this month’s challenge is to find wines to match with one of our most traditional British ingredients, pork. Pork rarely causes many wine matching problems, unless it’s dramatically spiced-up in a chilli or maybe served with a very sweet apple sauce. In the latter case, look for a wine with clean apple fruit and maybe its own hint of sweetness. German and Alsace wines would fit the bill, as would more aromatic varietals like Viognier, Torrontés or Verdelho. Classic roast pork without the sauce is very wine-friendly, matching with most medium-bodied, dry wines; red, white or rosé.
La Gioiosa, Pinot Grigio
From the Veneto in northern Italy, a really nice Pinot Grigio with a crisp, inviting nose of ripe apricot fruit, lemony citrus and a nutty, almondy note. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh, juicy apple and peach fruit even hints of tropical pineapple and guava. If you’re used to non-descript Pinots Grigio, this could be a bit of an eye-opener. Moreish.
La Vieux Mas, Marsanne/Viognier
From the south of France, a wine with a deliciously peachy nose that is rich and buttery with hints of brioche and flowers. The palate is round and full of flavour, robustly fruity and lifted by crisp citrus acidity. This would be delicious with pork and apple sauce.
Another Italian wine from the Veneto, but in a thoroughly New World style, the Inycon is a gorgeous Chardonnay with delicate butterscotch richness over orchard fruit with luxuriant tropical nuances. It has a lovely palate displaying just a sheen of custardy vanilla but also layers of deep, ripe juicy fruit. This is an ideal wine for simply grilled or roasted pork chops.
River Route, Pinot Noir
Romania has a reputation for producing decent Pinot Noir at a bargain price. This has a touch of smokiness on the nose, but it’s mostly about soft, earthy berry fruit and a little hint of spice. In the mouth there’s a nice silky texture and a bite of savoury acidity to sweet strawberry and raspberry fruit. This should be perfect with crisply roasted pork.
This has a vivid nose that wafts crunchy berry, plum, gravel and earth. On the palate the wine is impressively concentrated with a syrupy mouthfeel, but then smooth tannins bite and the bittersweet edge of chocolaty dark fruit grips the mouth. Wonderfully lush and full.
Santa Julia, Tempranillo Selection
If you love Rioja you’ll adore this Argentinean wine, made from the same grape and aged, like Rioja, in small oak barrels. It is just crammed with thick, creamy black fruits and smoky, sweet vanillin oak on the nose. On the palate the lush, ripe fruit and fine tannic structure coats the palate, the sense of dense, pure fruit continuing into the long finish. What a match this would be for spare ribs.