Pairing Alcohol with Pork: A Guide to the Best Drink Matches

Pork is a versatile meat that can be prepared in endless ways, from rich braised dishes to quick-cooking cutlets. With so many possibilities, what alcohol pairs best with the various pork preparations? Here is a guide to picking the perfect drinks to complement the succulent swine.

Factors that Influence Pairings

There are a few factors to consider when deciding which alcoholic beverages will pair well with pork

Cut of pork – The cut affects tenderness, fattiness and flavor. Delicate chops call for lighter drinks than hearty roasts.

Preparation method – Grilled pork needs a different match than braised or roasted pork. Smoked pork calls for something smoky too.

Seasonings/sauces – Spices, herbs, marinades, and sauces impact flavor. Complementary drinks enhance these seasonings.

Richness – Fattier cuts need a drink that can cut through the richness. Acidity, bitterness, or bubbles help cleanse the palate.

Weight – Lighter dishes require lighter, more delicate drinks so as not to overpower the food.

Considering these factors will help narrow down suitable alcoholic pairings for each type of pork dish.

Lighter Pork Dishes

Leaner, quicker cooking pork dishes have a lighter texture and flavor. They call for equally light, crisp, and refreshing alcoholic matches.


Bone-in or boneless pork chops are a fast cooking and milder cut. Their leanness calls for a drink with enough acidity to cut through fattiness but not overwhelm the pork.

Beers – Pilsners, lagers, and lighter ales have a crispness that complements pork chops. Avoid very hoppy IPAs that will clash.

Wines – Dry whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio have zesty citrus notes to match chops. Sparkling wines also pair well.

Cocktails – Gin and vodka based drinks work nicely. A Tom Collins enhances herby seasonings on the pork.


Even leaner than chops, pork tenderloin needs a delicate, elegant match. Choose drinks with subtle flavor profiles.

Beers – Lambics, wheat beers, and lagers have mild flavors to suit the tenderloin. Avoid robust stouts and porters.

Wines – Light, dry whites like Pinot Grigio and unoaked Chardonnay or a light red such as Pinot Noir. Stay away from oaky wines.

Cocktails – Citrus based cocktails complement tenderloin beautifully. A vodka gimlet is a refreshing choice.

Cutlets and Medallions

These quick cooking cuts are mild in flavor. Pair with crisp, acidic drinks to cut richness.

Beers – Pilsners are a foolproof match, as are lighter wheat beers and pale ales. Avoid high alcohol beers.

Wines – Dry Rieslings have racy acidity to stand up to pork. Pinot Gris, unoaked Chardonnay, and rosé also work well.

Cocktails – Drinks with citrus like margaritas, mojitos, and gin rickeys complement the pork’s mildness.

Heartier Pork Dishes

Heavier braised and roasted pork dishes can handle more intense, full-bodied alcohol pairings.


Pork roasts have deep, meaty flavor that needs an equally hearty alcoholic match.

Beers – Märzen lagers, dubbels, and malty amber or brown ales provide enough heft to match pork roasts.

Wines – Medium-bodied reds like a Rioja Tempranillo or Chianti Classico have the weight to stand up to roasts.

Cocktails – Brown spirits shine, like an Old Fashioned with bourbon or Boulevardier made with rye whiskey.


Slow cooked ribs are tender, saucy, and packed with flavor. Pair with drinks that complement sweet and spicy notes.

Beers – Sweeter Belgian ales match the sauce, while hoppy IPAs contrast nicely withbold ribs.

Wines – Juicy, fruit-forward reds like Zinfandel and Syrah work well. Off-dry Riesling matches sweetness.

Cocktails – Drinks with flavored liqueurs, juices, or ginger beer complement ribs. A Moscow Mule is a perfect fit.

Braised and Stewed Pork

Long cooked in flavorful liquid, these pork dishes require an equally rich and intense alcoholic pairing.

Beers – Rauchbiers lend smoky flavors, while Belgian strong ales can match hearty stews.

Wines – Go for bold, fruit-forward red wines like Malbec, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cocktails – Brown spirits like bourbon and rum pair nicely, as do tawny port and liqueurs. A Sazerac is a good call.

Smoked Pork

Naturally calls for drinks with smoky elements and toasted notes to mirror the preparation.

Beers – Rauchbiers, dunkels, and Bock beers made with toasted malts complement smoked pork.

Wines – Smoky wines like Mourvedre or earthyTempranillo work well. Oaked Chardonnay has a toasty quality.

Cocktails – Single malt Scotch and mezcal cocktails like Penicillin or Oaxaca Old Fashioned match the smoke.

Best Bets for Most Pork Dishes

While specific pork dishes call for tailored pairings, a few alcoholic beverages pair well with pork in general:

Sparkling Wines – Bubbles and acidity cut through richness. Sparkling wines complement everything from delicate to hearty pork.

Rosé – Dry rosés are versatile thanks to bright acidity, berry flavors, and light body. Pair with nearly any pork dish.

Riesling – Riesling ranges from dry to sweet. The acidity of dry styles and fruity sweetness of off-dry ones both complement pork.

Pilsner/Lager – The crisp, clean taste of pilsners and lagers matches lighter as well as richer pork dishes.

Experiment to find your perfect pork and alcohol pairings. Complementary drinks elevate the flavor of pork to new heights.

Everything you need to know about Cooking with Alcohol | Info Hack


What alcohol goes well with pork?

Rich, dark liquors like bourbon and whiskey go well with the smokiness of BBQ dishes like brisket and pulled pork. If you don’t want to drink it straight, we recommend mixing up a bourbon lemonade – the slightly tart taste of lemons cuts the smokiness of both the bourbon and BBQ.

What alcohol goes with roast pork?

If you’re wondering which wine to pair with roast pork the good news is it’s a flexible meat that can take a white or a red – or even – given the crackling, a sparkling wine. Cider too is a great option.

What do you drink with pork?

Roast pork is extremely versatile and goes with either red or white. Fruity, spicy whites are good and the lovely appley freshness of German riesling is a winner. Avoid overly tannic reds and opt for subtly spicy fruit here too.

Do you drink red or white wine with pork?

The general rule of thumb when choosing wine to pair with pork is to look for a rich, fuller-bodied white wine or a juicy, fruit-forward red wine, which will complement the delicate sweetness that tends to characterize this meat.

What wine goes with pork?

Both red and white wine pair with pork, even sparkling wine pairs with pork. Whether you choose a red or white wine will depend on the cut of pork but also what sauce you serve it with. Grilled pork chops will be better with red wine whereas pork loin will be better with white.

Can one eat pork?

A cooked, medium pork cutlet or steak provides 239 calories, 34 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 697 milligrams sodium, and 0 grams carbohydrate, if you eat only the lean part of the steak. Pork contains many of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) found in beef and it is high in protein, but can be lower in fat than beef—depending on cut and preparation. Meat from any kind of mammal, including pork, can cause an allergic reaction (and some people who are allergic to mammalian meat also react to poultry).

Can you drink wine with pork?

‘Rich whites and juicy reds tend to work well’, said Decanter Rhône correspondent Matt Walls. But, there are no hard and fast rules for pairing wine with pork. Nutritional studies class pork as a red meat, despite its relatively light appearance and a renowned advertising campaign by the US National Pork Board entitled ‘the other white meat’.

What wine goes well with pork ribs?

Try an off-dry Gewurztraminer or Muscat with a honey glaze, or a Viognier or Verdejo with a peach glaze. Finally, if you make a creamy sauce, opt for an equally creamy wine like California Chardonnay. All in all, the fat and salt pork elements require an acidic wine with medium to high body and mild tannins.

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