Braised Pork Recipes

Braised Pork Recipes
Photo by Photo by John Kernick, Gourmet

Braised pork dishes  tend to have pronounced flavors coming from the braising liquid used. In these cases, you want to pair your wine with the braising liquid, which is typically based on meat stock with either herb of vegetable flavorings.

One of the classic braised pork dishes, smothered pork chops, includes lots of fried onions, a decidedly sweet preparation. Onions are full of sugar but it takes extended cooking to really make that sweetness obvious. When you’re pairing a smothered pork chop dish that has this pronounced sweet edge, you need to look for a wine that is fruity if not necessarily sweet for the pairing to work well, though a bit of sugar doesn’t hurt. Australian Shiraz and Californian Zinfandel are both wines that often include a touch of residual sweetness, making them particularly apt partners for these sorts of preparations. Throw in some spiciness and you’ll get an even better match.
If you prefer a white wine with your braised pork, look for either a Riesling or an Alsatian Pinot Gris with a touch of sweetness. The Pinot Gris in particular works very well since it is relatively rich, a touch spicy and carries a hint of sweetness along for the ride. 
If your braised pork is not sweet or is vegetable heavy, it probably has an herbal accent to it. This allows you to look for something similar in your wine to provide a complementary pairing opportunity. Rich Sauvignon Blanc and Grüner Veltliner from Austria carry some of this herbal quality with them yet are powerful enough to match the intensity of many braised pork recipes. 


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