Searching for the best wine pairing for pork? Whether you're cooking up ground pork or pork tenderloin, whether your pork dish is light or rich, we've got the best wine pairing to go with any pork recipe here in our Pork and Wine Pairing Guide.
Pork is such a versatile and accessible meat. It's less expensive than many cuts of beef. And it can be cooked in so many different ways and take on a wide variety of textures and flavors.
We love using ground pork in Pork and Peanut Noodles and Ground Pork Menudo. Pork Chops and rice is, of course, a classic pork dish. And Instant Pot Stuffed Pork Loin as well as Instant Pot Pork Roast are both fancy enough for special occasions and yet easy and fast enough for weeknight dinners.
When it comes to picking the best wine to pair with these and other pork dishes, there are a few things to keep in mind. So I've created this Pork and Wine Pairing Guide to help make things easy for you!
Be sure to save this wine pairing post for the next time you make any of our delicious pork recipes!
- Wine pairing tips
- White wine pairings with pork
- Best pork dishes that pair with white wine
- Red wine pairings with pork
- Best pork dishes to pair with red wine
- Rosé wine pairing with pork
- Best pork dishes for rosé wine
- Sparkling wine with pork
- Best pork dishes to pair with sparkling wine
- Best wine pairing based on the cut of pork
- Food and wine pairing FAQs
- Wines that don't pair well with pork
- Pork recipes to try
- More food and wine pairing articles
Wine pairing tips
Pairing wine with pork dishes can be a delightful culinary experience. But for a match made in tastebud heaven, you do need to consider the flavors and characteristics of both the wine and the pork.
Here are the top three characteristics to consider when pairing wine with pork dishes:
- The cut of pork - The weight and body of the wine should complement the richness and texture of the pork dish. For lighter pork dishes, such as grilled pork chops or tenderloin, opt for a lighter wine, like a Pinot Noir or a crisp, unoaked Chardonnay. For heavier pork dishes, like pork belly or a roast pork, consider a medium to full-bodied wine, such as a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Preparation and seasoning - Pay attention to how the pork is prepared (cooking method) and seasoned. For example, if your pork dish is prepared with fruity or sweet elements like apple sauce or a glaze, then wine with fruity notes, such as a Riesling or a Zinfandel, can be a great match. If the pork is seasoned with herbs and spices, consider a wine with herbal or spicy notes like a Syrah or a Grenache.
- Sauces and sides - Consider the sauces and side dishes accompanying the pork. If the dish has a rich, creamy sauce, a wine with good acidity can cut through the richness, balancing the flavors. A dry white wine with high acidity, like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay, can work well. For dishes with a tangy or acidic component, such as pork with a citrus-based sauce, you might want a wine with refreshing acidity like a Pinot Grigio or a Chenin Blanc.
White wine pairings with pork
In the mood for white wine? Here are the top three white wines to pair with pork dishes.
- Chardonnay - Chardonnay is a versatile dry wine with a range of styles. Unoaked Chardonnay tends to be crisp and bright with notes of green apple, citrus, and minerality. This style works well with leaner cuts and lighter pork dishes, such as grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin, as it complements the meat's natural flavors without overwhelming.
Oaked Chardonnay is richer and creamier, with flavors of butter, vanilla, and ripe fruits. This style pairs beautifully with creamy pork preparations, like pork with a mushroom cream sauce, as the wine's creamy texture matches the dish's richness.
- Riesling - Riesling is known for its versatility, with a wide range of sweetness levels. It typically offers bright acidity and fruity notes, ranging from crisp green apple to luscious tropical fruits. Dry Rieslings are more mineral-driven and less sweet, while off-dry or sweet Rieslings have pronounced sweetness.
A dry or off-dry Riesling can be an excellent choice for pork dishes with a hint of sweetness, such as glazed pork or dishes with fruity elements like apple or apricot. The wine's acidity can cut through the sweetness and provide a refreshing contrast.
- Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc is known for its high acidity and vibrant, herbaceous flavors. It often has notes of green bell pepper, grass, and citrus. It can also have tropical fruit and floral notes, depending on the region and style.
Sauvignon Blanc's zesty acidity and herbaceous qualities make it a great choice for pork dishes with herbal or citrusy seasoning. It pairs well with dishes like herb-crusted pork roast, lemon-infused pork, or grilled pork with fresh salsa. The wine's acidity complements the pork's richness and the herbal elements of the dish.
