What wine goes with pork? Best five wine pairing ideas with Pork
Pork is a tricky food to pair with wine at times. Is it like red meat or more similar to chicken? This particular protein can take on both identities; depending on how it is prepared and which part of the pig is being cooked; there are arrays of wines that pair perfectly with pork. The idea when pairing wine with this food is to first choose the cut of the pig; then center the wine on how the pork is prepared. Lastly, the flavor profiles of how you season the pork will have some influence on which wine to pick. Keeping all these ideas in mind; here are the best five wine paring ideas with pork.
Wine Pairing For Grilled Pork ChopsOne important factor for pairing wine with pork is the fattiness of the cut; pork chops are a leaner choice and depending on the flavor profile of the seasoning; it will determine the type of wine. Grilled pork chops add a nice smoky element to the flavor and an oaky chardonnay would be a great match for this dish. However, if you were to slather the chops in a spicy Asian barbeque sauce; then the wine selection would change. Spicy sauces with mild proteins along with the smoky essence of the grill allow the wine paring to much bolder. Choose a bold full bodied cabernet or merlot to counter act the complex combination of flavors with the pork chops.
Wine Pairing for RibsSome wine enthusiast will still desire some type of wine over a glass of beer when it comes to ribs. This is a fatty savory cut of the pork that carries a lot of versatility when pairing wine to pork. The sauce will have some influence on which wine works best; sweet sauces slathered on top of the ribs respond best to Pinot Gris White, Chardonnay, Syrah-Merlot blend, and even a Zinfandel will pair nicely. All of these wines carry a good amount of acidity to counter balance the fatty meat and sweet sauce. If you like a more savory sauce with bold spices and smoky influences like using hickory to smoke the ribs; the wine pairing can change. Try paring this with Shiraz, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and even a great vintage Merlot is perfect.
Wine Pairing for Baked HamBaked ham has a bit of a salty finish and there some great wine pairings that ease the palette and complement the meat. Sweeter wines tend to respond better with saltier foods like hams; one that works well with ham is Gewürztraminer; find one with a nice honey tone to it. If you are more of a red wine drinker, then a Petit Syrah or even Chianti would mellow out the saltiness. Avoid heavy reds and oaky whites; these tend to overpower the flavor of the ham as well as create an off aftertaste.
Wine Pairing for Pork TenderloinPork tenderloin recipes can be very different from one to the next; as one recipe calls for stuffing the pork with sweet apricots and a sweet glaze; another will have savory herbs such as sage along with a buttery sauce. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts on the pig and considered the most tender part of the pig; the wine should fit the same profile. Find a wine that has a silky texture and smooth finish; red or white. Syrah’s tend to have a smooth finish and not a lot of acidity depending on where they are made; look for a California or Oregon bottle. These regions also blend the wine with berries; which also creates an earthy tone as well. If you are a white wine drinker, then find a Riesling from these regions as well; late harvest Rieslings are exceptional for pairing with pork tenderloin.
Universal Wines for PorkIf you are preparing a pork dish and want to stock your wine cellar with universal wines that can be easily paired to a number of pork dishes, there are some wines that have a neutral ground with sweet, fatty, and spicy. When in doubt find a great Pinot Noir to go with your pork dish; this wine can go with pork, chicken, and fish. Certain chardonnays will also be a great match; find chardonnays that include peaches, citrus, and little oak in them. Even some sparkling wines can be fun to eat with pork; the fizz helps cool the spicy flavors while the dryness can balance out the sweet; California’s Napa Valley has some great bottles.
In the end, the main objective is to choose a wine that best suits you. If you only drink white wine, then experiment with certain whites that you like and then venture out to more complex blends; same tactic for red wine lovers. Wine drinking is an ongoing adventure that should always be approached with the glass half full.
Jennifer has been a chef for over a decade in the Pacific Northwest. She likes to educate the public about the latest culinary trends and motivating them get in the kitchen and cook.