Friday, September 02, 2011

Pizza Pairing

pizza pairing
You know what to drink with pizza, beer or wine, right? But what beer and what wine? Does it make a difference? To figure out the answer to this weighty philosophical question a group of food and wine writers descended upon Patxi's Pizza to eat and drink. A lot. I'm pretty sure this may the first and only time anyone asked for a spit bucket at a pizza parlor.

We ate thin crust pizza, thick crust pizza, deep dish pizza, pesto pizza, meat pizza, vegan pizza you-name-it-we-ate-it pizza. The conclusions were pretty clear in terms of what worked and what didn't. Here are the matches I liked the best:

Thin "cheese to the edge" pizza + Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel After trying both Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, I'm convinced Zin is the right red wine for pizza. The heavier tannins stand up to the richness of the cheese and it is not overwhelmed by the acid of the tomatoes.

Sausage pizza + Stella Artois This is an interesting match. The yeasty notes in the beer are mirrored in the pizza and each bite makes you want another sip of beer.

Spicy pizza + Hoegaarden The bright lemony edge and bubbles in the Hoegaarden are really refreshing with a fiery pizza.

Everything pizza + Bud Light While some might find Budweiser a bit flabby and boring, it's actually a good match when the pizza has got a lot of competing flavors.

When writing a story on pizza for a magazine a few years ago I learned Prosecco is considered a classic Italian choice to go with your pie.

What's your favorite beverage with pizza?

Thanks to Patxi's for hosting this tasting