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Pizza Pairing Tips From Sbraga's Ben Fileccia

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benfileccia250.jpgWith Pizza Week wrapping up and the weekend upon us, there's one question that's been weighing on our minds: What should we be drinking with all of this pizza? Sure, you can leave it to the pros when you're out somewhere like Pizzeria Vetri - but unless your delivery guy is driving to supplement his main profession as a sommelier, you're usually on your own deciding what to crack open with your pie.

So Eater checked in with Ben Fileccia, Director of Operations for Sbraga Dining and, perhaps more importantly, a man who knows his booze. Fileccia has a knack for knowledgeable yet approachable advice, and his quick tips for pizza pairings fit that bill.
[Photo: Eater Philly/Alyssa Maloof]

Eater Philly: OK, first let's consider the basic cheese pizza. How about one top choice each for beer, wine, and liquor?
Ben Fileccia: Allagash White, Lambrusco, Aperol spritz.

Which of those three general categories do you personally prefer with pizza?
It may be wrong to say, given the topic of this Q&A, but I like to drink plain old Coke with my pizza!

Any general guidelines for pairing with pizza, for those that want to branch out on their own?
I always tell my guests to drink what they enjoy. Pairings are about balance and not overpowering what you're eating. What you drink should make what you're eating taste better, and what you eat should make what you're drinking taste better.

OK, how about some specific pairings for some common pizza challenges that might make for tricky pairings. What if you're faced with:

· Garlicky white pizza?
I think Chianti goes best with anything garlicky
· Overly sweet sauce?
Dry rosé.
· Super spicy toppings, like chiles or spicy soppressata?
I love spice with spice so I'd say a nice, spicy Malbec
· A thicket of greens piled on top, like arugula or broccoli rabe? Definitely a Northern Italian pinot grigio, probably from Friuli

· Sbraga Dining [Official]
· All Pizza Week Coverage [-EPHI-]


440 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 215-735-1913

The Fat Ham

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