Regional Pairings: Matching Wine with Regional Pizza Styles

Regional Pizza Styles
Pizza and wine are two of the culinary world’s most beloved indulgences. While the combination might seem straightforward, the nuances of regional pizza styles paired with the perfect wine can elevate this duo to a new level of gourmet delight. Let’s explore some iconic regional pizza styles and the wines that complement them best.
 Regional Pizza Styles
Regional Pizza Styles

Neapolitan Pizza and Chianti

Neapolitan Pizza

The birthplace of pizza, Naples, offers the quintessential Neapolitan pizza, known for its thin, soft crust that bubbles up beautifully in a wood-fired oven. Topped simply with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil, this pizza is a harmonious blend of freshness and simplicity.

Wine Pairing

Chianti. This classic Italian red wine, hailing from the Tuscany region, boasts a perfect balance of acidity and fruitiness. The high acidity in Chianti complements the tangy tomatoes, while its robust flavor stands up to the rich mozzarella. The earthy undertones and hints of herbs in Chianti also echo the fresh basil, creating a seamless pairing.

New York-Style Pizza and Zinfandel

New York-Style Pizza

Characterized by its large, foldable slices and crispy yet chewy crust, New York-style pizza is typically topped with a light layer of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a variety of toppings, from pepperoni to mushrooms.

Wine Pairing

Zinfandel. This bold and fruity wine is a fantastic match for the hearty and flavorful New York-style pizza. Zinfandel’s jammy notes and peppery finish complement the savory toppings, while its acidity cuts through the richness of the cheese, making each bite and sip a harmonious experience.

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza and Barbera

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Unlike its thinner counterparts, Chicago deep-dish pizza is a thick, pie-like creation with layers of mozzarella, chunky tomato sauce, and an array of toppings all encased in a buttery crust.

Wine Pairing

Barbera. This Italian red wine from the Piedmont region is known for its high acidity and lower tannins, making it an excellent match for the rich, cheesy deep-dish pizza. The acidity in Barbera helps to cut through the pizza’s heavy layers, while its cherry and blackberry flavors complement the tomato sauce, creating a well-rounded pairing.

Californian Pizza and Sauvignon Blanc

Californian Pizza

Known for its innovative toppings and thin, crispy crust, Californian pizza often features gourmet ingredients like artichokes, goat cheese, arugula, and even smoked salmon.

Wine Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc. This crisp, aromatic white wine is a great match for the fresh and often herbaceous toppings found on Californian pizzas. Sauvignon Blanc’s bright acidity and notes of citrus, green apple, and herbs enhance the flavors of ingredients like goat cheese and arugula, providing a refreshing contrast to the pizza’s diverse flavors.

Detroit-Style Pizza and Syrah

Detroit-Style Pizza

This rectangular pizza features a thick, airy crust with a crispy bottom, topped with Wisconsin brick cheese that caramelizes at the edges, and finished with tomato sauce on top.

Wine Pairing

Syrah. Known for its bold flavors and robust body, Syrah pairs wonderfully with the hearty and cheesy Detroit-style pizza. The wine’s dark fruit flavors, along with its peppery and smoky notes, complement the caramelized cheese and rich tomato sauce, making each bite and sip a rich and satisfying experience.

Margherita Pizza and Pinot Grigio

Margherita Pizza

Another Neapolitan classic, the Margherita pizza is topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, highlighting the colors of the Italian flag.

Wine Pairing

Pinot Grigio. This light and crisp white wine pairs beautifully with the fresh ingredients of a Margherita pizza. Pinot Grigio’s subtle fruitiness and high acidity enhance the flavors of the tomatoes and mozzarella without overpowering the delicate basil, making for a refreshing and balanced pairing.


In conclusion, pairing wine with pizza is about more than just choosing a red or white; it’s about finding the right balance of flavors to complement the unique characteristics of each regional pizza style. Whether you prefer the classic simplicity of a Neapolitan pizza with a glass of Chianti or the innovative toppings of a Californian pizza with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, there’s a perfect pairing out there waiting to be discovered. So next time you enjoy a slice, consider elevating your experience with a thoughtfully chosen wine – your taste buds will thank you.