Pork Loin Recipes

Pork Loin Recipes
Photo by Photo by Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr, Cooking Light

Pork loin is a delicate cut of meat. With its limited marbling, it requires a deft hand and gentle cooking method to produce the best results. When it is prepared well, a roasted pork loin typically has a rub of some kind that is applied to the sweet cover fat left on the loin to keep it from drying out.

That rub and the sweet cover fat are the keys to successfully pairing a roasted pork loin with its ideal wine. The meat of the loin itself is fairly mild and uniform. If you were to pair the loin alone, you would want a fairly mild, smooth wine with moderate acidity and low tannins. Something like Gamay for red or Chardonnay for white would be well advised, but roasted pork loin is usually flavored with herbs and spices.
In Italy, one finds Arista alla Fiorentina, which is pork loin rubbed with rosemary, garlic and salt before roasting. Typically paired with a light Chianti, a very fine and typical pairing, this common blend of Mediterranean flavors opens pork to be paired with many wines, particularly those coming from the Mediterranean coast. Unoaked white wines from the Mediterranean basin are the ideal match here. These wines have zesty acidity and fresh fruit flavors that will work as a contrast to the herb and garlic coating of the pork, bringing both the sweet flavors of the pork and the wine to the fore. Consider a fine Sauvignon Blanc with its gentle herbaceous notes or a Petit Manseng from France, with its rich fruit and subtle spices. Round and soft Soave is a wonderful pairing, as well.
If you prefer a red wine, look to Grenache-based wines from France or exotic blends from Lebanon, Greece and North Africa. A lighter styled Nero d’Avola from Sicily will also work. One surprising match would be an herb-accented Carmenere from Chile. 
Other common rubs for pork loin include blends featuring paprika, coffee and other assertive flavors like chilies. With these, you will need to choose a wine that has intense fruit yet doesn’t completely cover the flavor of the pork. Petite Sirah, lighter-styled Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc all share a certain spicy character without having too much tannin or body, making them well suited as a contrast to the assertive flavors that wrap the mild pork tenderloin in these dishes. 


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