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Best Pizza and Wine Pairings

Everyone loves pizza, and everyone loves wine. Put the two together and what you get is sheer happiness and pure enjoyment. But not all pies are created equal, and therefore shouldn't be paired with the same type of wine. Much will depend on your toppings and sauce. It's a delicate balance that requires the expertise of our resident sommelier, Jennifer Ingellis. I asked Jen for her recs on various types of pizzas, and here's her expert opinion.

Margherita Pie
Ah, the classic. It takes a juicy, medium-bodied red like a Chianti or Montepulciano d'Abruzzo to match the tangy red sauce, fresh mozzarella and scattering of basil leaves of a pizza Margherita. Our suggestion, the 2016 Quattro Gatti Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, is more than up to the task.

Pepperoni Pie
There's a trick to soaking up the richness of pepperoni while avoiding competition with its spice, and that's to throw a fruit-driven, medium-bodied red at it. The weight will soak up the richness of the meat, while the tannin structure won't overshadow the spice. Our recommendation is the juicy 2016 Commuovere Dolcetto di Dogliani Valdibà DOCG.

Veggie Lover's Pie
It you're feasting on the veggie lover's combo of green bell peppers, onions and olives, the key is to find a wine with herbal nuances that'll complement the green notes of the vegetables. Look toward an earthy, medium-bodied red like Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Carménère. We'd go with the 2017 Garúa Chilean Carménère.

Mushroom Pie
For a mushroom pie with an olive oil base, a red like the 2017 Trilus California Pinot Noir would be on point, as Pinot is well known for its mushroomy, forest floor flavors. If you're throwing on some red sauce, however, opt for something with a bit more acidity, such as the 2016 Tenuta di Sticciano Maggiano Chianti.

White Pie with Clams
This is a tough one, since you'll need a wine that can complement the briny quality of the clams while cutting through the richness of the white sauce. Our solution is a minerally, light-bodied white like Italian Pinot Grigio or Sicilian Cataratto. The salinity in the 2015 Chiacchierone Della Venezia IGT Pinot Grigio makes it the perfect fit.

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