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Pairing Advice: Heritage Pork Chops?

Hi all,

Could really use some advice on a wine pairing for dinner tonight. We will be making a thick cut Mangalitsa pork chop using this [url=http://localkitchenblog.com/2010/02/1...] recipe[/url]. We have made this dish twice before using sauv blanc but with the amount of fat in a mangalitsa chop we are wondering if a red may be a better choice.

Considering a monastrell (have a 2009 JuanGil handy) but am also reading about pinot and pork.

Any suggestions welcome!

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  1. I would probably prefer a Pinot Noir. Pommard maybe...

    or conceivably a Meursault.

    1. I'm really into Riesling and pork myself. Not the stone dry versions so popular now but someting with a little residual sugar. Joseph Leitz Dragonstone is my current fav.

      1. Congratulations. I can't imagine a worse match for this dish than sauvignon blanc so you're definitely moving in the right direction.

        This is an interesting dish where a "red and white" is really fitting.

        In reds, several can work: Rioja, Pinot Noir, or Valpolicella Ripasso. A soft-edged zinfandel is nice for that matter.
        In whites: Riesling (around kabinett).

        Don't be surprised if you find yourself loving riesling more than the red, but both on the table will be very delicious and educational.

        Please report back

        1. Thank you all for the suggestions. The original sauv blanc pairing shows that we are noobs, but definitely trying to improve. :)

          We will definitely go with a choice of red and white. Big question is which to cook with, the red or the white. The recipe calls for deglazing for a pan sauce....

          Riesling will be served, but something a little sweeter than a kabinett. One of our guests is just getting into wines and we're trying to ease her into ones less sweet than grocery store moscato.

          Red options handy in the range mentioned include a Hendry Zinfandel or Central Otago (NZ) Pinot Noirs.

          Will report back...thank you!

          2 Replies
          1. re: shellnyc

            Your recipe uses vermouth as the braise and then asks to reduce it with high heat after the chops are done. I would not add any of the wines you're drinking. Either reduce the vermouth and juices or add some more vermouth and again reduce. A bit of creme fraiche could be nice, to smooth the sauce...

            1. re: shellnyc

              "something sweeter than a kabinett"...

              a non-dry kabinett is sweet, and depending on the vintage and wine-maker can be quite sweet... but I don't have a problem at all with a riper spatlese here either... again, try both...

              This is a very wine-friendly dish that you can experiment with. For example, you might prepare one chop with a little more heat... marinade with a hint of chili and cilantro and a touch more garlic, not enough to alter the fundamental flavors, but enough to "deepen" them and thus bring the dish all the closer to a spatlese IMO, while retaining connectivity to the other wines....

              BTW: alot of your pairing decisions here could hinge on what else is being served at this meal, which you haven't mentioned, so that's another unknown factor...

              Looking forward to your report, and thanks for sharing your impressions....

            2. My first thought was Pinot Noir. However if you want a white how about Fiano? I had a bottle tonight and was getting fennel which should pair well with pork.

              1. I did not try this pork when we were in Hungary this fall, but I read it has a big, smoky taste.
                So while I'm pretty partial to the Cote-de-Beaune, I'd go with a Gevrey in Pinot Noir.
                I'd also consider one of the top Mediterranean red blends from down here, one that emphasizes Mourvèdre, like the Graal from Dom Rossignol.
                In whites I'm intrigued by the possibility of Pinot Gris.

                1. With the wine and heavy cream in the recipe, I think the pairing tips to white, but a winter white with some weight.
                  Savennieres, Marsanne, Roussanne, something like that.

                  Whatever color of wine you use in the pan, pair it with that color of wine.

                  Since the heritage pork has lots of subtle flavors, I'd worry that a red wine would eclipse and drown out some of those subtleties, which is part of the reason you're paying the extra cost for heritage pork.

                  That's my sense.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    I'd agree with Maria--a good white Cotes du Rhone (Villages), not necessarily a Chateauneuf du Pape blanc, would work. I also think a fuller bodied Fiano di Avellino might, too.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Besides a Marsanne/Rousanne, I think a wine like R. Lopez de Heredia's Viña Todonia white Reserva would work nicely, too . . .

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Tondonia, yes, but at $40 or so a bottle, may be worth looking around.

                      2. re: maria lorraine

                        The recs on this thread indicate one very interesting fact: that this dish is about as wine friendly as a "solitary meat" dish gets....

                        In these situations you can 'work backwards"... pick a wine that's in the palate ballpark and then bring spices / sides / gravies / cooking methods / additional courses, etc... that bring the dish even closer to that specific wine.

                        1. re: TombstoneShadow

                          Usually I match to the sauce, but the sauce is simple. I'd match to the meat here. The sauce appears to a secondary consideration.

                          BTW what does this meat taste like - pork or boar?

                          1. re: collioure

                            Mangalitsa is DELICIOUS. I've never had boar, but the meat is much more flavorful than factory farmed pork. I had given up on pork chops or loin until I found mangalitsa.

                            1. re: collioure

                              The meat tastes like pork-plus, Andy.

                              I agree that the cream probably wants a white, and I thought Savennières from the start.... but I would really like Pommard with Mangalitsa. In fact, when I was at a recent Mangalitsa tasting, my palate was aching for some Pommard to go with it.

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                Thank you, June.
                                My first choice was Pinot noir too, but I also like Mourvèdre (Monastrell).
                                However, I'm not a natural like you real foodies here, and I sometimes have trouble selecting the right white in such a situation.

                        2. This is a classic French pan sauce. I wouldn't use red, it's always made with white wine, usually dry vermouth. Sauvingon blanc is ok but a little dry. I would try a chardonnay or reisling instead for pork, something with more balance to the acidity. While dry Vermouth is classic in this sauce, it gives a completely different flavor profile that I find more suitable for beef.

                          Also I would absolutely get some fresh thyme, maybe lemon thyme if you can find it. Fresh tarragon works well too. I don't like oregano in it, dried or otherwise, and it is not usual for the French preparations I have seen. Not sure where Julia picked up the oregano, but I suspect it is an artifact of the 1950's American culinary landscape.

                          And try adding a little (like a knife point's worth) dijon mustard to the sauce. A small amount will help to thicken the sauce and add an interesting flavor note that works well with pork without overpowering the sauce.

                          By the way, this pan sauce with a little white wine or vermouth works great for steak too. You add the wine to deglaze and then reduce, finally adding the butter bit by bit while whisking it in to thicken. Add the herbs and crushed pepper at the end and warm the chops in the sauce. For steak, leave out the dijon and add a little Worcestershire sauce.

                          I would not add the allspice, pumpkin pie spice, or even the cream. Not sure where the author picked those up, but they would just mask the flavor of those excellent chops. This classic sauce is simple, thickened and emulsified with just the butter alone.

                          Finally, make sure you crush the peppercorns directly before putting them in the sauce, it makes a huge difference.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: vikingkaj

                            Great suggestions everyone, thank you. Seems we have lots of options for next time!

                            This week we used an Oregon Pinot Noir to deglaze and served with both a Riesling and the same Pinot. I have to say it was not my favorite version of the dish. Both the pinot and riesling paired well enough (although I will try a slightly less-sweet riesling next time), but I did not enjoy the sauce this time.

                            We tend to keep it simple, with just using cracked pepper and salt, garlic, finish the sauce with a little butter (no cream). Usually throw our green beans in there to cook while the sauce is reducing.

                            1. re: shellnyc

                              Next time I would use shallots rather than garlic in this recipe if you're using Mangalitsa pork.

                          2. By the way, you could drink the pinot with the pork, it would be excellent.