Wondering how to choose the best wine with pork chops?
It can be a little confusing to pair wine with pork chops. Is pork white meat or red meat? And why are there so many different cuts of pork chops?
The good news is that pork chops have a fairly neutral flavor. So, both red and white wines work. It just comes down to the preparation method and your side dishes.
Read on for the types of wines that make a perfect match with each pork chop dish. Plus, get a delicious recipe for smothered pork chops in mushroom sauce.
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Types of Pork Chops
Despite being advertised as “the other white meat,” pork is technically red meat. Pork chops come from the loin of the pig. There are essentially four areas they can come from — the shoulder, rib, loin, and sirloin.
To make things fun, people use lots of different names for each one. Why? Probably another marketing tactic. But here’s a quick summary of each type so you know what to look for when shopping for your pork dishes.
Shoulder Blade Chops
Also known as loin blade chops, this cut is fatty so it has the most flavor. But it also has some tough gristle. So, you’ll want to braise these babies or slow-cook them to make them nice and juicy.
This cut is pretty tender and can be a great value compared to the boneless version. The ones closer to the blade end have more fat, which helps keep them juicy. The flavor is mild and they’re great for grilling, broiling, or pan frying.
You may hear these called center-cut loin chops. Often this cut has part of the pork tenderloin. They’re lean and mild and can easily be overcooked. Grill, broil, or pan-fry carefully.
Loin Sirloin Chops
These chops have a lot of bone, fat, and connective tissue. It’s one of the cheapest cuts and you’ll need to cook them low and slow to make them tender. So, make use of that Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Boneless Pork Chops
These are rib chops and loin chops but without…you guessed it…the bone. They’re a little pricier. And they don’t have much fat, so you’ll want to cook them quickly on high heat.
Best Wine with Pork Chops
With its mild flavor profile, pork chops can go well with many different types of wine. For a simple preparation, lighter fruity wines can be a good match because they won’t overpower the chops.
But if you’re grilling the meat with lots of black pepper or serving it with a heavy sauce, you’ll want to go bolder with the kind of wine you choose.
The perfect wine pairings will match the weight of the pork chop preparation style.
As the favorite food pairing wine of many wine enthusiasts, Riesling is one of the best wines to pair with pork chops (and with ham too!). This white wine can be found in dry, off-dry, and sweet versions.
Riesling’s high acidity acts as a palate cleanser so it’s a great wine for cuts that have a high fat content or those with a fatty sauce.
One with more sweetness will balance out pork chops that have a fruity glaze, especially if you’re serving them with something like sweet potatoes. The sugar in the food will make the wine taste less sweet so that’s why dry wines like Sauvignon Blanc don’t work as well.
Sweet wine is also a great match for spicy pork chops, cooling the burning sensation in your mouth.
German Riesling is made in all different styles. For dry versions, look for trocken on the bottle. Halbtrocken or feinherb will tell you if it’s an off-dry or medium-sweet style.
Pro tip: If you don’t see any of these terms on the bottle, check the alcohol percentage. If it’s low in alcohol, that usually means it has some sweetness.
Outside of Germany, you’ll find great old-world Riesling from Alsace, France and Austria. In the new world, check out the Finger Lakes, NY and Clare or Eden Valley in Australia.
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For pork chops with a butter or cream sauce, go with a lighter style Chardonnay. A cool-climate unoaked version will have the bright acidity needed to balance out the richness of the sauce. And the minerality and notes of citrus, pear, and apple will pair nicely with the dish.
Speaking of which, a glass of Chardonnay also goes great with pork chops and apple sauce or apple-stuffed pork chops.
Chablis is a cool climate region in France that specializes in unoaked Chardonnay. But you can also find examples in Sonoma County, California and Oregon in the United States. Or look for ones from Casablanca Valley in Chile and Western Australia.
Learn more about Chardonnay, including common questions like is Chardonnay dry or sweet, what does it taste like, and the best food pairings.
Making pork chops dijonnaise? This spicy mustard sauce works best with rosé wine.
Most of these pink wines have enough acidity to cut through the sauce. And because of the time the juice spends on the grape skins, they have the body and structure to hold their own.
Rosé can be made from many different types of red grapes, including Pinot Noir, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and even Cabernet Sauvignon.
A new world rosé wine would work best with this dish. Check out the Santa Ynez Valley and Ballard Canyon in Santa Barbara, California. Or there are delicious ones coming out of Australia and New Zealand.
Its smoky flavors work well with grilled pork chops and barbecue sauce.
And it’s the best wine pairing for the smothered mushroom pork chop recipe below. There’s enough acidity to balance the creaminess. And the earthy notes of the wine are a great match for the umami in the mushrooms.
A good Pinot can get pricey. If your wallet isn’t fat enough to afford Burgundy, look for great values in South America. You can get excellent ones from Argentina or Chile for around $20. Or find it under other names in Germany (Spätburgunder) and Italy (Pinot Nero).
Now that you know all about pork chop pairing, grab a glass of wine and get to cooking. Cheers!
Want to try another mushroom sauce dish? Check out these wine pairings with Chicken Marsala.
Pork Chop Recipe Equipment
For this recipe, you’ll need the following equipment:
- Sharp chef’s knife – I use this one for everything
- Large pan – Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro is my go-to set or I like enameled cast iron
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Smothered Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce
- 4 boneless pork chops
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season all over with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook the pork chops until they have a golden brown crust on each side and reach and internal temperature of 135 degrees F. Remove pork chops and let them rest.
- Reduce heat to medium. In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until they start to soften.
- Add the onions and the last tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until onions are tender.
- Add garlic and stir frequently until it becomes fragrant. Then add flour and quickly stir for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream and simmer for 2 minutes or until cream starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Reduce heat to low and place the pork chops in the sauce. Simmer for 6-8 minutes to let the sauce impart flavors on the pork chops and help to tenderize them.
- Top with parsley and serve with your favorite side dish.
Which pork chop preparation and wine pairing did you choose?