Wine and Pizza Pairing
After a long day working at Stanlake Wine Estate, one of our most popular food choices is pizza, either home-made or delivered fresh to the door. As you’d expect, our Italian Winemaker Nico is extremely partial to devouring a few slices of pizza at every opportunity. The big question is what wine should be paired with pizza? The answer to this question depends on what kind of pizza you plan to enjoy so we’ve made a few suggestions which you may like to try:-
1. Cheese Pizza
You probably already love pairing cheese with wine by attending one of our popular Cheese & Wine Tours and the same principals apply to cheese topped pizzas. Acidic red wines work well with cheesy pizza because the acid offsets the buttery cheese. We recommend the Reserve or the Cricket Grove red wine which counters the sweetness of the tomatoes, while contributing to the complexity of the cheese.
2. Meat and Mushroom Pizza
A fruity red wine pairs perfectly with a deep-dish pizza stuffed with plenty of mushrooms and a hearty meat, such as sausage (Nico’s favourite). These savoury ingredients beg for a fruity wine to add an exciting layer of flavour and the Reserve is a great choice although Nico also enjoys a Negroamaro from his family vineyard in Puglia (part of our Italian Collection, available also at Stanlake Park). Negroamaro does an excellent job balancing the saltiness and fat found in most red meats. Expect a burst of berry flavours followed by a smoky finish. This wine pairs well with the bold, slightly sweet flavours of garlic, tomato, peppers and onions.
3. Vegetable Pizza
Treat yourself to a slice of pizza piled with nutritious vegetables (Natalia’s favourite) like green peppers, broccoli, spinach and black olives topped with luscious cheese, served with a glass of pinot noir. The nutritious, delicious bitterness of dark greens like broccoli and spinach tone down the fruitiness of Pinot Noir, while the saltiness of the olives compliment the flavour. The earthy spiciness of Pinot Noir also enhances the flavours of herbs, like oregano.
4. Spinach, Artichoke and Feta Pizza
A classy pizza calls for classy wine. A sophisticated, Mediterranean-inspired spinach, artichoke and feta pizza features colourful ingredients of varied flavour. With earthy and mildly sweet artichokes, creamy and salty feta and bitter green spinach, you have lots of differing complex flavours to work with. When it comes to wine and pizza pairing, a refreshing white wine like our Regatta is the perfect gentle companion for artichoke and feta as it cuts the saltiness of the feta, and its fruitiness helps balance the tartness of the artichoke. A Sauvignon blanc, similar to our Bacchus, would also pair well with these flavours.
5. Hawaiian Pizza
The Hawaiian pizza is a controversial inclusion here and Nico is likely to have a heart attack if he sees this list. Rosé wine is often served with a charcuterie board, and it is the perfect partner for a slice of Hawaiian pizza. The Hawaiian pizza is essentially a sweet-and-savoury charcuterie board on top of some crust. Balancing these already complex flavours with our light Pinot Noir Rosé is a great way to enhance the pizza without overwhelming your taste buds.
6. Margherita Pizza
Margherita pizza keeps things simple with three main toppings — tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. By including fresh garden ingredients, a Margherita pizza creates a light slice that calls for an equally light wine pairing.
This is where a nice dry wine comes in. Dry wines usually feel more delicate and are a bit more watery in the mouth than other, heavier bodied wines. These airy qualities make a sip of dry wine the perfect refreshment after a light bite of Margherita pizza. Here we’d recommend a bottle of Madeleine which is the perfect accompaniment to have alongside a huge slice of Margherita.
Now that your mouth is salivating, get your wine uncorked, play some romantic Italian music and enjoy your wine and pizza pairing, hopefully with your favourite Stanlake Park wine.