Pork wine pairing

Published July 5th, 2022

Also known as "the other white meat", despite its pink color, nutritional studies classify pork as red meat. The rustic and savory taste but with more delicate flavors, compared to those of red meats, makes it ideal for seasoning and cooking with sauces.

For this reasons, it is possible to combine both red or white wine with pork.

Chemically, the proteins and fat of the pig go well with the tannins present in red wines but a lot really depends on the different cuts because, as we know, pork is more or less fat and tasty depending on its proximity to the bone. In addition, the different cooking methods and the accompanying sauces play, as always, a fundamental role.

Therefore it is essential to know the dish and, the more fatty and tasty it is, the more full-bodied and structured the wine to pair with it.

And now, let's take a look at the best pork wine pairing.

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Pork wine pairing basics

As mentioned above, the first thing to consider when pairing wine with pork is the recipe.

Because, if, as a rule of thumb, we can say that pork should be paired with rich whites or juicy reds, things may vary a lot depending on the meat cut and its fat component, cooking style and time, and the types of sauces or gravy used.

Grilled pork, for example, can be associated with fresh red wines. The shank, a very tasty dish cooked for a long time, requires a fragrant pairing. Dishes with particularly intense flavors, such as rpork stews, need to be accompanied by full-bodied wines. With hams, on the other hand, as we have already discussed in our previous article, you can combine different wines.

Sauces may complicate things, and this is especially true when dealing with pork, as it is often prepared with sweetish or pungent dressings that may strongly influence the dish. In this case, it is always best to pick something that recalls the sauce flavors and aromas to play on the safe side and create a harmonious balance.

Red wines you drink with pork

Barbera d’Asti

Among the various Barberas produced in Italy, Barbera d'Asti is undoubtedly the most complex and round. It has a fruity smell, hints of rose hips, a soft  taste, and a strong character without being too robust: the perfect wine for the delicate juiciness of pork.


Lagrein is a red wine from South Tyrol that has similarities to Pinot Noir. It has a persistent and exuberant aromatic profile which mixes red fruits, spices, and undergrowth. In the mouth, it is tannic and structured with good freshness: the ideal wine for pork shank.


Coming from the Rhone Valley, Gigondas wine is full-bodied and rustic. Its complex terroir allows it a wide aromatic palette that evolve into notes of undergrowth with age. Its elegance and strong perfumes make it ideal for those recipes that include sauces with mushrooms.


Made from Tannat and Cabernet Franc grapes, Irouleguy red wine comes from a small appellation in the French Basque Country. It has strong tannins, a captivating robustness and typical aromas of red and black fruit, complemented by notes of spices and undergrowth. It makes a perfect wine pairing with pork ribs and spiced sausages.

White wines you drink with pork

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a very acid white wine, where the sugar level can reach remarkable peaks. Its bouquet offers aromas of honey and straw, apples, tropical and citrus flavors, and delicate herbaceous notes. South African Chenin Blanc also has a structure and roundness that can be combined with light pork preparations.


Chardonnay is one of the most popular grape varieties. It is grown a bit all over the world and its popularity is strongly linked to its ability to adapt to different terroirs and climates creating different wines. Californian Chardonnays show those rich and round style that make them perfect for delicate pork recipes served with apple sauces.


Riesling is a white grape variety, originating from Germany, and now grown in many countries around the world. Its intense acidity and aromatic character make it a very versatile wine in terms of food pairings. The elegant Alsatian Riesling wines are traditionally paired with smoked pork recipes and tasty sausages.

7 pork dishes and how to pair them with wine

Pork chops

Pork chops are a particularly appetizing second course of meat. They can be grilled, broiled, pan-fried with only salt and herb, or breaded and pan-fried in oil. However you decide to prepare them, they are soft and juicy, sweet and savory (unless they are overcooked).

