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Monday, February 9, 2015

What Wine for Nat'l Pizza Pie Day?

February 9th is National Pizza Pie Day -- not to be confused with Nat'l Pizza With Everything Except Anchovies Day, or Nat'l Cheese Pizza Day or Nat'l Pizza With the Works Day. So this is the day to have your pizza customized just the way you like it.

Almost every American has pizza at least once a month. I haven't had one since that wood-oven margarita pizza last Wednesday! Our questions is, of course, what wine with pizza? Well, it turns out this question isn't easy to answer.

How many combinations of pizza are there? Red sauce, spicy or not, white sauce, and dozens of toppings from cheese to veggies to greasy meats.

With red sauce

Cheese pizza or that yummy margarita pizza I had the other day can match with Pinot Noir or a Rhone-style/GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre). A nice, dry Rosé also works.

Sausage, salami, and pepperoni need the big reds, like Syrah or Zinfandel. Zin is my all-around pizza wine. That is, when it doubt open up a Zinfandel!

Canadian bacon & pineapple (Hawaiian style) was a favorite of my kids when they were growing up. This is an interesting pizza to match with wine. For white, a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, for red, a Zinfandel or Barbera.

Mushrooms lead to Pinot Noir.

Veggie pizzas go with many different wine styles from Sauvignon Blanc to rosé to Pinot Noir.
Do you really want to eat at home tonight?

With white sauce

These will often match with Chardonnay although with some toppings you could have Pinot Noir or maybe Malbec, especially with a BBQ-style pizza. I didn't spend much time determining the white sauce topping matches because I've never quite figured out why anyone orders a cream sauce or salad toppings on their pizza.

The sparkling wine option

 Many ingredients in a pizza have high acids, like tomato sauce and pineapple, or are salty, like cured meats, anchovies and olives. These attributes make me think of sparkling wines. It's not a combo people would consider, pepperoni pizza and bubbles, but it can work. This is a good place to have a dry Brut Rosé.

What beer with pizza?

Beer and pizza is a great way to end a work day, or a golf game, a day of yard work, etc. What styles of beers work best? Luckily for us we have a million micro-brews available. For types of beers I'd say a Pilsner, Weiss, Saison, or any of these lighter styles.

National brand pizzas

If you're planning on something from Domino's or Little Caesars then I suggest Bud Lite. They deserve each other.


Tonight you may find me at Rosso's Pizzeria in Santa Rosa having a thin-crust margarita pizza out of their wood oven along with a glass of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Yum-o!