Pork

Jukes Wine And Food Pork

The noble hog has so many different gastronomic guises that I have given the gallant sausage its section. And, no doubt, pâté and terrine lovers are delighted that these two dishes warrant their sections, too. I have also dealt with charcuterie, cassoulet, bacon, full English breakfast and ham in other sections – it just gets better! Here I endeavour to cover the porcine dishes not otherwise mentioned. First in this section, is the princely pork pie and its less exciting, ever-so-slightly oddly coloured, Day-Glo, asteroid cousin, the Scotch egg. A good pork pie is a real treat and, while I’m sure that a pint of Shepherd Neame ale is the ideal partner, a glass of Cru Beaujolais is also a perfect fit. The Scotch egg somehow crops up in pub and picnic cuisine more than at the dinner table (not surprising, would you want one breeding in your fridge?) and bitter is the only sensible choice – but you wouldn’t be putting a foot wrong by ordering a juicy Merlot either. If you like a dollop of Branston or Piccalilli on the plate, then expect the wine to be sent into a tailspin. Chorizo and salami fall into the aforementioned ‘Charcuterie’ section, but remember that the spicier the salami, the greater the need for cool red wine. A plate of chorizo is excellent with dry sherry – manzanilla and fino are the two best styles. Next on the menu, spare ribs – whether drenched in barbecue sauce or not, these are prehistoric fare, so Neolithic reds are needed to slake your thirst. Juice and texture are the essential ingredients, so head to the New World in search of Argentinean Sangiovese, Malbec, Bonarda or Tempranillo, Chilean Carmenère or Australian Cabernet/Shiraz blends. Californian Zinfandel would also work well, although it might be disproportionately expensive for the dish. Rillettes, which can also be made from duck or rabbit, expose one of pork’s lighter sides. This mild, oddly fondanty, savoury dish is often served as part of a plate of cold meats. White wine is called for, with Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Riesling from Alsace all working well. As usual, Aussie Riesling will find this a doddle, too. I have left the big daddy to last – roast pork. There are several ways to serve this so, when it comes to matching it to wine, the brief is fairly open. One thing is certain – if you are going to serve a red, make it light (Pinot Noir is best). Pork is far more excited by white wine, particularly if there is apple sauce sidling up to your plate. Classy, gently oaked Chardonnay from Chablis or Burgundy would be exact, although New World Chardonnays can hack it as long as they are not too overtly oaky. Riesling (dry and luxurious), Condrieu (the super-dear northern Rhône Viognier), Vouvray (make sure it says ‘sec’ – dry – on the label) and southern Rhône whites (thin on the ground but a lot of bang for your buck) are all worth a substantial sniff.