If you’re a meat lover, there’s a high chance pork is one of your favorite meat dishes. As you know, pork is a type of meat in a league of its own. Unlike most types of meat, its taste is unique and stands out. Now, imagine all that meaty goodness going down your throat without a glass of wine to ease its passage. That doesn’t sound right, yeah?
Well, that’s precisely why we’re here for you. Are you trying pork for the first time, and you need the perfect glass of wine to go with it? Are you already familiar with this type of meat, but you’ve never tried any glass of wine with it? Not to worry! We’ve got you covered. This article will discuss various pork recipes along with different wines that can go along with each of them. Let’s get straight into it!
Matchmaking the Perfect Wines with Pork
Just as there are different pork recipes to suit your fancy, there are so many wines you can enjoy your pork with. We’ll be going through different recipes with multiple wine choices, which work just fine. We’ve got just enough choices to go around for both white and red wine lovers.
1. Best White Wine Pairing for Pork Belly: Dry German Riesling
A regular patron to restaurant menus, pork belly needs a sweet wine with a high level of acidity. Such wine can cut through the fatness and not take any bit away from the taste of the crackling. Up steps the German Spätlese Riesling to the challenge. The word “Spätlese” means late harvest, and the name originated from quite a popular story about the Spätlese wine. Legend has it that the cultivation of this wine was more of a mistake. The courier meant to deliver the official harvest picking order for this wine was delayed due to unknown circumstances. By the time he made it to the winery, noble rot had already invaded the grapes meant for the wine-making.
However, the wine turned out to be even sweeter than the winemakers could imagine. We guess we have the late courier to thank for such a balanced wine. The Riesling grapes used for this wine are picked later to develop a higher sugar level, prompting a rich and sweet wine taste. The grapes used usually have a sweetness level ranging between 172 – 209 g/L of sugar. The best choice of Spätlese wine to pair with pork belly are the ones with the “Trocken” label on their bottle. These are dry Spätlese wines with a higher level of alcohol.
For those who would prefer something not too alcoholic, we could recommend the 1996 Nackenheimer Rothenberg Riesling Spätlese, Gunderloch. With its appealing blend of pineapples and ripe apricot, this is a balanced wine that has all the intricacy and delicacy you could wish for in a white. If you love a white with an intense blend of flavors, you can’t go wrong with this wine.
2. Best Red Wine Pairing for Pork Belly: A Côtes du Rhône Red
Made in the Southern Rhone region of France, the Côtes du Rhône wines are usually a blend of grapes. The most popular grape combinations used in red wines are the Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (this blend is fondly referred to ass GSM). Some other 123 varieties are occasionally added to spice up the end product. The combination percentage is at least 50% of Grenache grapes, 20% of Syrah and/or Mourvèdre and a maximum of 20% for the other 12 grape varieties used.
The reason why the Grenache grape is the most popular in the Sothern Rhône is not far-fetched. Its blackcurrant flavor and heavy amount of spices have a quite appealing and seductive taste with a light color to mask all its goodness.
Even though all these properties seem so delicious, the best part of a Côtes du Rhône is the fact that it doesn’t need aging to taste amazing. Even though a few of the Côtes du Rhône wines might taste better after spending a while in the cellar, you can enjoy a larger majority just after release. Therefore, if you have an emergency gathering with pork on the menu, a Côtes du Rhône might just be the wine to save the day.
3. Best White Wine Pairing with Pork Tenderloin: A Chardonnay Wine
The Chardonnay grape is also known as the winemaker’s grape. This is because the grape can adapt to many climates, and it allows the winemaker to get more creative with its growing conditions. With its moderate acidity and alcohol level, a Chardonnay wine would pair seamlessly with a dish of pork tenderloin.
The beauty of its diverse style is that you can decide to have the leaner, unoaked Chardonnay or the creamier, richer oaked Chardonnay wine. For a pork tenderloin dish, the latter is the best pairing choice. This is because the richer taste will complement the mild flavors of the pork tenderloin.
A good Chardonnay we’d recommend in the Stag’s Leap Chardonnay. The characteristic vanilla flavor of oaked chardonnay wines still goes the extra mile blending in other flavors such as caramel, lilacs, and white peach. Are you envisioning a cozy evening on your porch with a creamy and flavorful chardonnay wine to match your favorite homemade pork recipe? Then, the Stag’s Leap Chardonnay would easily step up to the challenge.
4. Best Red Wine Pairing with Pork Tenderloin: A Pinot Noir
A pork tenderloin dish has mild flavors; hence, it forms a better pairing with a wine that has a more sublime taste. A good example will be a medium-bodied red wine such as the Pinot Noir. Grown in the Burgundy region of France, the Pinot Noir grapes are quite specific in their growing conditions of choice. Requiring specific cool temperatures and a level of rainfall exposure, the Pinot Noir grapes almost seem to have a mind of their own.
Unlike most of the other options we’ve been through, the Pinot Noir grapes are in their best element when used as a stand-alone varietal. While some wines blend it with other grapes, the best Pinot Noir wines would be those with pure grapes only.
The Pinot Noir wines are all for the “the older, the better” thumb rule. These wines are popular for their ability to age quite well. An average Pinot Noir can age between one to eight years, with the timeframe depending on its structure. However, if you’ll like your Pinot Noir to have a more exuberant, fruity taste, it is better to drink them when still young. One rule you should never forget with Pinot Noir is that they do not need aeration. Once you open the bottle, it is advisable to finish the contents of the bottle. Hence, you should only fetch a bottle of Pinot Noir for large gatherings or at a restaurant where you can have just a glass.
A good Pinot Noir wine we could recommend is the Riverdale Pinot Noir. With its light-bodied framework, its loganberry and black cherry flavors will pair just perfectly with a mildly-flavored plate of pork tenderloin. Also, this wine is one you can keep for as long you’ll like. It can spend up to 10 years in the cellar, making it the perfect wine to store in your cellar for just perfect occasions.
5. Best White Wine Pairing with Pork Chops: An Arneis Wine
Pork chops are one of the easiest pork recipes to make, and you need to match it with just the right wine to make it the perfect meal. One good example of a white wine that would match perfectly with a pork chop dish is an Arneis wine. Cultivated in the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy, Arneis means “little rascal.”
Just as the name implies, the Arneis grape is quite a stubborn one. For example, the grapes are highly susceptible to powdery mildew and do not yield much juice. Also, the grapes tend to become overly ripe if harvested late.
Arneis wines verbally have moderate acidity with a flavorful taste on the buds. Characterized by their light straw yellow color alongside an unusual aroma and lively elegance, you’re in for a treat when matching your Arneis with a dish of pork chops.
6. Best Red Wine Pairing with Pork Chops: Valpolicella
If your pork chop sauce is creamy, it is advisable to go for a heavier and richer red wine such as a Valpolicella. The Valpolicella winemakers use three different grape varieties: Rondinella, Corvina Veronese and Molinara. Produced in the Veneto region of Italy, the Valpolicella wines. There are five tiers of the Valpolicella wines, with each of them having its specific tastes and the dishes with which they form a perfect pair.
The Valpolicella Superiore is the tier more suitable for pork chops. With a fruit-filled acidity alongside a sharp taste to match, this tier of wines has a cordial taste on the palate, making them suitable for meaty meals such as pork chops.
If you’re a red meat lover, then a pork recipe is a must-try for you. However, trying out such a new dish without a glass of wine is just a shame. There are probably so many pork recipes than we can cover here due to the widespread popularity of this tasty meal across the world. However, if you’ve never tried this meat dish before, you can be assured of a treat if you try any of our pairings listed above.