Pairing Wine With Pork Belly

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Pork belly is a staple in many different cuisines all around the world. It is very easy to make, and it tends to have a lot of flavor which makes it very popular.
The meat does have a charming texture and lots of flavor, but it tends to be more fatty than other cuts of meat which you should consider when trying to find a wine to pair with the dish. 

The versatility of the dish gives you lots of options for wine pairings, and you may choose to have either white or red. However, something to keep in mind is that you should look for wines with a medium to high acidity level, medium to full body and a medium tannin level when going for reds. 

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Pork Belly 

CharacteristicDetail
SweetnessDry
AcidityMedium to High
TanninsMedium
BodyMedium to full bodied white, Light to medium bodied reds
Tasting NotesWhite Wine Notes – Citrus fruit, green fruit, smoke 
Red Wine Notes – Red fruit, black fruit, cloves, smoke

Sweetness – Dry wines with lots of freshness will enhance the flavor of the pork and will feel lighter on your palate.

Acidity – Medium to high acidity level is a must when it comes to pork belly pairing. The high fat content needs a high acidity level to cut through the fat and cleanse your palate. 

Tannins – When thinking of red wines, go for a medium tannin level to break down the meat.

Body – Medium to full bodied white wines will do the trick. Red wines shouldn’t be more than medium bodied as we wouldn’t want to overpower the dish. 

Tasting Notes – White wines should be focused on citrus and green fruit, smoke and butter. Red wines should have a core of red fruit, hints of black fruit, cloves and smoke aromas. 

Best Red Wine To Drink With Pork Belly 

Red wine pairs well with red meat even when it’s a lighter type of red meat such as pork. Pork belly is quite rich in flavor and texture and it can pair well with red wines too. 

Depending on the cooking method you can have different styles of red wine but in general go for wines with medium to high acidity, medium tannin level, light to medium body with a bit of oak aging. 

Cabernet Franc from France

An amazing grape variety grown in the Loire Valley, it produces wines with medium to high acidity, medium tannins, firm structure and lots of texture. It will pair amazingly with any pork belly dishes, especially roasted, crispy pork bellies. 

Pinot Noir from USA

When grown in the USA, Pinots tend to be a bit more fruit forward, with firm tannins, medium to high acidity level and lots of freshness. They can be a bit earthy when coming from Oregon, but if you are fans of the fruitier styles, go for California Pinot Noirs, especially ones from Santa Barbara county. 

Gamay from France

Gamay from Beaujolais tends to be a bit lighter in body if you are having one from a Village level AOC. However if you are having a Gamay from one of the ten crus, such as Morgon, these tend to be medium in body with medium tannin level, red fruit flavor profile with a soaring acidity which will cut through the pork belly. 

Best White Wine To Drink With Pork Belly 

White wines make a good pairing with pork bellies due to their lighter body, crisp, fresh acidity and citrus aromas. When it comes to pork belly and white wine, there are a lot of options for pairings.

You can start with a light white, however we would recommend having medium to full bodied ones, with medium to high acidity and a crisp flavor profile. 

Riesling from Germany 

A dry, crisp Riesling coming from any of the southern German winemaking regions, will be medium in body with lots of acidity. It will cut through the pork belly and it will cleanse your palate almost immediately. If you are having an asian style pork belly don’t be scared to have an off-dry Riesling as the residual sugar will balance the spice well. 

Grüner Veltliner from Austria 

These wines tend to be a bit more fuller bodied than Rieslings, however they still retain a lot of acidity. Green fruit, citrus fruit and stone fruit aromas are complemented by white pepper aromas which make these wines fresh. They are just the right match for pork belly.

Chenin Blanc from France

Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley is just an amazing pairing with pork belly. They are produced in almost every style in this region, however a dry Chenin Blanc with oak influence will be just the right match with pork belly. High acidity to cut through the fat, lots of fruit flavors which are complemented with smoke, butter and a creamy texture. 

Best Wine To Drink With Pork Belly

As we mentioned before, pork belly is a staple in many cuisines all around the world and each and there are many different recipes. However they all share some key characteristics in common and when we look at those characteristics, we know what kind of wines we need. Medium to high acidity, fresh fruit aromas and a good texture to complement the dish. 

  • Riesling from Germany 
  • Grüner Veltliner from Austria 
  • Chenin Blanc from France
  • Cabernet Franc from France
  • Pinot Noir from USA