There’s no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to pairing wine with pork. It really all comes down to the cut and how it’s prepared. Pork is similar to chicken in that there are dozens of ways to cook it, countless flavor profiles, and it has the amazing ability to take on the flavors of what it is being cooked with. We’ll give you some general guidelines when it comes to choosing a red or white, but with pork, it’s all about the specific dish.
Best Red Wine to Pair with Pork
Pork has some natural sweetness to it, so stay away from bold, highly tannic reds like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon which will over power the meat. Instead, a moderate, juicy red will be a solid choice and complement many different dishes.
- Bobal; fruity and pleasantly acidic.
- Pinot Noir; always a popular choice; light on body, high on aromatics.
- Cabernet Franc; medium body with tart fruit flavors, similar to Pinot Noir.
- Grenache; floral with strong berry flavor and notes of citrus.
- Sangiovese; savory, cherry flavor with notes of tomato.
Best White Wine to Pair with Pork
In spite of the US National Pork Board campaign labeling pork as ‘the other white meat’, pork is actually classified as a red meat. That being said, you can still find wonderful white wine pairing sure to enhance your meal. Again, with pork, it’s really all about the cut and preparation.
- Riesling; It’s light, sweet, crisp and highly acidic. It’s also highly versatile.
- Pinot Grigio; smooth, refreshing and not too complex.
- Albariño; Dry with high acidity and notes of lemon and grapefruit.
- Pinot Blanc; very light, and floral with notes of citrus and peach.
Pairing Wine with Various Pork Dishes
Pork chops are fairly neutral so they’re well suited to most wines. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Rosé are all great choices. If your pork chop is smothered, base your pairing on the flavor profile of the sauce.
There are many ways to prepare a pork roast, but a good starting point for wine pairings is a Beaujolais for red. The high acidity will balance the fattier pork. A dry Riesling is a great option if you prefer white.
This classic entrée is often served with apples or applesauce. Pairing this with a white wine with hints of apple is sure to be a hit. Try a Riesling or Pinot Blanc. A Cabernet Franc is a solid choice if you prefer red.
Pairing Wine With Pork Belly
Pork Belly is one of the fattier pork dishes so a wine with high acidity to cut through the fat and salt is a must. Champagne or any dry sparkling wine will fit the bill here. An acidic Pinot Noir or off-dry Riesling would work, as well.
Pairing Wine With Barbequed Pork
BBQ pork has strong flavors and will overpower delicate wines. We suggest a dry rosé or a full-bodied Grenache to match the boldness of the meat.
Ham tends to have sweet, salty and/or smoky flavors that will require a crisp white wine to balance the heaviness of these meats. Try a Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Moscato.
Pairing Wine With Bacon
Bacon, or cured pork is the pork belly section of the pig, that is cured for several days, smoked, and then sliced into thin strips. Those strips are then cooked (fried, baked, or microwaved), which creates a delicious and popular meat. Bacon is high in fat, salty, smoky and melts in your mouth. Choose a red wine that won’t be overpowered by the fat content and saltiness, like a cabernet sauvignon or syrah.
Your instincts might be telling you that a red wine would go best with pork sausage, but that isn’t always the case. A German Riesling will go great with grilled sausage or bratwurst. Another great white wine paired with sausage is Chenin Blanc. If you prefer to do a red wine, a Beaujolais or a nice Zinfandel would go very well with sausage.