If any meat crosses the divide of white meat and red, it’s pork. It’s unsurprising then, that pork shows up so frequently on dinner tables, featured in classic, all-American dishes and those inspired by faraway cuisines.
It’s tough to find a wine that doesn’t match with this chameleon of meats, as it can pair with the light and bright or the rich and full-flavored alike. It all depends on the cut and preparation of the dish. Fattier cuts of pork, like bacon, pork belly, and pork shoulder, might work with a heavier wine, while leaner meats, like pork tenderloin, are better matched with a fresher option.
For pork inspiration, turn to these four recipes and wine pairings. Don’t be afraid to get creative – after all, pork is one of the most versatile options around!
Roast Pork Tenderloin
In classic Sunday dinner fashion, something like this garlic roast pork tenderloin brings a tour de force of savory and herbal flavors. This version uses simple aromatics like rosemary and garlic to flavor the tenderloin, and it’s easy to throw some hearty vegetables and a bit of liquid in the pan for the last 20 minutes to make a complete meal.
Either white or red can work with pork tenderloin, so don’t hesitate to put both on the table. Chenin Blanc from Montlouis-sure-Loire or Vouvray would pair nicely, as would a restrained Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuissé or the Sonoma Coast. Light to medium reds are ideal, like Cabernet Franc, which would marry well with the dish’s herbal accents.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Citrus Dressing
Pork and sweet citrus fruits go together like, well, whatever tired cliche you can think of. While pork chops can often veer towards the bland side of the pig, they are actually super versatile. In this preparation, a citrus-mustard dressing brightens up bone-in chops that are just seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper.
To match the bright flavors of this citrusy sauce, look for a medium-bodied white with zip. Arneis from Piedmont or Albariño from Rías Baixas would work well, as would Austria’s signature Grüner Veltliner.
Easy to whip up for a weeknight dinner, pork stir-fry is extremely flexible. Any lean to moderately rich cut will do, like a loin or a chop, and whatever vegetables you have on hand will do. Most seasonings, like ginger, garlic powder, and chili flakes, are pantry staples.
Stir-fries often combine spice, sweetness, and umami, which calls for the ultimate pairing wine: Riesling. Look for a dry version from Germany or Austria, or if you decide to amp up the chili pepper in this dish, an off-dry Kabinett Riesling would be the perfect antidote.
Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Is there anything more satisfying than the salty-sweet, crunchy-soft combination of a barbecue pulled pork sandwich topped with a healthy scoop of coleslaw? This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it can easily be simplified to save time and effort. Try using your favorite pre-made barbecue sauces or deli coleslaw, or opt for a slow cooker over a roasting pan for a more hands-off approach.
The richness of pulled pork can stand up to a richer wine. Fruit-driven Zinfandel will match well with sweet barbecue sauces, while tangier, vinegar-based sauces might like a robust rosé from Tavel.