Best pork dishes that pair with white wine
- Pork Chops - Apple cider pork chops are a classic pairing with white wine. The bright acidity and fruity notes of a crisp Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Riesling are all great options.
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin - Pork tenderloin is a good choice that pairs well with different wines. A Chardonnay with a touch of oak can add a subtle richness to the lean meat. An acidic wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chenin Blanc can provide a refreshing contrast to the smoky flavors from the grill.
- Pork Roast - Pork roasts seasoned with herbs and bright lemon flavors work wonderfully with white wines. Consider pairing with a Sauvignon Blanc, which complements the herbal and citrus notes in the dish, or a dry Riesling, which balances the savory and tart elements.
- Pork Stews or Pasta Dishes - Pork stews or pasta dishes with creamy sauces are the perfect match for white wines with moderate acidity and some weight. A Viognier or a richer Chardonnay can provide a lovely contrast to the creamy textures while complementing the savory pork.
Red wine pairings with pork
It's not just white wines that are the perfect match for pork. Red wines can make a delightful pork wine pairing as well!
Here are three red wines that are often a good match for pork:
- Pinot Noir - I've found that the best red wine to serve with pork is a versatile and elegant Pinot Noir. With moderate acidity and a range of fruit flavors, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for lighter and more delicate pork dishes. It's my favorite wine to serve with pork loin or pork with a mushroom sauce.
- Merlot - Known for its soft and approachable characteristics, Merlot typically features ripe plum, cherry, and sometimes herbal or chocolaty notes. Smooth with low tannin, Merlot is a great match for slightly richer or sweeter preparations of pork. It pairs well with pork roasts, barbecue sauce, honey-glazed ham, or pork with blackberry sauce.
- Syrah (Shiraz) - Syrah, known as Shiraz in some regions, is a bold and robust red wine with dark fruit flavors. It has aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, and sometimes black pepper, spice, and smoky notes. It often has moderate to high tannins and good acidity.
Syrah can work well with heartier and more intensely flavored pork dishes, like pork sausages, braised pork, or spicy barbecue. The wine's robust character and spiciness can complement the savory and smoky elements of the dish.
Best pork dishes to pair with red wine
- Pork Tenderloin with Berry Reduction - Pork tenderloin with blackberry sauce pairs beautifully with a Pinot Noir or a Merlot wine.
- Pork Loin Roast - A classic pork loin roast pairs well with Pinot Noir, Merlot, or even a light and fruity wine like Zinfandel.
- Pork Sausages or Grilled Pork Ribs - Rich and savory, ribs and sausages are a good food pairing for juicy wines like Syrah (Shiraz), Malbec, or a Zinfandel.
- Pork and Mushroom Dishes - Pork dishes with earthy mushrooms work well with earthy red wines like Pinot Noir. They also pair well with a lighter Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines can enhance the umami flavors and provide a balanced pairing.
- Pork Chops with Savory Herbs - Pork chops seasoned with savory herbs like rosemary and thyme are an excellent match for Cabernet Sauvignon or a red blend.
Rosé wine pairing with pork
Rosé wine pairs well with pork due to its bright acidity and versatility in style.
The acidity helps balance the richness of certain pork dishes. Meanwhile the range of rosé styles, from dry to slightly sweet, allows it to adapt to various flavor profiles.
Many rosé wines exhibit fruity notes like strawberries and citrus, which can harmonize with the sweet or fruity elements often found in pork dishes.
Best pork dishes for rosé wine
- Pork and Citrus Salad:
- Pairing: A refreshing citrus-based salad with pork, such as a grapefruit and pork salad, pairs wonderfully with rosé. The wine's bright acidity and fruit-forward notes complement the citrus flavors and the lightness of the dish.
- Pork Tacos or Pulled Pork - Pork tacos or pulled pork have a combination of savory and slightly spicy flavors. This makes them a great match for rosé. The wine's fruity and floral notes can provide a pleasant contrast to the dish's richness and add a refreshing touch.
- Pork Skewers - Pork skewers, particularly those served at picnics or casual gatherings, go well with rosé wine. The wine's light and easy-drinking qualities suit the relaxed and social atmosphere of such occasions.
Sparkling wine with pork
Pork and sparkling wine may not be an obvious pairing, but it can work! This depends on the way the pork is cooked and the style of the sparkling wine. Types of porkdishes that pair well with sparkling wine include:
- Light Pork Preparations - Sparkling wine tends to pair better with lighter pork dishes, such as roasted or grilled pork tenderloin.
