Pork is a very affordable and versatile meat. From pork loin to pork belly, sausages to shoulder, bacon to cured ham, there are so many different ways of preparing and cooking pork.
This can make it quite challenging to find the perfect wine pairing. How do you know which wine to pair with pork? Which wines go best with the various cuts and the most popular pork sauces?
We have put together this guide to help you with your pork wine pairing. We have recommended the 10 best wines to try with pork, along with ideas for different flavors and cuts of pork and which wines would work best.
Keep reading to find out more.
How To Pair Pork With Wine
Before we dive into our recommendations, it is important to take a moment to explain how wine is paired with pork. You need to think about what qualities the pork has and find a wine that balances out those qualities for a perfect pairing.
Pork is known for being quite salty, and it often has a high fat content. Salt and fat are balanced by Acidity and tannins.
This means you need to find high acidity wines, and if you are choosing a red wine you should find one with high tannins. If you do this then you should be able to find a pretty good match, regardless of the other flavors in the dish.
The Best White Wine To Pair With Pork
If you are looking for a white wine to pair with your pork, here are the best options.
A French wine from the Burgundy region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio is a light bodied wine that tends to be quite dry. It is aromatic and has flavor notes of white peach and citrus fruits. You may also notice honeysuckle and green apples.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Pinot Grigio?
This easy-sipping wine with medium acidity works well with a herby sauce to complement the grassy, green flavors. It is also delicate enough to pair with pork tenderloin.
A Spanish wine from the Galicia region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Albarino?
This wine is quite dry with a long lasting finish. It is high in acidity and has a saline quality along with mineral notes. The main flavors are citrus, with aromas of lime and nectarine.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Albarino?
The light bodied white wine has a enough avidity to cut through fat, making it ideal for pork belly or for creamy sauces. It has a bitter greeness that would also work well with herby sauces.
An Italian wine from the Marche region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Veriddcio?
This wine is crisp and dry with a subtle green hue. It has mineral notes with flavors of citrus fruits and almonds.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well WithVerdicchio?
The crisp, refreshing qualities of this wine along with the high acidity make it a versatile wine for pairing with pork. Try it with gammon or cured pork, perhaps with a parsley sauce.
A French wine from the Loire Valley.
What Are The Characteristics Of Chenin Blanc?
There are different varieties of Chenin Blanc with various characteristics. For pork, look for a chenin blanc with high acidity and maybe some spicy flavor notes. You might notice the taste of green apple and honey.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Chenin Blanc?
The acidity of this wine cuts through the fat but the citrus notes contrast the smoky flavors of the meat. Try it with pulled pork or cured pork.
A German wine from the Rhine region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Riesling?
Riesling can be dry, semi sweet or sweet depending on the variety. They have a deep yellow color, high acidity and zesty flavors of citrus fruits. The sweeter varieties have distinct notes of apricot and ginger which adds some spice.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Riesling?
Choose a sweeter Riesling to pair with a sweet and spicy sauce. This is the ideal choice for Asian style pork belly. A dry Riesling would pair well with pork and apple to contrast the sweetness.
The Best Red Wines To Pair With Pork
If you would rather pair your pork with red wine, here are some of the best suggestions for you to try.
A Portuguese fortified wine.
What Are The Characteristics Of Port?
Port is a sweet, fortified wine that is often served after dinner in very small glasses. It has intense flavors of concentrated red and black fruit. You may also notice notes of bitter chocolate, nuts, and buttery caramel.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Port?
Port has medium tannins which can work with creamy sauces. The sweetness can contrast a spicy dish, or complement a fruity sauce.
Originally a French wine, now the majority of Malbec is made in Argentine.
What Are The Characteristics Of Malbec?
Malbec is full bodied with a deep purple color. It has medium tannins and a high alcohol content. You will notice flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry along with smoky tobacco.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Malbec?
The flavor of the wine is deep enough to not be overpowered by a strong or even spicy dish. It really works with sausages including chorizo.
Also known as Syrah, this wine comes from the Rhone region of France.
What Are The Characteristics Of Shiraz?
It tends to be full-bodied and dark with flavor notes of blue and black fruit along with some spice and black pepper.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Shiraz?
The savory notes of Shiraz work perfectly with grilled pork. A jammy Shiraz would be a great match with a spicy pork dish.
An Italian wine from the Tuscany region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Sangiovese?
This wine has more savory and earthy flavors than most red wines. You will taste sour cherry and plum along with roasted pepper and tomato. It has an aroma of fig and cherry.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Sangiovese?
The high tannins of Sangiovese are perfect for cutting through fat so you could pair it with pork shoulder or pork belly. You could also try it with a sweet sauce like honey or maple.
Pinot Noir is a French wine from the Burgundy region.
What Are The Characteristics Of Pinot Noir?
Pinot noir can be light or medium bodied. It has an intense red color and flavors of earthiness and spice. You will also notice notes of fresh fruit and a floral aroma.
Which Pork Dishes Would Pair Well With Pinot Noir?
The earthy, smokiness of the wine works really well with smoked pork, so you could try it with cured meats. It would also work well with pulled pork or pork tenderloin.
Pairing Wine With Pork Sauces
If you really want to make sure that you achieve the perfect pairing between your pork dish and your wine, then you should consider the ingredients and flavors of the sauce you are serving with your pork.
Here are some recommendations for you to try.
Creamy sauces work well with oaked wines, or something acidic to cut through the richness of the cream. Try a Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc.
