Medium-bodied reds with balanced acidity and tannin, such as Chianti Classico, Shiraz, and Merlot, pair best with Meat Lovers Pizza. You’ll also find that Tempranillo, Pinotage, Rosso Conero, Malbec, and Zinfandel make beautiful pairings for this tasty slice of loaded pizza.
The more tomato sauce your Pizza has, the more you’ll want some acidity in your red wine to stand up to it.
While your Pizza is loaded with meat which loves tannin, you also have the tomato sauce element, that clashes with tannin. Thus, you’ll want a balanced red wine, like Chianti Classico, that is high in both tannin and acidity to pair with your Meat Lover’s Pizza. Low acid and high tannin red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon have the danger of tasting metallic or tinny when faced with a saucy pizza.
No matter what meat you toss on your pizza (except for fish), the rich tannin found in Chianti Classico will pair it up with it. Full of earthy flavours and notes of smoke, tobacco, herbs and spice, Chianti Classico loves beef, pork, lamb, chicken steak, and sausage.
The high acidity of Chianti Classico, along with its smooth and fruity notes of plum, cherry, blackberry, and strawberry, ensures it goes along wonderfully with the sweetness of your tomato sauce.
Shiraz & Meat Lovers Pizza Pairing
A medium-bodied Shiraz will have plenty of tannin to bite into the meaty flavours and hold its own against the barrage of delicious flavours that power through your taste buds. The protein and fat in the Pizza will smooth out the tannin of a Shiraz, allowing the wine’s jammy blackberry and blueberry flavours.
On top of this, you get many additional flavours that complement the spices used in the cured meats, such as pepper, clove, bacon fat, smoke, herbs, tobacco, licorice and cured meat. Old-world Syrah from Italy and France tend to be more earthy and herbaceous, while Shiraz from Australia or South America will be fruitier and spicier.
My preference for Meat Lovers Pizza is a medium-bodied Australian Shiraz, as it is a little more fun, bright, and upbeat for a pizza party. However, I’ll be the first to admit that a French Syrah (Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape) probably pairs a little better regarding complementary flavours.
Pinotage & Meat Lovers Pizza Pairing
Pinotage is a South African red wine that has an incredibly dense, inky black colour. Mid-bodied in flavour, Pinotage offers plenty of plum, raspberry, blackberry and black cherry flavours along with notes of red licorice, savoury meat, and smoky notes that make it lovely with meat lovers pizza.
The refreshing fruit flavours keep your taste buds alive due to their contrasting flavours, while the savoury, licorice and smoky notes all complement the meats strewn across your slice of Pizza.
Pizza is a common yet delicious food, and it makes for the perfect opportunity to reach out and try different bottles of wine you’ve never experienced before. And Pinotage, with its perfect blend of fruit, smoke and savoury spice, is the perfect wine to challenge yourself with and introduce yourself to a new favourite.
Rosso Conero & Meat Lovers Pizza Pairing
Rosso Conero is a blended red wine from Italy that is a mix of the Montepulciano grape (at least 85%) and Sangiovese. This makes for a wine that has a natural elevated acidity, making it ideal for a Meat Lovers Pizza that is extra saucy with tomato sauce. You’ll also find plenty of tannin to cut through the rich meat flavours and herbal and tobacco flavours to complement the spices used in curing the various types of meat.
Lambrusco & Meat Lovers Pizza
On the opposite side of things, if you are keeping things fun, a bubbly and dry Lambrusco (secco) offers earthy, herbal, black cherry, and dried fruit flavours that are wonderful and refreshing with cured meats. The bubbles help clear your palate of any residual grease, meaning each fresh bite will taste as perfect as the first one. Low in alcohol, Lambrusco will ensure you don’t get the meat sweats and will keep you refreshed.
Lambrusco got a bad rap in the ’70s for tasting like a sweet soda pop, but in the modern era of wine, this spritzy red is fun and unpretentious, making it perfect for a pizza party. Lambrusco is also versatile, and as a bonus, it’s pretty inexpensive. The versatility means it will pair with a wide variety of pizzas should you be holding a party, and the low cost ensures you can have plenty of stock on hand to keep everyone well-lubricated and loose.