What To Drink With Pork Chops For Full, Rich Flavors

Pork chops are among the most versatile meats you can prepare in the kitchen. Depending on the part of the animal from which the chop is cut, it can be either super lean or contain more fat. However, all pork is fairly neutral and mild in flavor, meaning you can dress it up and cook it in dozens of ways, and it will still taste delicious. When it comes to pairing pork with the perfect alcoholic beverage, it isn't discussed as much as other meats like beef, chicken, or fish. The truth is, pork pairs well not only with wine, but also with beer and cocktails.

Any sauces, glazes, and marinades you use to prepare your pork will impact the best drink pairing for your pork chops, but a good starting point for generally solid pairings is a dry rosé wine, a hefeweizen-style beer, or a cocktail with sweet carbonation, like a mojito. These types of beverages should complement, rather than compete with, pork's mild flavor, and provide a nice contrast to the rich fat in the meat.

The best wines and beers for pork chops

Dry rosé wines, as opposed to sweet ones, are some of the most food-friendly wines on the market. They tend to have the lighter body of a white wine with the larger flavor variety often found in red wines, but without the tannins. From Asian-marinated pork chops to grilled chops served with rhubarb compote, a dry rosé will let the flavor of the meat shine while providing some refreshing, fruity flavor notes. If your pork chops are prepared or served with plenty of herbs, such as with a chimichurri sauce, you can easily venture into red wine territory. A light and fruity choice, like a Beaujolais or pinot noir, would be ideal.

When it comes to beer, a fatty pork chop can be delicious with a cold hefeweizen. Generally, this style of beer is fairly fruity as opposed to hoppy or bitter, and it has a good amount of carbonation. It's the fruitiness and bubbles that will cut right through the delicious pork fat, offering a full, satisfying food and drink experience. A sour-style beer can be a somewhat adventurous pork pairing, but one that often works well. Try it with a chop that contains a fair amount of fat, which will make you crave something sharp. A fruity glaze or sauce, like apricot or pineapple, would also be delicious with this pairing.

Have the most fun pairing pork with cocktails

Pairing pork with cocktails can be challenging because cocktails are typically fully flavored with various mixers, juices, and sometimes several different liquors. Essentially, they don't require a food pairing and are designed to be enjoyed on their own, but they can work well with food if you make the right choice. An expertly made mojito is neither too sweet nor too strong to pair with foods. Its carbonation and fresh-squeezed lime juice are ideal to match with pork, while the sugar and mint add a nice flavor to a simply-seasoned pork chop. Even an accompanying cherry sauce would taste lovely with the mint flavor in the background.

Cocktails also allow for more freedom to experiment with interesting — and perhaps unexpected — pairing combinations. For instance, you could play with the classic pairing of pork chops and applesauce by trying a tart appletini with your pork chop. Although it's a sweet choice, it has an excellent sour punch and tons of apple flavor that pairs well with pork. If your pork chop is served with an apple compote or sauce, consider a bourbon and ginger cocktail, like a Kentucky mule. You'll get the woody sweetness from the bourbon, plus the spicy sharpness and carbonation of ginger beer. It offers everything you want with a great pork dish: it's refreshing, full of flavor, and still allows you to savor all the pork goodness.