavored cheese on your pizza, you might find ricotta a touch too subtle. Similarly, spinach doesn't have the tangy, salty, or earthy qualities of toppings like olives, mushrooms, or pepperoni.

Nonetheless, instead of focusing on what these ingredients are lacking compared to others, it's worth enhancing their features with a curated wine pairing because spinach and ricotta are the perfect duo. Our top pick is a sauvignon blanc for its crisp, zesty, and refreshing characteristics. We'll skip some of the more pronounced styles from New Zealand and, instead, recommend a Chilean version. Produced by Montes Wines, this vibrant sauvignon blanc exhibits tropical fruit aromas amidst citrus and floral notes. Each sip will add all the pep you need to elevate the subdued taste of the ricotta.