Which wine pairs best with pork?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Which wine goes best with pork?

—Pat, Dover, Del.

Dear Pat,

My first rule of pairing food and wine is to eat and drink what you like. Beyond that, it’s useful to think about either matching or contrasting flavors, weights and textures and balance the intensity of the food and the wine.

That means that as with most foods, what you pair with pork depends on how it’s prepared and what it’s served with. Pork can mean anything from ham or bacon to tenderloin, chops or grilled ribs. That means the range of wines that pair with pork can range from crisp whites to lighter reds, medium-bodied reds or even rosés. I will say that outside of pork belly and sausages, most pork is considerably leaner than red meat, which means young, bolder tannic reds will typically not be a great match.

My favorite pairings with pork include Rieslings for spicy or Asian preparations, or even salty, smoky ham or bacon. For something grilled or barbecued, I’d reach for a Grenache or a zesty Zinfandel. Light reds like Beaujolais and Pinot Noirs would be a good match for leaner cuts like chops or tenderloins, maybe even a Chardonnay with a creamy or buttery sauce. Rosés are also extremely versatile with pork, their light body and crispness will pair with many preparations.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Pairings

More In Dr. Vinny

Can I keep a half-full bottle of wine and serve it a few weeks later?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how wine changes once the cork comes out of the …

Jul 8, 2020

In what ways do old and new wines smell and taste differently?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how wines change in flavor and aroma as they age.

Jul 6, 2020

Is it possible to “fix” cork-tainted wine with plastic wrap? How does that work?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where cork taint comes from, and why PVC wrap …

Jul 3, 2020

If most vines are grafted onto rootstocks, why do some grapevines thrive in soils where others struggle?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny, with an assist from U.C. Davis' viticulture department, …

Jul 1, 2020

What does “buttery” mean when talking about Chardonnay?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where "buttery" flavors come from in wine.

Jun 29, 2020

Are French oak barrels for aging wine made from white oak or red oak?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why white oak is the preferred wood for aging …

Jun 26, 2020