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Ruby Blog

Wine Pairings: Pork and Pinot Noir

Summer months always mean warmer temps, which lends to cooking and eating outside. While white and rosé seem to be the go-to wine for the warm weather, we’re here to let you know that pinot noir is still en vogue through the summer.

Pinot’s light to medium body, combined with the aromas of berries, cherry, and other fruit, is perfect for enjoyment on a deck or at a BBQ. Nuanced, but not too complex. Subtle, but still forward. Pinot noir is the little black dress of wines.

Oregon pinot noir, in particular, is great paired with mainly of the foods we see around the patio table. They don’t have the jam of California wines, nor the seductive perfume of their French cousins. Instead, a Willamette pinot noir will have layers: red fruit, spice, leather, minerals, to name a few. Often with an acidity that cuts through fat that makes pork one of our favorite meats.

With that in mind, here are some of our preferred pig pairings with Ruby’s pinot noirs:

Pork tenderloin – Although not as fatty as other cuts of pig, the flavor of a delicate tenderloin can easily be dressed with any number of sauces. Grilled over charcoal for the flame kissed taste of summer, and you’ll have a perfect course.

Charcuterie – Who says dinner has to be cooked? A beautiful plate of ham, cold meats, and cured pork products will make a perfect meal when accompanied by a lighter pinot. Add fat with selections of goat cheese, and spice with some stone ground mustard.  

Pulled Pork and Pinot NoirBacon wrapped seafood – It doesn’t matter if you’re using shrimp or scallops, almost any food is better wrapped in bacon. Use aromatics like garlic and rosemary to open the nose, let the beauty of bacon provide both fat and texture. Finally, fresh seafood shine when accompanied by the fruit and acid of a fine pinot.

Baby-back ribs – While wine isn’t always seen at a BBQ, pinot is perfect for some pork ribs. Avoid anything that is too spicy, as the wine will be lost with the heat. Instead, use flavors often found in Mediterranean cuisine: turmeric, coriander, garlic, thyme, and fennel.

Pulled pork – The fatty umami that comes from a slow cooked pork butt is perfect when accompanied by mineral forward pinot. Make a BBQ sauce from berries and pinot to find the balance of salty, sweet, acid, and fat that will make your mouth sing.

Since we’re in the Pacific Northwest, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to promote how perfectly pinot noir matches with salmon:

Fresh grilled salmon – These two have matching silky textures, while the berries and warm spices in the wine set are a great counter balance to the sweet, pungent fish.  All the better if the salmon is from the Pacific Northwest!

If you’re feeling up to it, visit the Ruby Vineyard tasting room to taste how our estate pinots match up with local charcuterie, or our famous meatballs with cranberry sauce.

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