Traditionally, in America, beer has been the drink of choice with pizza especially when there is a pizza buffet. But as our culinary tastes are becoming more sophisticated many of us are looking to fine wines. So which wines are great for pairing on pizza night? One really great varietal to pair with pizza is the Sangiovese grape. This is an Italian varietal grown in the Chianti region. During the 1990s this type of grape has become popular in the Napa Valley as well.
Wines that Pair Well with Pizza
Sangiovese or Chianti wines pair well with many pizzas. They tend to be acidic in nature which goes well with tomato sauce and fats such as olive oil. For this same reason, these wines are not recommended for casual sipping but to be enjoyed with food. When tasted by themselves one might get the wrong impression about a Sangiovese wine. Many Italian wines should be consumed with a meal to be fully appreciated.
Sangiovese wines tend to have more body than, let’s say, a Pinot Noir. But when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon they have increased tannins that make for a beautiful wine. Some of the characteristics that can be associated with the Sangiovese varietal are strawberry, blueberry, faintly floral, violet, raspberry, with scents of toasty vanilla, and plum.
Some great producers of Sangiovese in the Napa Valley and Sonoma appellations to look for include the Rutherford Hill Winery, Valley of the moon, and Atlas peak.
A great pairing (pictured) is Italian sausage, portabella mushroom and onion pizza with a Napa Valley Sangiovese from Rutherford Hill.