March 12, 2014 |

Wine gaining ground as pizza companion

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler


Fratelli Pizza slices and wineEveryone knows that pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. (We’re even bringing a craft beer pavilion and seminars on building a successful craft beer program to International Pizza Expo.)

Wine is still big business for many Italian restaurants, and that means it can –– and does –– pair well with pizza. If you’re unsure where to start, the Los Angeles Times has identified some of the best wines that pair well with pizza. The list covers the vino gamut and ranges from a spicy Zinfandel to a Valpolicello.

The most important aspect of offering wine in your restaurant? Knowledgeable servers. Ask your vendor if they offer any staff training. Identify the staff members in your business who are most interested in wine as a hobby and encourage them to put together some key selling points for their co-workers.

Once you’ve done that, marketing will be your best friend. Use social media to announce Happy Hour specials and spread the word about wine pairings. We’ve seen some great offerings –– for example, whole bottles under $20 at Metro Pizza and a pizza and a bottle of wine paired at $25 on Mondays at Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza.

What’s your bestselling wine? Do you have a spectacular wine program or offering?

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