Today is #NationalPizzaDay, a day observed annually on 9 February.
This day is dedicated to appreciating pizza, a baked flat-bread that is topped with various toppings and cheese. Many toppings and sauces can be added to pizzas, including vegetables, meats and seafood.
Pizza was invented in Naples, Italy around the 10th century, and has since grown to become one of the most popular foods.
If you are one of those people who will be looking at pairing their pizza with wine today, it is probably one of the most modest foods to pair your wine with but the truth is they can go very well together. I mean nothing complements a delicious pizza quite like an energizing glass of wine.
Speaking to sommelier, Brian Mahanke, he said wine and pizza is a classic pairing and less complicated than typical cuisine.
“The first thing to always remember when pairing food and wine is balance, light with light, spice with spice and heavy with heavy. The second factor is focus on the sauce instead of just the meat which is a misconception, for example curry with Syrah”, he said.
“Remember sommeliers are professional experts in the pairing exercises, but it’s important to note that we are not doctors. We do not prescribe, but rather recommend. People have different tastes and palates, therefore they may choose different wines to what we recommend”, said Mahanke.
Here are Mahanke’s recommendations when it comes to wine and pizza pairings.
Most Rhone Cultivators can handle spicy sauces. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvrede are typical Rhone wine varietals to pair with Pepperoni Pizza. Cabernet Franc as a fresh spicy Bordeaux varietal is another option.
Margherita Pizza is slightly complicated because one can pair with both white and red wine. The acidity from the tomato sauce and cheese requires wines with higher acidity like Sauvignon Blanc, some Rosé and single varietals like your own grape Pinotage.
New innovation pizza like something meaty would pair very well with light Bordeaux Style Reds and at room temperature; Pinot Noir may be a delightful surprise. At times Italian Cultivars like Chianti and Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio prove obvious pairing due to the Italian heritage.