A lot of our friends in America find it hard to believe when we tell them that in Italy, the classic pairing for pizza isn’t wine but beer.
The other thing that Italians like to pair with pizza is Coca Cola. Yes, Coke.
Part of the reason that beer and Coke top the list is because Italians like to drink something sparkling with pizza. Part of the reasoning behind this is that because pizza is dairy heavy, a sparkling beverage helps to balance the richness of the dish.
But there are other reasons as well.
Pizza is a dish served piping hot. So it’s not an ideal match for a still wine — red or white. Because of its serving temperature, a chilled beverage (again, ideally sparkling) works great.
Pizza is also a dish that has a lot of acidity in it. Between the mozzarella and the tomato, its tart character is pronounced. That also makes it a not ideal candidate for still wine because the acidity can be outpaced by the acidity in the dish.
And it’s for all the reasons above that Lambrusco works so great with pizza, even an intensely salty pizza like a napoletana with anchovies and capers (above).
Lambrusco is sparkling.
Lambrusco is slightly sweet (it should be overly sweet but just subtly sweet enough to go head to head with a salty dish like pizza).
Lambrusco has gentle acidity. It’s not great Lambrusco when the acidity is too pronounced.
But perhaps most importantly, the Lambrusco ethos is perfect for pizza. It’s all about a casual setting with friends having a good time, relaxed and easy.
Sounds like a glass of Lambrusco, doesn’t it?
Try it and you’ll thank us.
What’s your favorite pizza to pair with Lambrusco?