Pork is a staple in our family’s weekly meals at Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. It offers a fantastic source of protein and can be prepared in various ways, keeping it from becoming monotonous. To create the perfect pork wine pairing, it’s crucial to consider the wine’s elements and the aspects of pork you want to highlight. In this guide, we will explore the best wines that pair with pork, based on the cooking method and the sauces and glazes you choose.
Key Considerations for Pairing Wine with Pork
When it comes to pork wine pairing, two essential elements found in pork come into play: fat and salt. Given that pork is relatively fatty, it pairs well with medium-bodied wines that have high acidity. If you opt for red wine, the fat content in pork helps combat the tannins.
As I mentioned in my ebook, pork wine pairing is all about making the right connections. This includes considering the sauce as well. Additionally, due to pork’s chameleon-like ability to absorb flavors, you often need to pair the sauce rather than the wine. In other words, your sauce selection can turn a wine from a total mishap into a surprising success story.
Sound interesting? Keep reading to discover some of the best wines that pair perfectly with pork and its main sauces. Soon enough, you’ll be savoring a deliciously balanced meal at Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.
Five Red Wines that Pair Beautifully with Pork
Thanks to its versatility, pork pairs well with a variety of red wines. The key is to maintain balance and avoid overwhelming the dish with an overly heavy red wine.
Pork and Malbec
Stuffed pork loin goes hand in hand with Malbec. Its fruity flavors of plum and berries make an excellent accompaniment, particularly when served with a red sauce. While Malbec hails from both France and Argentina, I recommend opting for the latter. Argentinian Malbec tends to be more fruit-forward and less tannic, enhancing the dish’s sweetness.
Pork and Pinotage
If you plan to grill pork chops, give Pinotage a try. This South African signature red wine, a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir, pairs beautifully with pork. The smoky elements of grilled pork chops complement Pinotage’s full-bodied and high-alcohol characteristics, creating a harmonious balance with the pork’s fat elements.
Pork and Syrah
Pork tenderloin may not be the first meat that comes to mind when you think of rich and colorful food. However, if you treat yourself to pork tenderloin, pair it with the fruity and bold Syrah. Its full body, medium-high tannins, and acidity perfectly complement this cut of pork.
Pork and Carmenere
Similar to Malbec, Carmenere originates from Bordeaux and has gained fame in South America. It shines as an accompaniment to grilled pork chops or pork fajitas. The wine’s good tannic structure helps cut through the pork’s fat, while its herbal and green characteristics add a delightful flavor to your dish.
Pork and Port
Portugal’s famous wine deserves a spot on the list of the best red wines that pair with pork. With its sweet taste, Port wine complements the salty component of pork flawlessly. After all, it’s just a letter that separates them! In brief, Port wine makes a wonderful companion for pulled pork sliders and brisket. Its sweetness complements the flavors of the meat, allowing them to shine through with each sip.
Five White Wines that Complement Pork
When pairing white wine with pork, acidity takes center stage. While aromas and flavors play a secondary role, acid is the key element to consider.
Assyrtiko with Pork
If there’s one white wine you must try with pork, it’s Assyrtiko. Hailing from Greece, this acidic wine offers a crisp and refreshing taste that beautifully pairs with pork souvlaki. What’s more, it boasts a slight tannin quality, making it a standout choice for white wine enthusiasts.
Pinot Grigio with Pork
The delicate flavor of pork tenderloin calls for a wine of equally simple quality. Italian Pinot Grigio, or its French counterpart Pinot Gris, is a smooth and refreshing option that pairs well with pork. These wines perfectly complement the lemony sauce of pork tenderloin, or fruit glazes if desired.
Albariño with Pork
Albariño, a dry Spanish white wine known for its high acidity, pairs exceptionally well with the fattier components of pork, such as pork belly. Its lemon and grapefruit aftertaste adds a delightful zestiness to the dish.
Chenin Blanc in All Four Styles with Pork
Chenin Blanc, the chameleon of white wines, deserves a spot on the list of the best wines to pair with pork. Whether you’re enjoying a dry sparkling Chenin (Sparkling Vouvray) alongside pork belly or pairing sweeter counterparts with sour and sweet pork, Chenin Blanc proves to be a versatile and successful match for pork in all its forms.
Vidiano, Cretan Wine with Pork
Vidiano, a white wine that complements nearly everything, also pairs beautifully with pork. This medium-bodied wine from Crete offers acidity and a silky texture that perfectly complements pork dishes, especially those featuring celery. With its aromas of lemons, apricots, and peaches, Vidiano adds a delightful touch to your pork experience.
Pork Wine Pairing by Cut and Preparations
The way you choose to cut and prepare your pork will determine the wine that best complements it. Grilled pork chops, for example, develop a smoky element that pairs well with red wines. On the other hand, a lean pork loin is better suited for white wines. Additionally, pork with a peach glaze will have a vastly different flavor profile than spiced pork tenderloin. Keep this in mind as you select your wine.
Pork Chops Wine Pairing
The neutrality of pork chops pairs well with light wines boasting fruity flavors. Consider options such as Pinot Noir, Torrontés, or even Chardonnay if you prefer a classic choice. Rosé wine enthusiasts are in luck as well. The crispness of rosés makes them a perfect match for any pork preparation.
Wine Pairing with Pork Roast
While there isn’t a definitive way to prepare pork roast, certain wines stand out as excellent companions. Beaujolais, with its high acidity, perfectly balances the dish’s fat elements. Alternatively, if you prefer white wine, opt for dry Riesling—a choice you won’t regret.
Wine Pairing with Pork Tenderloin and Apples
Pork tenderloin with applesauce, one of my childhood favorites, still holds a special place in my heart. For this dish, I recommend enjoying it with either Riesling or Pinot Blanc. The fruity character of these wines beautifully complements the apple-infused dish. However, you can never go wrong with a bottle of Chardonnay and its tree fruit flavors if you prefer a safe and classic option.
Pork Belly Wine Pairing
A fatty dish like pork belly calls for a wine with high acidity to cut through the fat and refresh the palate. Given the meat’s salty nature, acidity becomes even more critical. Champagne, with its biting acidity, proves to be an excellent choice for pairing with pork belly, as are Brut-to-Extra Dry sparkling wines. Additionally, you can try a fruity Loire Cabernet Franc, acidic Pinot Noir, or off-dry Riesling. All these options successfully complement the rich flavors of pork belly.
Quick Guide to Wine Pairings with Pork Sauces: Applesauce, Honey Glaze, Barbecue Sauce, Cherry Sauce, Plum Sauce
To do justice to your sauce, strive to pair it with a wine exhibiting similar flavors and aromas. Red sauces made from cherries or plums call for equally red and fruity wines, like Argentinian Malbec or jammy Shiraz.
Sweet sauces, such as those with honey, are best paired with wines that offer sweetness or abundant fruit flavors. Consider an off-dry Gewurztraminer or Muscat for a honey glaze, or a Viognier or Verdejo for a peach glaze.
Finally, if you prepare a creamy sauce, opt for an equally creamy wine like California Chardonnay. The two will harmonize beautifully, enhancing your dining experience.
In conclusion, the fat and salt elements found in pork require an acidic wine with medium to high body and mild tannins. However, the sauce you serve plays an equally important role, if not more. Carefully select the cut of pork and pay attention to the sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover your personal favorites.
Remember, no matter the chemistry behind a wine and pork pairing, it ultimately comes down to your palate. Have you tried any of my recommendations? Or have you discovered a surprising combination of your own? Let me know in the comments below and share your newfound knowledge.
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