Spicy sauces work well with spicy wines like Zinfandel and Shiraz. You can contrast the spice with a jammy wine to add sweetness. Try a sweet Riesling for a white option. Malbec can hold its own against a spicy sauce.
Choose a wine with earthy flavors to pair with the earthy mushroom. Try Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cotes-du-Rhones has a sweet aftertaste which works well with the sweetness of BBQ sauce. You could also go for a sweet port. If you want to complement the smokiness of BBQ sauce then try Grenache or Shiraz.
There are different types of sweet sauces that work best with different wines. Fruity sauces like apple sauce would go well with Chardonnay, to bring out the green flavors.
You could also try a savory sangiovese to contrast the sweetness of the fruit. Sangiovese would also work well with a honey or maple sauce for this reason. Alternatively, you could try a Muscat.
A sweet yet smoky sauce could be paired with a Pinot Gris as the aromatic qualities will cut through the smokiness to provide a crisp contrast.
If you are serving your pork with a herby sauce then you should consider pairing it with a white wine that has a grassy quality. Try a Sauvignon Blanc – especially one from the Loire Valley or New Zealand.
You could also try a herbaceous white wine like Gruner Veltliner from Austria, Chardonnay, or Sancerre.
Mustard sauces have a strong, savory flavor. A sparkling white wine like Asti would work well to provide a crisp and refreshing contrast. You could also try a Riesling, a Chardonnay or a Viognier.
For red wines, try Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Burgundy.
Pairing Wine With Pork Cuts
Some people prefer to choose their wine pairing based on the cut of meat they are using rather than the sauce they are serving it with. On this basis, rose wine works well with pretty much any cut of pork.
It is crisp and refreshing with a little bit of sweetness. If you want recommendations for red and wines to pair with different cuts of pork, here are some suggestions.
Pork tenderloin is boneless and tender. It is a long strip of meat that comes from the back of the animal. It is known for having a subtle flavor so you can pair it with a delicate wine like Pinot Grigio or Pinot Blanc.
Pork tenderloin is lean rather than fatty so you don’t need to worry too much about having high acidity or tannins. For a red wine option, go for Sangiovese with its savory flavors or a light bodied Pinot Noir.
Pork chops are taken from the loin of the animal and include some of the bone. They are quite lean, and can be cooked in lots of different ways. For a white wine pairing you could try an unoaked Chardonnay.
If you would prefer a red wine then go for a Pinot Noir. You could also try a Cotes-du-Rhones which ends on a sweet note to complement the sweetness of the pork.
If you are grilling the pork chops then consider a Vidal Blanc for your white wine option, or a smoky and earthy Grenache for your red wine option.
The pork shoulder is usually a triangular cut of meat taken from just above the leg. It is one of the cheaper cuts of meat and is usually sold with a layer of fat on it.
If you cook it with the fat on then it provides a lot of flavor to the meat. This is a popular cut of meat for smoking, and for making pulled pork.
A crisp Pinot Gris will cut through the fattiness of a pork shoulder. You could also try a Riesling. If you are roasting the pork shoulder then it would be lovely paired with a Beaujolais for your red option.
Pork belly is boneless cut with quite a lot of fat. It is very flavorsome when cooked, and can be used to make pork crackling. It tends to be served in small portions because it is quite rich.
You need something dry and acidic to cut through the fat of the pork belly. Try a dry Riesling for your white wine option. For your red wine, consider a fruity Burgundy that is not too heavy.
The ribs have quite a lot of meat and are cooked until the meat is very tender and is falling off the bone. There is also a lot of fat which creates plenty of flavor.
Try a red Zinfandel with a good amount of acidity. You could also go for an acidic Merlot with plenty of berry flavor notes. For your white wine option you should consider trying a light-bodied chablis with a mineral quality and saline flavor notes.
Quick Wine Guide
Here is a quick list of all of the wines we have recommended and their food pairings to make it easy for you to reference in the future.
- Albarino – Pork belly with herb sauce
- Asti – Pork with mustard sauce
- Chardonnay – Pork chops with apple sauce
- Chablis – Pork ribs
- Chenin Blanc – BBQ pulled pork
- Grüner Veltliner – Pork in herb sauce
- Muscat – Pork with honey or maple
- Pinot Blanc – Pork tenderloin
- Pinot Grigio – Pork tenderloin with herb sauce
- Pinot Gris – Smoked pork shoulder
- Riesling – Asian style pork belly
- Sancerre – Pork with herb sauce
- Sauvignon Blanc – Pork in a creamy or herb sauce
- Vidal Blanc – Grilled pork chops
- Viognier – Pork in mustard sauce
- Verdicchio – Gammon or cured pork with parsley sauce
- Beaujolais – Roasted pork shoulder
- Burgundy – Pork in mustard sauce
- Cabernet Sauvignon – Pork in a creamy mushroom sauce
- Cotes-du-Rhones – BBQ pork chops
- Graneche – BBQ pork chops
- Malbec – Pork curry or chorizo
- Merlot – Pork ribs
- Pinot Noir – Smoked pork shoulder
- Port – BBQ pork
- Sangiovese – Maple pork belly or honey pork shoulder
- Shiraz – Grilled pork or spicy pork
- Zinfandel – Spicy pork or pork ribs
Choosing the right wine to pair with your pork dish will elevate it to the next level in terms of flavor and the overall dining experience.
You need to choose a wine that works well with the fattiness and saltiness of the pork, but also complements the other ingredients of the dish.