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Pairing Wine With Pulled Pork

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Pulled pork is a common name for barbecued pork shoulder which has been shredded and then mixed with barbecue sauce. To pair the smokey flavorful meat with a wine, it is best to factor in the sweet, tangy sauce. The meat can be quite fatty which should also be a factor when picking a wine.

A wine with good acid levels and tannin, which will contrast the grease. A bigger, bolder wine will be able stand up to the strong flavors of the sauce. Reds will be better than whites in this case.

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Pulled Pork

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Off Dry to Dry
Acidity Medium to High
Tannins Medium to High
Body Medium to High
Notes Citrus, Earth, Fruit

A dry wine will go great with anything barbecued whether its meat or vegetables. An off dry wine with a hint of sweetness would also work in this case since barbeque sauce often has a hint of sweetness as well. The sugar can also help reduce the spice in the dish if desired.

With pork being on the fattier side, good acid levels are preferred which help contrast the grease on the palate. Acidity provides structure to the wine and activates the salivary glands making you go back for more.

Wines with good tannins can also help contrast the fat and clean up the palate after each bite. Tannins are great for meatier dishes as they help break down the proteins. A wine with low tannins will not add anything to the dining experience.

To pair with a flavor packed dish like pulled pork, we suggest a bigger, bolder wine with a good body in order to stand up to the intensity of the dish. The goal of pairing wine and food is to enhance the experience altogether. It is therefore important to make sure the wine does get overpowered by the food or vice versa.

Best Red Wine To Drink With Pulled Pork

Red wines are usually bigger and bolder when compared to whites and that is exactly what we are looking for when it comes to pairing wine with pulled pork. Anything light would get overpowered by the dish. A few choices are listed below.

Cabernet Sauvignon From USA or France

Arguably the world’s most popular grape variety, which is now being grown in many countries across the globe. The best representations as of now come from France and America. If you prefer your Cabernet Sauvignon fruity and concentrated, then we recommend heading to California. Napa or Sonoma would do the trick. However, if you prefer something a little more earthy and less fruity, pick out a Bordeaux instead.

Nebbiolo From Italy

Nebbiolo is found in Northern Italy and is known for making wines which can stand up to heavily flavored dishes. Barolo and Barbaresco are quite famous names when it comes to Italian wines. However, if you prefer something with red fruit aromas, pick out a Chianti, a well known red wine from Tuscany made from Sangiovese.

Syrah From France or Shiraz from Australia

Syrah is known for its smoked meat and peppery nuances which would be perfect with barbecued meats and dishes such as pulled pork. With great structure and well balanced tannins, a French Syrah from regions such as Cote Rotie or St. Joseph would be a great choice. Shiraz is the other name for Syrah in Australia. They tend to be more fruit forward, inky and concentrated when coming from the warm sunny regions of Southern Australia.

Best White Wine To Drink With Pulled Pork

We do not recommend white wines with pulled pork since the wines are usually quite light and will be completely overpowered by the flavors of the dish. However, there are a few exceptions which may work.

Spanish White Wines

Wines from Spain tend to be quite flavourful and round as they are being grown in a warm and sunny climate. This gives them the flavor and body required to match the intensity of the dish.

Chenin Blanc From South Africa

Chenin Blanc from a warmer climate such as South Africa can be a possible pick as well to go with pulled pork. The oceanic influence and warm summers can provide the grape with enough ripeness to work well with a flavor packed dish such as pulled pork

Best Wine To Drink With Pulled Pork

The best wines to drink with pulled pork are going to big red strong wines that can match the intensity and flavor of the pulled pork and barbeque sauce. A few examples are mentioned below.

  • Italian Nebbiolo
  • French or American Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Italian Sangiovese
  • Spanish white wines
  • French Syrah