Best Wine Pairings With Pork for Each Cut

Updated August 11, 2022
Man slicing Iberian pig ham leg on cutting board with bottle of red wine on rustic wooden table

Most people aren't sommeliers and they wing it when it comes to browsing the wine aisle for a bottle to bring to their friend's dinner. If a lovely pork roast or chops are on the menu, how do you know what wine goes with pork? While everybody has their favorite wine that they drink with any food put in front of them, there is a science to mastering the perfect wine pairings for various ingredients. And while there isn't one standard wine pairing for pork, there are guidelines to help ensure the wine complements the food. It's key to remember that much like the many ways it can be cooked, the best wine pairing for pork chops can differ wildly from the best wines for pork tenderloins. Because pork can take on so many flavor profiles, the wines you pair with it will vary according to the preparation and type of pork you use.

Of course, the prospect of remembering every combination is daunting. Thankfully, you don't have to make a master spreadsheet of the best wines that go with pork when there are a few grocery store go-tos, from dry whites to sweet reds, that top the list.

Guidelines for the Perfect Pork and Wine Pairings

As a rule of thumb in wine and food pairing, you want to match similar flavors and heaviness levels in both the food and the wine, so that neither one overwhelms the other. Whether you're whipping up delicious pork chops, tenderloin, roast, or other pork dishes, a few quick tips for mastering that wine-with-pork combination will free up your grocery store run-time, every time.

When it comes to figuring out what the best wines to drink with pork are, you want to follow a few specific rules. The following will help guide you in discerning complementary flavors beyond the question of whether to pair red or white wine with pork.

  • Cut fattiness with tannins or acidity - So for a very fatty piece of meat, choose a tannic red like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah, or an acidic white such as a Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Oaked wines with creamy sauces - Serve oaked white wines with pork that has a creamy sauce for the best combination.
  • Spices go with spices - For spice, pair pork with a similarly spicy wine, such as a Zinfandel or a Gewürztraminer. Alternatively, cut the spice with a sweeter wine like a Riesling, or a jammy wine such as a Shiraz.
  • Two of a feather go together - Pair a red wine with a red sauce.
  • Stick to Mother Nature's best - Pair mushroom-based dishes with earthy wines such as Pinot Noir.

Best Pork Chop Wine Pairings

Whether you're a grill master or love a complicated five-course dinner, pork chops are a must-have on anyone's menu. From thick and seasoned to thin and fried, there are a number of ways to prepare them in the kitchen and there are just as many ways to pair them with wine. Red or white, any pork chop wine pairing done right should bring your homemade recipe to life.

Best wine pairings for pork infographic

Rhône Style Blends Pair With Barbecued Pork Chops

Wine blends from France's Rhône region that contain Syrah and Grenache have a nice spiciness that will blend well with barbecued pork chops.

Enjoy Rosé Wine With Smoked or Grilled Pork Chops

Pair a summer wine with a summer activity. If you've grilled up a batch of pork chops, then a crisp, light rosé is a great accompaniment. Choose a medium-pink rosé from Provence, France to balance your grilled pork chops perfectly such as Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé.

Best Wine Pairings With Pork Tenderloin

Naturally, pork tenderloins require more work to keep them flavorful as they don't have as much fat to imbue that juicy pork richness as other cuts do. So, when it comes to pairing wines with pork tenderloins, you want choices that have a juiciness to them, but ones that don't have flavors that are too strong or heavy. Options like Chardonnays, Rieslings, and Zinfandels work well here.

Plate of cherry pork tenderloin and white wine on table

Pair Pinot Noir With Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin has relatively mild flavors, so you'll want a light to medium-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir.

Enjoy Riesling With Asian Pork

For pork dishes cooked with spicier or Asian flavor profiles, enjoy a crisp German Riesling Kabinett wine. German Kabinett Rieslings are dry with racy acidity to balance the spices in the pork. Try Dr. Heidemanns Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett.

Combine Chardonnay With Pork and Apples

Another one of the best wine pairings with pork tenderloin is chardonnay. Chardonnay is a chameleon with food, and it pairs especially well with pork tenderloin made with apples. If you're looking for some inspiration, sample either of these:

Best Wine Pairings for Grilled Pork

Practically a prerequisite of summertime is eating grilled food a couple of nights a week. Pairing wine with grilled pork chops is just one way to dress up your delicious paper plate dinner, and these are a few examples of the best wines for grilled pork.