- Fruit-Forward or Sweet Pork Dishes - Sparkling wine can work nicely with pork dishes that feature sweet or fruity elements, like pork with apple sauce or a glaze.
- Appetizers and Hors d'Oeuvres - Sparkling wine often pairs well with pork appetizers and hors d'oeuvres, such as bacon-wrapped scallops or bite-sized pork belly bites.
Best pork dishes to pair with sparkling wine
- Pork and Apples - Pork dishes cooked with apples work wonderfully with sparkling wine. The wine's crispness and fruitiness harmonize with the sweet and tart apple flavors.
- Pork and Pineapple Salsa - Our Pork with Pineapple Slaw appetizers go well with sparkling wine. The wine's effervescence enhances the fruitiness of the dish and provides a lively contrast.
- Pork and Prosciutto - Dishes that combine pork, such as prosciutto-wrapped melon salad, are well-suited to sparkling wine. The wine's effervescence can cleanse the palate and add an elegant dimension to these small bites.
Best wine pairing based on the cut of pork
If you need to pair a wine with a particular cut of pork, here's a shortcut to the best wine pairings:
- Pork Tenderloin
- White Wine: Pork tenderloin is a lean and mild cut. It pairs well with white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry Riesling.
- Red Wine: Pinot Noir can also work with pork tenderloin, especially if the dish has a richer or fruity sauce.
- Pork Chops
- White Wine: Pork chops can pair with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and dry rosé for lighter preparations.
- Red Wine: If you prefer red wine with pork chops, consider options like Pinot Noir or Merlot, particularly for seasoned or grilled chops.
- Pork Belly
- White Wine: Pork belly with a citrus glaze or a lighter preparation can pair with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc to cut through the richness.
- Red Wine: For braised or roasted pork belly, red wines with moderate tannins like Pinot Noir or Syrah can enhance the savory flavors.
- Pork Loin
- White Wine: Pork loin with herbs or lemon-based seasonings can go well with white wines like Chardonnay or a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.
- Red Wine: A light to medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir can also complement pork loin.
- Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
- Red Wine: For slow-cooked or braised pork shoulder, consider red wines with more body and tannins, such as Syrah, Zinfandel, or even a Cabernet Sauvignon to match the dish's richness and complexity.
- Pork Sausages:
- Red Wine: Pork sausages are well-matched with red wines like Syrah, Merlot, or a spicy Zinfandel. The wine complements the flavors and cuts through the richness.
- Pork Ribs:
- Red Wine: Smoky and BBQ pork ribs can pair nicely with red wines like Zinfandel, Malbec, or a robust Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines can complement the meat's smoky and savory notes.
Food and wine pairing FAQs
While it's a general guideline, it's not a strict rule. You can pair white wine with chicken and red wine with certain chicken dishes depending on the preparation and flavors.
The biggest mistake people make when pairing wine with pork is failing to consider the specific preparation, seasonings, and flavors of the pork dish. Assuming that one type of wine suits all pork varieties oversimplifies the process. The key to a successful pairing is acknowledging that various cooking methods, seasonings, sauces, and sides can significantly impact the choice of wine. By considering these factors and personal preferences, individuals can create more tailored and enjoyable wine-pork combinations.
For dishes with sweet elements, like fruit glazes or apple sauce, opt for a wine with good acidity to balance the sweetness. Dry German Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or a fruity Pinot Noir can be good options.
Wines that don't pair well with pork
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wine pairing with chicken, some wine styles are generally considered less ideal companions for chicken dishes.
- Heavy, Tannic Reds - Highly tannic red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, are often less preferred for chicken dishes. Their robust tannins can overwhelm the subtler flavors of chicken and its preparations.
- Very Sweet Dessert Wines - Extremely sweet wines, like Port or Sauternes, are typically not the first choice for pairing with savory chicken dishes. These wines are better suited to desserts and may not complement the savory components of chicken.
- Overly Oaked Whites - White wines with excessive oak aging, such as heavily oaked Chardonnay, might not pair well with delicate chicken dishes, as the oak can overpower the chicken's flavors.
- High-Alcohol Wines - Wines with very high alcohol content, like some Zinfandels or Shiraz, may not be the best match for lighter chicken preparations as the alcohol can dominate the palate and clash with the chicken's flavors.
Pork recipes to try
More food and wine pairing articles
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