Pizza's roots lie in antiquity but it is in 18th century Naples that it came into being as we know it - tomato topping being added to the flatbread 'plate'. By 1807, there were 57 pizzerias flourishing in the city.
Today, it is the most popular fast food in the world - nearly half the population of the UK eat pizza at least once a week and Oxford is the city which consumes the most pizza.
Whether homemade or delivered, with whatever toppings you wish to add ( except, of course, pineapple that doesn't belong anywhere near a pizza ), it can be delicious and sometimes even a healthy treat. On top of that, it goes brilliantly with wine!
We at 9 Elms Wines began making homemade pizzas while in lockdown and are now completely addicted! When the stresses and strains of working from home became too much, we found that a great bottle of wine paired with said homemade pizza was the perfect antidote. Somehow it makes everything seem right with the world!
Wines that work well with pizza should bring strong, balanced acidity and some contrasting flavour. Syrah/Shiraz, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo bring strong acidity.
To contrast the flavours, think of what type of pizza you are having. With vegetarian, a wine with freshness and lots of flavours is great. For a super spicy pizza you could wow your palate, and go off piste a bit, with a super fresh Riesling with a touch of sweetness.
9 Elms recommends:
Classic: Margherita - Campaperi Rosso di Montalcino, a savoury Sangiovese that will work beautifully with the sweetness of the tomato without overpowering.
Sommelier's Choice: Truffle - Boroli Barolo Classico 2012, as you're already heading towards the luxury end of the market. This Piemonte classic is worth every penny and the earthy, wild berry fruit stands up to the truffle intensity perfectly.
The Wild Card: Pepperoni - Weingut Schätzel Riesling Kabinett 2017 is a really interesting pairing that allows the wine's acidity to cut through the full flavoured, fatty pepperoni and the sweetness to balance the heat. Delicious.