Winning Wine and Pizza Pairings

It’s an exciting time to be a pizza lover. Talented dough-tossers and sauce-slingers have taken the humble pie to new heights through the use of quality ingredients in new and delicious ways. As a result, pizza has become something of a culinary darling – and foodies the world over are reaping the benefits of these more sophisticated slices. We like to think that our award-winning pizza have helped herald this evolution, and we also believe that there’s nothing quite like enjoying one of our signature pizzas with a perfectly paired wine. Don’t know a cabernet from a cabinet? Not to worry – below, we’ve collected our favorite pairings for some of our most beloved pizzas, combinations that’ll make your next Romeo’s night feel like a four-star dining experience.

You can’t beat the classics. Though the cheese might feel like the focus of a “plain” pie, the real spark of flavor can be found in the savory sweetness of our signature sauce. That being the case, you’ll be best served looking for a wine that complements the richness of the tomatoes and the balance of the accompanying spices. We recommend a red Cotes du Rhone or GSM blend, thus named because it features a combination of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre grapes. By following this link, you can find a selection of highly-recommended and affordable GSM wines that’ll make your classic pie really sing.

The nation’s most popular pie is beloved for a reason – the strong flavor of pepperoni goes perfectly with the more mellow and grounding notes found in the accompanying cheese, sauce, and crust. The flavor is so strong, in fact, that many wines simply aren’t sharp enough to cut through. Sangiovese blends contain both the tannins and acidity necessary to do the trick – many of the wines made from these grapes feature distinct, fruity flavors that beautifully complement the heavy spices of pepperoni. Check out this page for more information on affordable Sangiovese blends, and keep in mind that many of the wines featured there would also be excellent pairings for other meat-heavy pies (such as our Butcher Shop specialty pizza).

Great Ranch and Potato
The Great Ranch and Potato pizza is a little trickier to pair, as its delicious, award-winning uniqueness makes it unlike any other pie out there. A good place to start is the consideration of the sauce, which is ranch with hints of bacon as opposed to traditional marinara. Though it’s more subtle flavor acts as an excellent backdrop for the caramelized onions and Italian sausage, it runs the risk of being overwhelmed by the bolder notes of full-bodied red wines. By the same token, that sausage and those onions can easily overpower lighter white wines. What you need, then, is a wine with the best of both worlds. A full-bodied rose can be at once crisp and flavorful, giving you the balance you need to make your Great Ranch and Potato pie even greater. We recommend a tavel blend such as the Domaine des Carteresses 2015.

Veggie Deluxe
At Romeo’s, we pride ourselves on using only the freshest vegetables in our pizzas, subs, and salads. Our Veggie Deluxe pie serves as a prime example of this equipment to quality, a delicious showcase for garden-crisp peppers, savory mushrooms, luscious tomatoes, zesty red onions and sharp black olives. Since the veggies are the star of the show, it only makes sense that you’d want a wine that complements (and doesn’t overwhelm) their flavors. Many Sauvignon Blanc blends are just as crisp and refreshing as our vegetables, and some even feature grassy tones that go beautifully with our super-fresh ingredients. We recommend a 2014 The White Knight or a 2013 Rachis by Randy Hester – both feature light, grassy notes that push the deliciousness of your pie’s veggies to new levels.

A classic among classics, the Margherita was thought to have been created in 1880 by Neapolitan baker Raffaele Esposito to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy. Its composition has changed very little since then – its excellence is still to be found in its simplicity and in the quality of the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil used on the pie. For a pizza this perfect, you’ll want to find a wine that helps its ingredients sing – not one that overwhelms the delicate balance of flavors in play. Depending on your preference, you can either go with a refreshing Garnacha or a full-bodied dry rose. For the former, we recommend a 2009 Rafael Revere Cistum Red – its olive and balsamic notes are a natural pairing with the flavors of the tomato and mozzarella. For the latter, try a 2016 Bailly-Reverdy Sancerre Rose. Its fruity, earthy tones play beautifully with the freshness of our basil pesto and the heartiness of our chewy, crackly crust. Wine and pizza pairings don’t stop there, though.

Best Wine with Pizza Includes:

  • Cheese Pizza with a GSM or Red Cotes du Rhone
  • Pepperoni Pizza with a Sangiovese
  • Ranch and Potato Pizza with a Full-Bodied Rose
  • Veggie Pizza with a Sauvignon Blanc
  • Margherita Pizza with a Garnacha or Full-Bodied Dry Rose
  • Sausage Pizza with a Pinotage
  • White Pizza with a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza with a Malbec
  • Meat Lover’s Pizza with Shiraz or Merlot
  • Hawaiian Pizza with a Riesling

Taste in wines is just like taste in food – we all have our individual preferences, and what we found refreshing and delicious may not be as pleasing to your palate. That being the case, we encourage you to experiment with different bottles to find a combination that really sings. Please feel free to consider our recommendations here as archetypes from which to begin your exploration, not as the only pairings that our pizzas can be enjoyed with. So next time you’re having a wine night, be sure to grab a pizza because pizza is always the answer.