The best wine with pork chops needs to be not too structured, with some gentle acidity and a nice aromatic profile, to enhance the delicacy and mild taste. If you like white wine, try the lively elegance of a Piedmontese Arneis. If you prefer red, have your pork chops with a New World Pinot Noir with plenty of fruit and juiciness to complement the meat texture.

Our suggestion: California Pinot Nero "Private Selection", Robert Mondavi

Roast pork

Pork roast is a simple and classic recipe and what really matters is that wine pairing with pork roast is greatly influenced by the fatness of the cut.

Fatter cuts like pork shank or rib end are particularly juicy and tasty and have a more intense flavor. Therefore, they go well with light-bodied fruity red wines with high acidity and soft tannins such as New Zealand Pinot Noir or Langhe Rosso.

Our suggestion: Mohua Pinot Noir

Leaner cuts like pork tenderloin have more delicate flavors and are often marinated or flavored with herbs in cooking. In this case, it is best to choose a medium-bodied white, such as a South African Chenin Blanc.

Our suggestion: Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc

Clearly, the above options will only work with mild toppings. Those recipes that include glazes, mustard, and spicy dressings or balsamic sauces will need a wine with a stronger flavor profile, like an off-dry Riesling.

Pork Tenderloin and Apples

Pork tenderloin is a tasty cut of meat that can be cooked in the oven or stewed. It is very simple to prepare but cooking requires particular attention, as to keep the tenderloin soft and juicy. It is most often accompanied by apple sauce to enhance its sweetness.

The best pork tenderloin wine must combine harmoniously with the apple sauce and the meat. The roundness and fruitiness of a good Chardonnay, not too oaky, will be the best pick.

Our suggestion: Toscana Chardonnay IGT "Fontanelle", Banfi

Pork belly

Pork belly is an inexpensive but tasty cut of pork that makes a delicious roast. In the oven the skin becomes crackling, while the rest of the meat will remain soft and juicy thanks to the presence of the fat.

The wine must counterbalance the juiciness of this recipe and cleanse the mouth from the sweetness of the fat. The elegance, minerality, and marked acidity of a Riesling will surely create a perfect combination of food and wine.

A red wine pork belly, that is more flavorful and with a denser texture will go well with a South Tyrolean Lagrein.

Our suggestion: Mosel Riesling Saarburger Alte Reben, Dr. Fischer

Spicy pork sausage

Historically, sausages date back to the cuisine of Ancient Rome, but nowadays, they are produced almost everywhere according to different local recipes.

Among the most famous, there are certainly Italian sausages and Spanish chorizo. They can be eaten raw, seasoned, stewed, fried, sautéed, or grilled and used to flavor many different dishes. They are all succulent, spicy and well seasoned.

The best wine with pork sausages will be capable of marrying the spiciness and cleansing the palate of fat. Try a fresh red with lively acidity and medium body, like Barbera d’Asti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Beaujolais.

Our suggestion: Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG, Scrimaglio

Pulled pork

Pulled pork is a popular dish in the southern United States. It is slowly cooked in a smoker or oven, then shredded before serving, because the cut of meat (usually the shuolder) contains connective tissue that must be broken down for it to melt into a tender deliciousness.

If beer is likely to be the most classic pairing, smokey and barbecued flavor can pair well with wine. Good quality and juicy reds with medium-body and some woody notes like Rioja Crianza, Cotes du Rhone or Gigondas, can do the trick.

Our suggestion: Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages Rouge

BBQ Ribs

With pork ribs, which have bold flavors and are usually well seasoned with spices, you need to choose a wine that is up to the plate. The pairing wine must combine the smokey notes and the sauces, without blurring the flavors. You can opt for a Chianti Classico, a Bordeaux from the Graves sub-area, with a majority of Merlot, or a wine from the south of France such as Irouleguy.

Our suggestion: Domaine Illaria Irouleguy


Pork is a versatile meat and seasoning, dressing and sauces may play a big role.

Just as there are different pork recipes to satisfy your fancy, there are so many wines you can enjoy your pork with.

Use our tips to get inspired and pick the best wine pairing pork recipe for your evening!