08 Jun Pair The Perfect Wine and Beer With A TJ’s Pizza
Have you ever wondered what is the perfect wine to go along with one of our pies? We’re excited that our friends at Lowcountry Style & Living have wondered the same thing and took the time put this guide together. Here at TJ’s we love a good beer and a great glass of wine, but beyond the basics we don’t always know what to recommend. So it was perfect timing when the guys suggested putting pen to paper.
We don’t think it is hyperbole to say that pizza is America’s quintessential food. That being said, the crew here at Lowcountry Style wanted to take your TJ’s dining experience a step further. By choosing the right beer or wine, you can bring out a full round of flavors from many of the pizza pies at TJ’s. Proper pairings are not just for pretentious foodies; they are for all of us that want to enhance our pizza nights.
Over the years, we have found a number of tried and tested wine and beer styles that have stood the test of time as perfect pizza partners.
Today, we will give you a wine and beer pairing for 12 of the most popular pizzas. There are two wine recommendations because there is such a diversity – white, red, bubbly. Just remember these are types, not brands. All you have to do is go to a local supermarket, microbrewery, vineyard or liquor store and have the staff recommend something based on our type pick. Try, experiment, enjoy, repeat. We hope this guide will up your pizza game.
We also realize, at the end of the day, there is no right answer when pairing pizza with wine or beer. Our number one rule is to drink what you like when having one of our delicious, handcrafted pizzas. After all, it’s always good to enjoy what you’re drinking while you’re enjoying what you’re eating!!
Classic Duo – Sliced Italian Sausage and Premium Pepperoni
The wine: SANGIOVESE – a classic choice and the most popular grape in Italy. Both sausage and pepperoni offer a strong spice flavor. Fennel sausage and paprika pepperoni need a wine with attitude. SANGIOVESE, with its rich, fruity flavors and savory qualities will cut through the fat and saltiness to provide a perfect match.
Alternative: COTES Du RHONE – A blend of Syrah and Grenache with a peppery spiciness and acidity to complement these bold meat flavors.
The beer – IMPERIAL IPA – When going for our classic, pick a hefty IMPERIAL IPA. The beefier malt flavor and aggressive hop presence will bring out the spice presence in the sausage and pepperoni and the higher alcohol content will cut through the fat leaving you ready for another slice.
Margheritaville – Fresh Spinach, Fresh Basil and Fresh Garlic
The wine: PINOT GRIGIO – Our simple and classic flavor of tangy red sauce and creamy cheese with the counterbalancing tastes of fresh spinach and fragrant basil need a wine to complete the flavors and not distract. Pinot Grigio will do the trick.
Alternative: DRY ROSÉ – Perfect for lighter flavored pizzas. A Dry Rosé is light enough to support the delicate basil but with a strong enough grip to handle the acidity of the sauce.
The beer: PILSENER – A German or Czech style pilsner is the way to go. The zesty herbal punch from the hops will bring the basil and spinach to the forefront and the clean finish will allow the salty sweet cheese taste to last longer.
Dan’s Garlic Lover’s – NY style w/Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red Sauce on an ultra-thin crust
The wine: PINOT NOIR – Slathered in our delicious sauce, our classic NY style tastes best with a slightly acidic wine that matches the acidity of the sauce. A Pinot Noir will stand up, not be flat and flavorless, and will join the party.
Alternative: MONTEPULCIANO – A rustic, Italian wine that will blend perfectly with a NY classic.
The Beer: AMERICAN PALE ALE – A classic NY style pizza needs a classic American pale ale. A pungency, but restrained hop profile with just enough bitterness to stand up to the sauce, cheese and garlic. It’s also palate clearing and gets you ready for the next slice.
Perfect Veggie – Mushrooms, Green Pepper, Red Onions, Roma Tomatoes, Black Olives
The wine: CHARDONNAY – This can be a rich white wine, but not when the vegetables have soaked up the cheese and the sauce to invite a creamy Chardonnay.
Alternative: BEAUJOLAIS – If you want a red, try a light engaging Beaujolais. It’s earthy palate will complement the vegetable, especially the black olives.
The beer: KOLSCH – A German style beer with a crisp, sparkling, fruity taste that will play up to the vegetables but not overpower them.
Our Mediterranean Pizza Ready For Baking!
Beach Music – Black Forest Ham, Fresh Pineapple, Mandarin Oranges
The wine: PROSECCO – Prosecco is a light, often dry, sparkling wine from Italy. It has a fruitiness that will complement the ham, pineapple and oranges without being so sweet that it will be out of place with our sauce or crust.
Alternative: RIESLING – This sweet white wine works well with the salty/sweet combo of ham, pineapple and mandarin oranges.