Drink Grenache With Grilled Pork

With its smoky yet sweetly earthy character, grilled pork pairs well with wines that have a similar flavor profile.

Try Pinot Grigio for Grilled or Smoked Pork Shoulder

With lively crisp acidity, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris works especially well for grilled pork shoulder. The wine's acidity will cut through the fattiness of the pork shoulder while the aromas mix well with the smoky, earthy flavors of the pork. Try Schiopetto Pinot Grigio from Friuli, Italy.

Grilled pork cutlets with vegetables and red wine

Best Wine to Pair with Saucy and Spiced Pork Dishes

Although pork has its own natural flavor, you can't disagree that adding spices and sauces to the meat makes it infinitely better. Yet, with the number of international interpretations of what flavors are superior, it begs the question of what wine goes with pork that's been spiced up? There are a number of combinations of both red and wine wines that go well with saucy and spicy pork dishes, and these are some mouth-watering combinations.

Pair Sauvignon Blanc With Herbed Pork

Pork roasted with herbs is delicious with herbaceous and dry Sauvignon Blanc. The herbs in the dish will harmonize with the wine's grassy character while the acidity in the wine will balance the fattiness. Try a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand, such as Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy Moscato d'Asti With Pork With Mustard

If you like to make your pork with a mustard-based sauce, then lightly sweet, fizzy Moscato d'Asti is a delightful pairing. The sweetness, aromatics, and bubbles in the wine balance the spicy bite of the mustard with neither element overpowering the other. Try the Rivata Moscato d'Asti.

Try Sangiovese for Pork With Sweet Sauces

Pork tenderloin with a sweet sauce, such as maple or honey, will pair well with Sangiovese and its Italian counterparts. The tannins in the wine will balance the sweet and fat in the pork.

Enjoy Zinfandel or Primitivo With Pulled Pork

Pulled pork, with its smoky, barbecued flavor works well with a zippy wine or Primitivo from Italy. The spiciness of the Zinfandel enhances the spicy flavors in the barbecue sauce.

Great Wines to Pair With Pork Sausage and Bacon

If you like an unconventional approach to your dinner meats, then incorporating pork sausage and bacon into your fancy meals is one way to go. For pork sausage and bacon, you want to pick either acidic wines or acidic balanced wines, depending on your dishes. For example, grilled sausage, in particular, is paired best with acidic wines like Riesling. The following wine and pork pairings are perfect for all sorts of dinners.

Drink Malbec With Pork Sausage

Inky, deeply flavored Malbec is the perfect foil for spicy pork sausage. The deep, mysterious flavors of the Malbec won't overpower or be overpowered by the spiciness of the sausage. Try a Malbec from Argentina such as Wapisa Malbec.

Pair Pinotage With Spicy Pork Sausage

South African Pinotage, such as Kanonkop Pinotage from Stellenbosch, is a surprisingly delicious pairing with pork dishes made with spicy pork sausage, such as Italian sausage or chorizo. The wine is robust and complex, making it the perfect foil for the spices in the spices in the sausage.

Try Chenin Blanc With Ham, Bacon, or Cured Pork

Ham and bacon tend to have sweet, salty, and smoky flavors that hold up well to the crisp acidity of Chenin Blanc. The acidity will also cut through the fat, while citrus and apple flavors balance the smoke and pork. Try a Chenin Blanc from South Africa such as deMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve.

Antipasto platter and white wine

Enjoyable Wine and Pork Pairings

While there are many suggestions for pairing wine and pork, the best advice experts typically offer is this: marry the two best things in your life - food and wine. When in doubt, choose a wine you love and pair it with a food you love because there are actually no concrete rules for how to pair food and wine. What ultimately matters is that you love how each of the flavors works together. Whether you have access to a vast selection of international wines or a small grocery store section of domestic bottles doesn't matter; what does is that you enjoy how all of the flavors work together, and each of these are tongue tinglers.

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Best Wine Pairings With Pork for Each Cut