Wine and Pork Pairing – Perfect Matching
From cutlets and chops that get a quick sear on the grill to slow-cooked roasts and salty bacon, pork runs the gamut when it comes to flavour. As such, different pork dishes call for different styles of wine to match. While there is variation in cuts and preparation, pork always has a hint of sweetness. It ranges from lean to fatty, but isn’t really ever overly heavy, so something light-medium bodied is usually the go.
Here are a few distinct ways in which you’ll likely be eating pork, along with a few tips on matching a wine with your swine:
Ham, Bacon, Sausage
Whether you’re topping roast vegetables with crispy bacon, throwing some snags on the barbecue or serving slices of savoury prosciutto as an entrée, these types of pork are all salty and pretty fatty. They also have a hint of sweetness, particularly the cured meats. These are best with a wine that has a good amount of fruit and is still fairly dry. An off dry Riesling would be lovely, as would a Gewürztraminer. For those sausages, which often pack in herbs and more complex flavours, try a Viognier or Alsace-style Riesling (which is a bit drier). Sweet cured meats like Prosciutto di San Daniele are also well-suited with a glass of good rosé.
Cured pork is salty and a little bit sweet. A good glass of dry yet fruity rosé is a great wine pairing.
Slow-Cooked Pork and Roasts
Slow-cooked shoulder and roast pork loin really pick up some of the natural sweetness of the meat when they cook away in the oven. To match, a wine with a good amount of weight, fruit and some oak is ideal. A chardonnay is an easy pairing here, but a fuller bodied Pinot Gris or light Pinot Noir would also be lovely. If you’re roasting a pork belly (or ordering wine to match this at restaurants – it’s a trendy item so you’ll likely come across it), the fattier cut can handle a bit more body and tannins, so try an Aussie Shiraz.
Slow cooked pork is sticky and sweet, and goes well with an oaky, fully bodied Chardonnay or a light to medium bodied Pinot Noir.
Pan-Seared and BBQ Pork
Cutlets and chops that get cooked over quick, high heat (either on the barbecue or stovetop), will usually mean a cut of fairly lean meat and plenty of sweet, smoky char. Considering this, you want to keep you tannins pretty low but still have some acid. A Zinfandel, Grenache, or Tempranillo (Aussie or Rioja Baja styles, which are a bit juicier), will match this balance flavours perfectly.
Pork chops on the grill are smoky and robust, but are still quite lean – a juicy Tempranillo or California Zinfandel would match such a dish beautifully
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