What Wine Goes With Pork Dishes: Learning More About Successful Food And Wine Pairing Tips

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Last Updated: March 11, 2021

With today's increasing diversity in various cuisine and wine choices, it is crucial to understand what makes food and wine pairing successful. 

There is a significant impact on our choices once we learn how a food's flavor can bring out a wine's quality. In the same manner, a wine's quality can also complement the taste of your food.

So...

The more you know about flavors, the better your chances are of ending with a good match. You most likely ended up on this page trying to learn about the dynamics of food and beverages. 

Maybe you'd like to know more about wine pairing with pork chops for a dinner party or the best pork tenderloin wine pairing to impress your date.

As much as we carefully consider intensity as a vital factor, it is also worth noting that no two people taste things in precisely the same way. We often hear that "red wine pairs well with meat, while white wine goes perfectly with chicken and fish." 

However…

Drinking your favorite vino should be a fun and pleasurable experience, so even for that reason, let's try to set aside some standards or old habits momentarily.

Keep reading as we go over a handful of the most tried and tested pairing recommendations instead. Hopefully, it allows you to maximize your dining experience where wine is involved.

A Closer Look Into How Food And Wine Work Together

Every dish is unique, a combination of varying ingredients and flavors. Similarly, every wine is extraordinary, too, each having a distinct characteristic. The moment that food and wine blends inside your mouth, they start having a different element altogether. It results in a unique taste for specific individuals.

The best way to enjoy your wine is to avoid overthinking or oversimplifying the whole process. 

What works for you won't necessarily mean that it will also work for everyone else because we all have different taste buds. More than focusing on rules, what matters more is creating synergy and having a perfect balance. 

Don’t be afraid of discovering new things because who knows, that might give you an “aha” moment when you least expect it. You can start by trying out the food and wine you like. If it doesn’t work out, you can always plan on something else because experimenting is the best way to learn familiar flavors and textures.

Practical Strategies In Combining Food And Wine Flavors

Complementing And Contrasting Flavors: A food can taste bitter, sweet, salty, spicy, or sour, while you consider the body, acid, and tannin for the wine. The contrast in taste and flavor creates the right amount of balance. Likewise, enhancing shared flavor compounds can also create balance.

Weight And Body: Strike the perfect balance of both the food and the wine, which significantly increases the chance of your pairing success. Ensure matching equal weights like pairing lighter meals with lighter wines and intense meals with full-bodied wines.

Acidity And Fat: Acid can cut through the fat, which eventually cleanses palates. Similarly, fat can also soften wines that contain high levels of tannin.

Texture And Structure: Identify the dominant taste in your food because that will affect your wine’s structure. In the same way that fat is a tannin buffer, the salt can also soften the wine’s texture.

Sweetness: You should match or exceed a sweet food with a sweet wine. Doing this will create a harmonious balance between your dish and your wine.

Alcohol: Never make the mistake of matching a spicy meal with wines having high alcohol content. Alcohol can accentuate heat, so it’s best to pair spicy dishes with a slightly sweet wine instead.

a fancy pork dish with wine

A Helpful Guide In Wine Pairing With Pork

Maybe you’re wondering what the best wine pairing with pork roast is or what wine matches with pulled pork. When it comes to finding a suitable wine that pairs well with your favorite pork dishes, it all goes down to how you choose to prepare the meat. Moreover, it is like matching your wine to a specific pork preparation or accompaniment.

Depending on the ingredients you use, the cut, and preparation, pork can have various flavor profiles. 

Nonetheless, pork has a distinct versatility that makes it easier to match with wines. Those that come in cuts with more fat content would go well with full-bodied wines, while the lean cuts make a good pair for lighter wines.

Additionally, it's vital to consider choosing a menu first before selecting your wine to narrow down your choices in finding the right wine based on your dish preference. I find this to be the fun part because you’ll realize how you almost have limitless options as you start deciding from the possible dish and wine combinations.

