Pairing Wine with Pizza

pairing wine with pizza

I admit it, usually when I think about wine I think about a really fancy evening out – but that really doesn’t have to be the case.  In fact, wine is such a versatile beverage that just tastes so gosh darn yummy that we should know how to pair it with everyday meals as well.

There’s a restaurant in Philadelphia called Zavino that is a wine bar pizzeria located at 13th and Sansom.  I’ve passed it constantly for the past few months and finally I got the chance to try it out – and let me tell you, I’m sorry it took so long.  The menu ranges from small plates to pizzas to meats and cheeses to pasta to an array of alcoholic beverages.

Zavino Montage Photography

I asked Zavino if they could help us pair a few pizzas with different types of wine.  Jason Brooke, the manager from Zavino, provided me out with some great information.  He chose three traditional pizzas (he calls these “the usual suspects” – I love that) and three pizzas you can find available at Zavino (he calls these “the unusual suspects” –  I love that too).

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Pizza and Wine Pairings

– the usual suspects –

tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil

The wine pairing for this pizza is Barbera, from Piemonte, Italy.  This medium-body red bursting with berry flavors and soft tannins pairs perfectly with fresh tomatoes.

tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni

The wine pairing for this pizza is Primitivo from Puglia, Italy.  This juicy full-bodied red pairs great with this pie.

tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms

The wine pairing for this pizza is a Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.  The Pinot and mushrooms is just that perfect pairing, they both compliment each other with their earthiness and spice.

– the unusual suspects –
currently available at Zavino

The Stache
pistachio pesto, mozzrella, arugula, lemon vinaigrette, parmesan

The wine pairing for this pizza is Pinot Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy.  Its pronounced citrus notes and crisp acidity pair well with the lemon vinaigrette.

The Garden
chefs selection of fresh veggies (changes daily)

The wine pairing for this pizza is Risato (which is Italian for rose).  Cerasulo (meaning “cherry red”) describes a vividly colored rosé and is seen frequently  in the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo region.  Rosé wines made here are made from deeply pigmented Montepulciano grape are given a special designation within the DOC.  This dry medium-bodied rosé pairs great because it doesn’t overpower the flavorful veggies.

Rock Shrimp
habanero cheddar, mozzarella, arugula, red pepper salsa, chili oil

The wine pairing for this pizza is Gewurztraminer from Columbia Valley in Washington State.  This pizza packs a lot of heat and an off dry (slightly sweet) wine will help keep the flames down.

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Yet again, for your viewing (and pinning) pleasure I’ve summarized all of the information above.  Enjoy!!

Wine and Pizza Pairings by Zavino in Philadelphia, PA

PS. Don’t forget to check out Wine and Cheese Party of 4 for Under $80, Understanding 8 Basic Wines, Choosing Wine for the Holidays, a Wine and Cheese Party Game, and 5 Rules for Wine Pairing.

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  • mmmm thanks for the tips

  • Zavino is the best. We both live dangerously close to it. I’m actually not sure how I restrain myself. I also love their beer offerings!

    • Chrystina Noel

      We should probably go sometime sooner than later. I haven’t been in a while and could use a girl’s night.