Pairing Wine with Pizza

Your Guide to Pairing Wine with Pizza

Pizza and pyjamas, pizza and a movie, pizza and a delicious bottle of wine. Is there anything more comforting or consoling after a long and busy day or week? We think not.

It’s unbelievable to think that the gooey and molten cheesy slices of heaven that we love so much today were once looked down upon. Like many other peasant foods, pizza was born out of necessity and resourcefulness. Cheap, portable and filling, pizza was invented in the early 1800s by the ‘lazzaroni’ – the impoverished workers in Naples, Italy.

The margherita, arguably the most famous pizza, was named after Queen Margherita, who, during a visit to Naples in 1889, was presented with a puffy and charred round masterpiece topped with ingredients that resembled the Italian flag – red tomato sauce, white mozzarella, and green basil. Generations later, this humble but magnificent combination has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed all over the world.

Wine and pizza

Understanding Pizza and Wine Pairing

When pairing wine with pizza, it’s important to consider the key ingredients.

White Wine generally pair better with pizza toppings that are simple and delicate in flavour; while Red Wine match well with big, robust meaty flavours.

For example, a light-bodied white wine or crisp rosé is fantastic with a traditional margherita, pizza bianco (white pizza) or seafood pizza. On the other hand, a pizza piled with loads of spicy meat and sausage calls for a bold and fruit-forward red wine.

Pizza and sparkling wine are also a delightful combination. Prosecco, Sparkling Rosé, or Lambrusco are all delicious (and fun!) choices to have on pizza night.

In the end, however, pairing wine with pizza comes down to personal choice. Pizza is comfort food and should be consumed with what you are craving in the moment.

But if you’d like some wine recommendations to enhance the pizza party flavours in your mouth, we’ve pulled together this handy guide for you.

Best wines to pair with pizza

Margherita Pizza

A margherita pizza is the ultimate culinary example of elegance in simplicity. The timeless combination of savoury tomato sauce, soft and creamy mozzarella and fragrant fresh basil pairs well with a light-bodied wine that will complement these delicate flavours.

Pair with: Rosé, Pinot Grigio or Prosecco.

Avoid: Rich, full-bodied red wines such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our pick: 2022 McGuigan Mastercraft Rosé

Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza laden with crispy slices of salty, spicy and smoky pepperoni and topped with mounds of stretchy mozzarella is a traditional favourite. To stand up to the strong flavours of the pepperoni, it’s customary to match it with a fruit-forward and bold Italian red wine with rich tannins, a lively mouthfeel and a lingering finish.

Pair with: Sangiovese, Chianti or Montepulciano

Avoid: Light-bodied white wines

Our pick: 2021 McGuigan Mastercraft Montepulciano

Cheese Pizza

For those inclined to take it cheesy, it doesn’t get much better than blowing out a week’s worth of calories on the indulgent and melty orchestra that is a Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) pizza. To cut through the creamy richness of a cheese pizza, we recommend enjoying it with a medium to fuller-bodied white wine. Sparkling white wine is also a great choice, as the bubbles work as a palate cleanser between bites.

Pair with: Oaked Chardonnay, Semillon, Prosecco or Blanc de Blancs

Avoid: Sweet wines

Our pick: 2020 McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon

Hawaiian Pizza

The question of whether pineapple belongs on pizza is a contentious debate that has raged on for decades. People either love it or hate it. But for those who love the sweet and salty combo of ham and pineapple on a classic Hawaiian pizza, a fruity wine with a sweet edge like a Riesling is an excellent choice.

Pair with: Riesling or Moscato d’Asti

Avoid: Dry, full-bodied red wines

Our pick: 2021 McGuigan Cellar Select Clare Valley Riesling

BBQ Chicken Pizza

To balance out the sweet and smoky flavours of a pizza covered in rich barbecue sauce and topped with juicy gems of charred chicken, go for a light-bodied red wine with fine tannins and a smooth mouthfeel.

Pair with: Pinot Noir, Merlot or Grenache

Avoid: Light-bodied white wines

Our pick: 2021 McGuigan Mastercraft Noon Harvest Merlot

Meatlovers Pizza

Pizza loaded with a rich rainbow of big-flavoured meats is the ultimate cheat treat for the hardcore carnivore. To match the intense flavours of a meatlovers pizza, go for a full-bodied red wine with deep savoury undertones and velvety tannins.

Pair with: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or Tempranillo

Avoid: Light-bodied white wines or sweet wines

Our pick: 2018 McGuigan The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon

McGuigan Zero Range

Seafood Pizza

To complement the briny and savoury flavours of seafood on pizza, choose a wine that has a wonderful mineral quality, bright and zesty acidity and a clean finish. A light-bodied white wine is an excellent match for seafood pizza.

Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or unoaked Chardonnay

Avoid: Full-bodied red wines

Our pick: 2022 McGuigan Mastercraft Pinot Grigio


Vegetarian/Salad Pizza

If you love your pizza packed with veggies, you’ll want to select a wine that will heighten the flavour and aroma of your fresh, earthy ingredients without overpowering them. Opt for an easy-drinking white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, a dry Prosecco, or a fruity and floral Rosé.

Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco or Rosé

Avoid: Heavy, full-bodied red wines

Our pick: 2022 McGuigan Mastercraft Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc


White pizza

The simplest of all the pizzas, Pizza Bianca (white pizza) is versatile enough to match with almost any wine. However, a sparkling wine with bright acidity is an excellent match for the charred, airy crust of a Pizza Bianca.

Pair with: Prosecco, Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay, Rosé or Sparkling Rosé

Avoid: Rich and bold red wines

Our pick: McGuigan Zero Alcohol Sparkling


Which non-alcoholic wine goes well with pizza?

If you are craving the comfort of pizza but not in the mood for booze, McGuigan has a fantastic range of non-alcoholic wine that partners perfectly with pizza.


Ready to level up your pizza night with that perfect bottle of wine? Shop our range today.

And if you’re looking for some additional culinary inspo, check out our curated recipes and food and wine pairing ideas.