The beer: GOSE – This sour wheat beer will play up to the sweetness of the pineapple and oranges but will also complement the salty ham and acidic sauce.
Italian Job – Pepperoni, Sausage, Ground Beef, Bacon, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Dried Oregano
The wine: CABERNET SAUVIGNON – Meat pizzas are super rich and tasty and need a bold wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is your answer. Its velvety taste belies its ability to stand up to all the spice and fat of the meats and bring them to a higher level. This is the wine to match our pizza’s intense flavors.
Alternative: ZINFANDEL – With all the meat, you need a wine with heft. Red wines have
tannins that match well with the fattiness of the meats to create a perfect harmony.
The beer: BELGIAN STYLE WHEAT BEER – High carbonation is a nice contrast to the meat variations and it’s just boozy enough to get lost in the toppings.
Philly Cheese Steak – Grilled Sliced Steak, Onions and topped with your choice of Cheddar or American Cheese.
The wine: DRY LAMBRUSCO – A sparkling wine bursting with juicy red berry notes. Make sure you get a “secco” lambrusco, meaning dry. The bubbles and freshness of the wine with a touch of sweetness provide an excellent foil for the gooey cheese, juicy steak and crunchy crust.
Alternative: CHARDONNAY – A rich, full bodied white is what we need to stay alert with all that meat, cheese and caramelized onions. This wine will add acid and backbone without altering the flavor of the meat.
If you need a Red: CABERNET FRANC – A medium bodied red that will complement the texture and fat of this pizza.
The beer: AMERICAN PALE ALE – This beer will stand up to everything going on in the pie. The malty flavor will bring out the sauce and cheese flavor without overshadowing the steak.
Bacon Cheeseburger – Ground Beef, Bacon, Red Onions, Sharp Cheddar, Fresh Ground Black Pepper
The wine: ZINFANDEL – This needs a wine to cut through the fat and salt. A big jammy, juicy and spicy Zinfandel is the answer.
Alternative: MALBEC – Argentinians love their beef, and their native wine will embrace the ground beef, compliment the bacon, and not dominate the pie
The beer: WHEAT BEER – Light and refreshing but with a tartness that brings the fat and salt into harmony.
White Pizza Quattro Formaggio – Mozzarella, Provolone, Fontina, Asiago, Fresh Basil, Tomatoes
The wine: CHARDONNAY – A way to play into the creaminess of our pies is to drink a
Chardonnay. It’s a full-bodied white wine to support the structure and density of our cheesiest pie.
Alternative: PINOT NOIR – A red that will support the creaminess in a nuanced way without overwhelming the cheese. A herbaceous and earthy wine, it pairs well with the basil and tomatoes.
The beer: WITBIER – High carbonation will cut through the creaminess with a light spicy finish.
BBQ Chicken – BBQ Marinated Chicken, Red Onion, Bacon, Fresh Cilantro
The wine: PINOT NOIR – The smokiness and the sweetness of the barbecue sauce works well with the fruitiness of a Pinot Noir. Its light body and tannins work well with the sauce and will not be overpowered by the bacon.
Alternative: MERLOT – A fruity wine with an easy drinking character that melds with chicken, creamy cheese and the vibrancy of cilantro.
The beer: VIENNA LAGER – A reddish-amber, malt-forward beer, mildly hopped, that blends well with the barbecue sauce, cheese and red onion.
Traditional Greek – Fresh Spinach, Basil, Red Onion, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, Pine Nuts, Garlic, Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper
The wine: DRY ROSÉ – A juicy, tart, berry flavor that can handle the olives and feta. Its
complexity and great acidity will connect with all the diverse flavor and textures.
Alternative: SAUVIGNON BLANC – Feta, olives, onions and tomatoes are a tangy mix and a Sauvignon Blanc is a wine to handle the bite and especially compliment the oregano and garlic.
The beer: WHEAT ALE – A tart refreshing wheat ale goes well with the saltiness of the feta yet will play up to the fresh basil and spinach.
Buffalo Chicken – Hot and spicy chicken, topped with hot sauce drizzle and a choice of ranch or bleu cheese dressing
The wine: RIESLING – Riesling is always a safe bet when dealing with hot. Its residual sugar will blend with the intense heat to find the right mix.
Alternative: SAUVIGNON BLANC Stay traditional and enjoy the heat with a drink that tempers but does not overpower.
The beer: IPA – Don’t go imperial, just keep it mid-range alcohol volume and you will have a drink that plays offense and defense with the hot sauce and bleu cheese so as to complement and contrast.
There you have it. Our favorite drink complements to our favorite pizzas! Again, this list was composed from experience, but we understand that everyone has their own individual pallet. We invite you to experiment on what works well with yours! Enjoy!