Pepperoni pizza is one of the most popular styles of pizza that is served all over the world.
One of the biggest keys to choosing the best wine with pizza is sticking with acidic wines that match the acidity of the tomato sauce while standing up to the saltiness of the pepperoni.
Top Choices For The Best Wine With Pizza
Sangiovese is the most popular and widely planted grape in the country of Italy, and it is used to make some of the most iconic Italian wines. It comes as no surprise to experienced wine critics that the best pairing for the Italian dish of pepperoni pizza is grown “close to home.”
There is a saying within the sommelier community that “what grows together goes together,” and there is no finer example of this concept in practice than the combination of pepperoni pizza and dry Italian red wine made using the Sangiovese grape.
Madeline Puckette is a James Beard award-winning author and founder of Wine Folly, a popular online wine education company. Wine Folly has included Sangiovese in its “Pairing Wine with Pizza” guide, which is a great comprehensive list of wine pairings for different types of pizza.
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT is one of the most famous bottles of Italian wine that is made using the Sangiovese grape. It contains bold red fruit flavors and aromas, which helps it maintain flavor even in the face of the saltiest and spiciest pepperonis.
For wine enthusiasts looking for a more affordable high quality bottle of Sangiovese, Fontodi Chianti Classico DOCG is a fantastic option. By law, Chianti Classico wines must contain a minimum of 80 percent Sangiovese, which make them very safe options for pizza pairings.
Nebbiolo is another famous Italian wine grape that makes for a great pairing with all different types of pizza. This unique red wine grape stands up particularly well next to pepperoni pizza due to the fact that it produces wines with deep tasting notes and ample complexity.
Two of the most famous examples of high-quality Italian wines made with the Nebbiolo grape are Barolo and Barbaresco. Both regions produce age-worthy dry red wines that take on a slightly orange or brick red hue after a few years of aging.
Barbaresco is considered by many to be the best region to begin with when exploring Nebbiolo wines, as they are slightly less tannic and more “approachable.” Barolo produces some of the most “serious” and highly regarded bottles of Nebbiolo in the entire world.
Whether it be Barolo or Barbaresco, it is tough to go wrong when pairing pepperoni pizza with a high-quality bottle of Nebbiolo. The popular online blog “wine traveler” has highlighted this bold Italian red wine grape as one of the top pepperoni pizza pairings in a recent pairing guide.
Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’ is one of the top-selling bottles of Nebbiolo that can be found for under $50 per bottle. It is a great place to start when exploring Nebbiolo and makes for a perfect pizza pairing due to its bold flavors and extended length of finish.
For wine enthusiasts with larger budgets who are looking for one of the top bottles of Nebbiolo, Giacomo Conterno Monfortino is one of the best options on the market. It is considered by many wine critics to be the best bottle of wine from Barolo and elevates any dish it is served with.
The GSM blend is made up of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre which combine to make red wine with incredible balance and depth of flavor. Each wine grape brings something different to the table, and the result is one of the most highly regarded red wine blends on earth.
The best representations of the GSM blend hail from the Rhone Valley region of France. While a handful of new world wine countries like Australia and the United States have adopted the GSM blend, it is still most prevalent in its home country of France.
Many wine enthusiasts compare the tasting notes of GSM blends to those of baked fruit desserts, including cherry pie and baking spices. These bold flavors of spiced fruit make for a perfect pairing with salty and smoky pepperonis, as the wine adds sweetness and balance.
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous is one of the most highly rated bottles of the GSM blend in the entire world, and it has received high marks from the esteemed Jancis Robinson. It is typically served with more “serious” entrees but also elevates pizza.
Château La Nerthe Cotes du Rhone Villages Les Cassagnes de La Nerthe Rouge is an affordable GSM blend that is widely distributed and served at restaurants all over the world. It makes for a perfect casual wine pairing with pepperoni pizza as it is low in harsh tannins.
Cabernet Franc is regarded by many sommeliers and wine experts as one of the most overlooked high quality wine grapes in the entire world. The tasting notes of Cabernet Franc are often compared to those of Cabernet Sauvignon, but with more vegetal flavors of green pepper.
The Cabernet Franc grape is very dark-skinned, and most widely planted in France. The United States and Italy are also significant producers of Cabernet Franc wines, though the most highly regarded plantings remain in their home country of France in the Bordeaux region.
While the vast majority of Cabernet Franc plantings are used to make high-quality red blends, there are certain regions that specialize in producing single varietal bottles of Cab Franc. These include the Italian region of Bolgheri, as well as the Saumur-Champigny subregion of France.
Le Macchiole ‘Paleo’ Bolgheri is considered by many wine experts to be one of the best single varietal bottles of Cabernet Franc in the entire world. It is very food friendly, as it contains ample flavor and body without overpowering the palette with aggressive tannins.
Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Les Mémoires is one of the best French bottles of Cabernet Franc that can be purchased for under $50 per bottle. It provides all the bold flavors and balance of a bottle of wine triple the price.
Many experienced sommeliers and wine experts are well aware of how versatile sparkling wines can be when it comes to a variety of food pairings. Pepperoni pizza is no exception, as the bubbles and crisp acidity of sparkling wines make for a fun and simple pairing combination.
The most highly regarded bottles of sparkling wine in the world are produced in France’s famous Champagne region, while Italy is home to the popular and affordable Prossecco. Nearly all styles of dry sparkling wine make for great pairings with pepperoni pizza.
The texture that the bubbles in sparkling wines provide makes for layers of texture that can not be replicated by any still bottle of wine. Some of the best bottles of sparkling wine carry aromas and flavors of green apple and pear, which add a delightful tart sweetness to pizza dinners.
Dom Perignon Brut is one of the most famous bottles of Champagne in the entire world, and a single bottle can cost upwards of $300 in restaurants. It elevates any dish it is served with and adds a beautiful balance of tartness and fruit flavors to any style of pizza.
For wine enthusiasts on a budget who would still like to enjoy a fantastic pizza and sparkling wine pairing, La Gioiosa et Amorosa Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a fantastic option. It is one of the most highly rated and food-friendly bottles of Prosecco in the world.
Cabernet Franc makes for a great pepperoni pizza pairing due to its combination of bold complex flavors and delicate finish. These elements bring enough flavor and body to the table without overwhelming the acidity of the tomato sauce or the spices of the pepperoni.
Pepperoni pizza is known worldwide as a “crowd pleaser,” as just about everyone is likely to enjoy it when served at a large event or party.
The best pairings when it comes to pepperoni pizza are bold and flavorful, which helps them stand up to the bold spices of the pepperoni without getting lost on the palette.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a favorite “go-to” wine pairing when it comes to pepperoni pizza, and let other wine enthusiasts know where they can pick up a bottle for themselves!