Summer Wine Pairing Series with Master Sommelier Craig Collins – Poultry & Pork
Editor’s note: The fifth post in our Summer Wine Pairing Series, today Master Sommelier Craig Collins shares his tips when it comes to pairing wines with pork and poultry items.
Serving wine with poultry or pork can be one of the easiest and most satisfying accomplishments in your culinary repertoire. Pork and chicken meals both serve as a palate for a chef allowing them to incorporate different spices, flavors and sauces that pair with a wide range of grape varieties. When preparing these dishes, one looks at the primary flavor of the dish, not just the protein, allowing a world of endless possibilities. We will explore a few of these options and discuss why they work so well.
When grilling pork, I love to marinade it first in a delicious blend of garlic, orange, chili pepper, soy and spices. This Asian blend accompanies pork beautifully bringing out more of its’ natural flavor. And what to drink with this beautiful piece of meat? The pork has served as a base for the Asian spices; a sweeter German Riesling works very well with this dish balancing the exotic flavors and subduing the spice added from the peppers. You may experiment in any direction you want with this concept. Try an Italian pork chop with a tomato ragu. This combination will pair well with a nice Chianti and fava beans!
Chicken offers us the same varied palate to work with. When baking a classic chicken dish stuffed with broccoli and cheese, try a Napa Chardonnay. The wine will bring balance to the richness of the cheese and compliment the green notes of the broccoli at the same time. Should you decide to grill the chicken instead, you have the added dimension of smoke and char which lends itself more to a soft red wine such as Pinot Noir.
As we have seen, poultry and pork merely serve as a base for your own exploration. As you experiment with different spices, sauces and flavors think about which wines will work well with the primary flavor of the dish and have fun! You will find that magically pairing combination and will be well rewarded for your efforts.
Craig Collins, Master Sommelier