Beer and pizza are old friends, but they don’t really play well together. The suds will rinse out your mouth between bites, but most beers won’t amp up the flavors of your pie the way a good wine will. That said, pairing wine and pizza can be a little tricky, says Harry Hansen, director of winemaking at California’s Sterling Vineyards. The ideal wine pick depends on your preferred toppings and sauce, he says.
Almost any dish that features cooked tomatoes—that includes pizza with red sauce—are going to pair well with acidic, fruit-forward wines, Hansen says. Wines made in this style are food-friendly to begin with. But paired with pizza, they can stand up to the cooked tomato’s sharp flavors and cut through greasy cheese.
On the other hand, a white-sauce pie with vegetable toppings is going to call for a different style of vino.
Many of the best wines to pair with pizza are Italian. (No surprise.) But there are a range of reds and whites that go great with specific pizza toppings and styles. Here’s your shopping list.