Pizza and beer, yeasts with yeasts, carbohydrates with carbohydrates… Let’s admit it, in Italy people prefer beer with the queen of dinners out. But something is changing—wine is a valid alternative. First off, you have to make a distinction between pizza toppings: from tomato sauce to cheese, the pairing changes.
Dragging in the supreme Shakespeare, you’re probably asking yourself whether ‘tis nobler to have a pils with a pizza with just tomato sauce, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and let yourself be seduced by the soft bubbles of a Glera paired with the evergreen cheese pizza with Campanian buffalo-milk mozzarella PDO.
On the types of pizza with tomato-only topping, given that tomato sauce tends to be acidic determining a certain aggressiveness on the palate, it has to be muffled by the softness of the wine by making a contrasting pairing. Especially in the summer, for these types of pizza we can pick a rosé wine from the menu served at the right temperature, between 10 and 12°C.
Among the many types in our country, from the Lagrein Rosato Trentino Doc in central Italy, from the Bolgheri Doc Rosato to the Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Doc made out of Montepulciano, rosé is a type that is worth special attention and that the Apulia Region is particularly fond of. From Daunia to Salento, it is there that they make most of the nation’s rosé wine. So it’s a go for the wines made out of Nero di Troia and Montepulciano, like the Rosato Doc Orta Nova, the Rosato Doc San Severo or other autochthonous regional varieties like Bombino Nero and Aglianico of the Doc Castel del Monte, reaching farther south in Salento where reigns the Negroamaro in the Doc Salice Salentino, Brindisi, and Lizzano.
On the types with cheese topping that require using fiordilatte mozzarella cheese or other fresh dairy products like stracciatella cheese (mozzarella in strips), burrata cheese (milk-filled mozzarella), Campanian buffalo-milk mozzarella PDO, instead you have to take into account the main characteristics of these ingredients, that is, the sweetish taste, a very soft sensation that has to be livened up by the fresh flavor of the wine that comes from the acidity, perhaps boosted by the carbon dioxide and butteriness, in turn contrasted by the wine’s hardness.
In this case, the wine-food pairing must be a match by contrast, therefore… sparkling wine! From north to south the wine offering on the Italian scene is vast: starting with the Trentodoc with its champagne-method Chardonnay, you get to Lombardy which with the champagne-method made history in our country with the Franciacorta Docg; staying in the same region, you absolutely mustn’t underestimate the champagne-method Pinot Noir of the Oltrepò Pavese Docg, with a vast selection of rosé sparkling wines, too.
Moving westward, in a region known internationally for its top-notch red wines, in Piedmont there is another “point of pride”, the Alta Langa Docg, which produces very interesting champagne-method sparkling wine. Instead, in Veneto on the other end of the spectrum is the most well-known champagne-method Glera sparkling wine in the world: Prosecco. Delicate and elegant aromas, fruity notes and blossoms that make for an almost seamless pairing.
So our advice is: don’t feel like foreigners in your native land when ordering a glass or a bottle of wine paired with a pizza!