Famous Pork Dishes And Wine Recommendations

Pork dishes are staples in parties or celebrations, whether they’re personal or professional events. To put an end to the question of what wine matches with bbq ribs, here are some of our top recommendations:

Roast Pork

Roast pork has a tender and luscious flavor that makes a great pair with wines containing high acidity and slightly sweet.  It matches with either an intense white wine or lighter red wines. Here are our top wine pairing suggestions that you can try:

  • A young red Burgundy
  • Pinot Noir from warm climates
  • Chianti
  • Tempranillo
  • Côtes du Rhône
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris
  • Medium-bodied Zinfandel
  • Dolcetto
  • Cool-climate Merlot

Grilled Pork Chop

Grilled pork chops have flavor profiles ranging from earthy to smoky, salty, and flavorful. Lighter, delicate red wines and hearty white wines can enhance the flavor of a grilled pork chop. Here are our top wine pairing suggestions that you can try:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Grenache
  • Malbec
  • Chardonnay
  • Barbera
  • Dolcetto
  • Beaujolais
  • Dry Rosé
  • Merlot

Barbecue Ribs

Barbecue ribs typically have a bold, spicy, and sweet flavor that matches well with medium to full-bodied wines with a slight acidity. Check out these wine pairing suggestions:

  • Zinfandel
  • Medium-bodied Grenache
  • Australian Shiraz
  • Petite Sirah
  • Riesling
  • Tempranillo
  • Malbec
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Sangiovese
  • Cool-Climate Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Moscato

schnitzel pork with a glass of wine

Pork Tenderloin

It is a flavorful dish with a leaner cut and has a distinct sweetness. You can’t go wrong when matching it with both red and white, which is why you can bring either of the two to the table. Here are the other pairing suggestions:

  • California Petite Sirah
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Zinfandel
  • Zweigelt
  • Sangiovese
  • Chianti
  • Italian Brunello
  • Vouvray
  • Cabernet Franc (for those with herbal spices)

Pork Belly

This tender, savory, and fatty dish work best with wines with high acidity to keep your mouth fresh. It also makes a suitable match for lighter red wines. Here are our top pairing suggestions:

  • Dry German Riesling
  • Beaujolais
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris
  • Cool-climate Pinot Noir
  • Aussie Shiraz
  • Sicilian Nerello Mascales
  • Tempranillo
  • Vouvray
  • Champagne

Pulled Pork

A buttery, smoky, slightly salty, and a bit sweet dish like pulled pork goes well when paired with richer, full-bodied wines. Check these pairing recommendations:

  • Young Rioja
  • Riesling
  • Tempranillo
  • Zinfandel
  • Italian Primitivo
  • Dry Rosé
  • Spanish Garnacha Rosé (for those that come with barbecue sauce)
  • Chilean Pinot Noir
  • Aussie Shiraz
  • Côtes du Rhône

Sausages

The spicy flavor in sausages, together with its fattiness, deserve a wine with a generous amount of acidity. A wine that has a weight and delicate richness pairs well with sausage dishes. Here are our top wine suggestions:

  • Beaujolais
  • Malbec
  • Off-dry Riesling
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Viognier
  • Young Grenache
  • Barbera
  • White Zinfandel
  • Young Southern Rhône

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you drink red or white wine with pork?

Pork dishes have a distinct versatility that allows you to pair them conveniently with a variety of wines. They can represent several flavor profiles depending on the ingredients, the meat's cut, preparation, and accompaniments.

We ponder all these things in choosing the wine that perfectly matches pork. Conclusively, pork dishes pair well with wines with light to medium body, have a tinge of fruity flavor, and contain low tannin levels.

Does Pinot Noir pair with pork?

Pinot Noir is a good pair for pork dishes. It is a wine with a light to medium body, adequately acidic, and with soft tannins that can cut through fats and enhance a pork’s rich and smoky flavor.

Does Cabernet Sauvignon go with pork?

Cabernet Sauvignon may not be an ideal pair for pork. It has a bold flavor and is rich in tannins, but it may not handle the pork’s natural sweetness and might even diminish the pork’s neutral flavors.

Does Merlot go with pork?

Merlot is famous for having a broad selection of styles, which has remarkable flexibility in food pairing. It has a medium body and mouth-watering character that matches well with roasted pork.

Conclusion

A wine completes a dining encounter like nothing else can. Consequently, it is vital to ensure that we get the most out of it by making the right choices. It doesn't have to be a complicated process, but it is an individual endeavor, a unique, personal experience.

I know no other beverage that can have a full range of flavors that can match so many foods the way that wine does. However, we should all keep in mind that there is no such thing as one perfect wine for a dish. 

Wines have a distinct versatility, so as wine lovers, we should be just as flexible in our choices too. Exploring the variety of flavors in both wine and food can be fun, and it is the most effective way to understand our preferences; hence, we start having the confidence in making smart choices.

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