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The best wine, beer, and cider to pair with pizza

Compiled by Andrea Tomkins – 

It goes without saying that a good slice of pizza deserves to be paired with an equally good beverage. We asked Kristin Perrin, a WSET Level 3 Certified Sommelier since 2007, to share her top picks for something to sip with a slice, and here’s what she recommended:

Beer pairings for simpler veggie or plain cheese pizza (or my fave, margherita!)

  • Tooth & Nail, Vim & Vigor Pilsner: clean, crisp, beautifully refreshing.
  • Beyond The Pale Clean Cut German Inspired Kolsch: also deliciously grainy, snappy and refreshing!

Beer pairings for meatier pizzas

Pepperoni-type:

  • Vimy Cream Ale: slightly malty biscuit, earthy, creamy, doughy, spicy hop finish. 
  • Toque de Broue La Cavalerie D’Houblon IPA: peachy, pear, watermelon, apricot with lime and bitterness to balance (but not too much IPA-pine-needles, nor ‘A Christmas-tree-full-of-mangos-smashing-you-in-the-face!’)

Hawaiian-style:

  • Dominion City Paper Salesman APA: FREAKING DELICIOUS! Fun, tropical-fruity, herbal-hoppy with a clean, crisp, dry finish.
  • Beyond The Pale Pink Fuzz: Grapefruit Zest Wheat Ale (need I say more?!) zesty-sweet citrus, wheaty, grapefruit-finish that packs a punch.
  • Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale: (for obvious reasons!) Rich, malty, sweet pineapple-y, dry-hopped citrus-y). Salty ham + sweet pineapple = #nomnomnomnom

Versatile wines to go with any pizza

Bubbly white wine: 

  • Fiol Prosecco: Non-vintage (grape: Glera, formerly “Prosecco”): green apple, pear, citrus, slight floral & banana, doughy, nutty dry finish, soft persistent bubbles, easy-peezy, PALATE CLEANSING!

White wines:  

  • Mouton Cadet Bordeaux White AOC (grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon) lemony-snicket, rounded texture, medium-bodied, dry minerally finish.
  • Marques De Riscal Rueda DO (grapes: Verdejo, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc) punchy tropical fruits, citrus, medium-full bodied, a dry fruit salad in your glass!

Rosé:

  • Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais-Villages Rosé 2017 (grape: Gamay Noir)  Mixed-berry-licious! Beautiful minerals, rounded acidity, medium bodied, clean dry finish, simply delightful!

Red wines: 

  • Damilano, Barbera D’Asti 2015 (grape: Barbera) Raspberry delight, earth, pepper, red liquorice, violet, minerals, bright acidity, medium tannins & body, lengthy finish.
  • E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône (grapes: Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre) Smoky dark plum, cassis, earthy, woody, espresso-mocha,
    peppery spicy, plush tannins,
    full-bodied.

Let’s not forget our other fave fruity beverage

We asked Debbie Trenholm, founder of Savvy Company to recommend her top three craft ciders to pair with pizzas. (She gave us four!)  

Pear Cider by County Cider 

This would be a delicious drink with the wood fired pizza with interesting toppings such as sausage, cheese & onions. The natural pear flavour will make the pizza topping combo go pop in your mouth! This cider is made in Prince Edward County using locally grown Ontario apple and pears to create a refreshing, crisp & dry craft cider that has a hint of nutmeg and vanilla. ($7.95 – available at many grocery stores.)

Fielding Craft Cider 

This is a new cider that is made at Fielding Estates Winery in Niagara. It’s a recent trend to find winemakers stretching their talent to make small batch cider – be on the lookout. Made with a variety of Ontario apples, this cider has bright aromas of ripe tree fruit (apples of course, apricot, pear… even peach). It is light, fresh and thirst quenching. (4-can pack $18. Available by ordering from Savvy Company, 613-SAVVYCO.)

Shiny Cider with Pinot Noir

Can’t decide whether to have wine or cider with your pizza? Grab a can of this! Made with fresh apple cider with a splash of pinot noir wine to amp up the flavour and to give a dash of colour. Be ready to enjoy aromas and tastes of cranberry, strawberry, roses with a hint of vanilla. There is a touch of sweetness balanced with the usual cider acidity that makes you wish you had a couple of cans in the fridge. ($3.25 per can at the LCBO.)

And… one more!

Flying Canoe Hard Cider

Made right here in Ottawa, this pours into the glass as a bright gold colour loaded with fresh apple aromas & tastes. The light carbonation combined with a touch of sweetness makes this a versatile crowd-pleasing cider for a pizza pool party. ($3.35 per can at the LCBO.)


Celebrate and sample ciders

In July, Savvy Company will introduce consumers to the cidermakers at the 2nd annual Ottawa Craft Cider Celebration on the evening of Thursday July 18 at Canada Agricultural & Food Museum at the Central Experimental Farm. Collaborating with the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum. It’s the perfect setting for an outdoor summertime event. Cider fans of all kinds will enjoy sampling Ontario craft cider while the sun sets over the farm. For more information and to buy tickets go to savvycompany.ca.

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