Is there any better way to wind down after a busy and stressful week than with a glass of wine and a slice (or three) of pizza?
People often overlook the simple sophistication of pairing a gourmet pizza with a soothing glass of wine; but if the right wine is paired with the right pizza, a flavour sensation like no other can be created.
As with any wine pairing, some wines suit certain foods better than others. If you have no idea which wine would best suit your favourite pizza, you’re in luck. At 11 Inch Pizza, we’re experts at pairing the perfect wine with the perfect pizza and we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to choose.
What is Wine Pairing?
Wine pairing has existed in some form or another across countries and cultures for thousands of years. However, the ‘art’ of wine pairing as it is known today is a fairly recent development. In particular, the phenomenon of sommeliers – people who specialise in wine service and suggesting pairings – has led to a spark in interest of choosing wine which will enhance the flavours of a meal.
Essentially, wine pairing is built upon the premise that certain elements – like flavour and texture – in food and wine will interact with each other and combine to create an enhanced and more enjoyable culinary experience. One of the most basic tenets of wine pairing is understanding the ‘weight’ or ‘body’ of both food and wine and choosing options which will complement rather than overpower one or the other. For example, a light-bodied wine may be overpowered by a rich or intense dish and vice versa.
The Basic Rules of Wine Pairing
Understanding the complexities of wine pairing can be very confusing and overwhelming. However, there are some basic tips and rules to keep in mind which will help you understand the essential elements of wine pairing. One of the most basic tenets of wine pairing is understanding the ‘weight’ or ‘body’ of both food and wine and choosing options which will complement rather than overpower one or the other. For example, a light-bodied wine may be overpowered by a rich or intense dish and vice versa.
Some other ‘rules’ of wine pairing include:
- The wine should have the same intensity of flavour as the dish
- The wine should be more acidic than the dish
- The wine should be sweeter than the dish
- Red wine is best paired with red meat
- White wine is best paired with white meat or seafood
- Bitter wines, like red wine, can help to balance out a fatty meal
- In general, white, rosé and sparkling wines create contrasting pairings
- In general, red wines create congruent pairings
Matching Wine with Toppings
When it comes to pairing wine with pizza, there’s a lot of freedom as pizza can be a very versatile dish. Here are some of our favourite combinations:
- A light bodied pinot grigio complements a classic margherita pizza by bringing out the flavours of the herbs
- A light bodied pinot noir perfectly complements a pizza featuring mushroom and truffle toppings
- Chardonnay help to balance out a pizza topped with creamy seafood like prawns
- A hearty cabernet sauvignon pairs perfectly with a pizza topped with fatty red meat, like a meat lover’s
- A medium bodied shiraz or chianti have the perfect level of acidity to go with pepperoni pizza
- A crisp sauvignon blank or dry rosé will help to brighten the flavour of a vegetarian pizza packed with veggies
While there may be certain ‘rules’ when it comes to pairing food and wine, at the end of the day these arbitrary guidelines aren’t set in stone – if you’re feeling like a specific bottle of wine and a pizza that wouldn’t traditionally be served with it, feel free to bend the rules to satisfy your cravings. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed and everyone’s tastes are different.
Wine and Pizza at 11 Inch Pizza
If you want to have the ultimate wine and pizza pairing experience, look no further than 11 Inch Pizza. We can provide you with a wide variety of gourmet and traditional pizzas and our drinks menu offers white or red wine by the glass or bottle. As a licensed restaurant, BYO is also available, meaning you can bring in your favourite wine that will perfectly pair with our delectable pizza.
If you would rather enjoy your wine and pizza night from the comfort of your own home, we also offer take-away and delivery options. That way you have access to your entire wine cabinet, and you can even try mixing and matching wine and pizza to figure out the ultimate pairing.
If wine pairing isn’t your thing, then don’t worry, our pizzas are incredibly delicious on their own. That’s because we take pride in the pizzas we make and go to great lengths to never cut corners and never skimp on size or ingredients. To this day we continue to hand knead every single pizza dough and especially choose our ingredients for their quality and freshness.
We love pizza and we want you to love it just as much as we do