Top-quality pork has a firm consistency and is meaty and lightly marbled. It has firm, dry fat and, like many types of meat, does not have its own distinctive flavour.
The way it is cooked plays a large part in how the dish tastes, and the sauces and sides also influence the flavour experience. That's something to consider when choosing the wine to go with your meal.
When served cold, pork tends to come in the form of cold cuts, terrine or paté.
Cold cuts are generally presented as a selection of different meats, often with cheeses and other tasty morsels, resulting in a mix of different flavours that need to be combined and making it difficult to find a wine that goes well with all the different components. To play it safe you could go for a light, fresh wine or a sparkling wine.
A nice combination is a Bernese platter with a full-bodied Alsace wine such as Blanck Riesling Alsace AOC. With its richly fruity aroma and classic peppery notes, Grüner Veltliner Himmelstiege Federspiel Domäne Wachau is another good match for this very rich dish.
Tip: What's great about pairing dishes with wine is the huge variety of possible combinations and how the different flavours really come to the fore. So when tucking into a “smorgasbord", don't be afraid to experiment with the different appetizers and cold meats, as this is a good way to learn about your own personal tastes.
A more opulent white wine, such as Naturaplan organic Cigalus G. Bertrand Vin de Pays d'Oc, works well with a plate of roast beef and French fries.
When serving a carpaccio with olive oil and lemon juice, the acidity of the lemon must be considered. White wines with residual sweetness but that aren't too heavy are a good bet, such as Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay.
Roasting pork creates strong roasted aromas that must be borne in mind when selecting a suitable wine. Equally important is the sauce served with the dish.
Pork steaks are very popular for barbecuing. This releases a strong, smoky aroma and bitter substances form. These factors must be taken into account, along with the marinade and dipping sauces chosen to go with the meat.
The strong roasted aromas of barbecued meat open up the fruit in the wine and make the tannins milder and more harmonious. What could be better, then, than a Bordeaux cuvée such as Château du Tertre Margaux AC or Bolgheri DOC Donne Fittipaldi!
Pork can be braised either in a pot on the stove or in a roaster in the oven. Braising is a cooking method that often creates strong roasted aromas and a very tasty gravy or sauce. The slow and gentle cooking of all meat, vegetables and herbs produces a dish with intense and multifaceted flavours. Often, this makes the braised dish quite heavy.
Braised pork cheeks with mashed potato is a wonderful dish – and very rewarding when it comes to finding the perfect wine/food pairing. It goes well with a wine of finesse, depth, soft texture and complexity, such as Montefalco Sagrantino Scacciadiavoli DOCG.