Pork Tenderloin is the most subtle portion of the pig, in that the flavours are not strong, nor do they have the porky essence that bacon or pork chops have. White wines with a touch of juiciness, such as Riesling, Chardonnay, or Pinot Blanc, work fantastic. For reds, you want plush and juicy red wines like Beaujolais, Zinfandel or Grenache.
Chardonnay & Pork Tenderloin Pairing
A tropical Chardonnay has a crisp acidity to lift the subtle pork flavours towards tastebuds where they can dance and delight you all the way to taste heaven. The pairing is made even more delicious with the juicy pineapple and apple notes of Chardonnay, a winning combination that people have loved for centuries. (think of the classic cartoon image of a pig spinning on a rotisserie with an apple in his mouth, or the extreme love/hate relationship people have for Hawaiian pizza which is ham and pineapple)
Pork Tenderloin also tends to be dry (we briefly explain the reason below), and Chardonnay has a round juiciness that will resolve this issue in one simple sip.
Riesling & Chutney Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Pairing
Pork Tenderloin is a delicate meat and tends to be a touch dry as many people/restaurants overcook their pork out of a concern for Trichinosis. Thus, you’ll find many restaurants or recipes who stuff their pork tenderloin to ensure it doesn’t dry out and adds an extra punch of flavour. There are hundreds of ingredients the pork tenderloin might be stuffed with, such as onion, garlic, or mushrooms, but my favourite has always been an apple or apricot chutney.
Riesling is a crisp and acidic white wine, which again will lift up the tender pork tenderloin notes. On top of that, the citrus notes of Riesling will complement the tropical chutney flavours. Riesling can range from dry to sweet, and with Pork Tenderloin, we’d recommend a dry Riesling as the chutney will provide plenty of sweetness.
Hard Cider & Pork Tenderloin Pairing
While not a wine, hard cider is exceptional with Pork Tenderloin, due to the crisp and refreshing apple flavours of the cider. As we mentioned above, apple is a classic pairing with Pork Tenderloin, and hard cider offers delicious apple flavours in spades.
A hard cider’s flavour tends to lean more on the neutral side so that it won’t crush the pork tenderloin flavours. Rather it brings them to the forefront where you can savour them as you enjoy this delicious moment of bliss.
Pinot Blanc & Pork Tenderloin Pairing
Pinot Blanc has a reputation as a poor man’s Chardonnay, however, it has a lovely creaminess to its body and an apple and pear scented flavour that makes it smashing with pork tenderloin. Simple and refreshing, Pinot Blanc has enough weight to hold up to the medium weight of the pork tenderloin, while balancing the neutral flavours with its notes of apple and pear. This is the perfect white wine for pork tenderloin served on a shaded balcony during a warm summer’s eve.
Grenache & Roasted Pork Tenderloin Pairing
Grenache is a medium-bodied red wine that is high in alcohol and has a medium amount of tannin and acidity. Expect candied notes of raspberry and strawberry, along with hints of orange rind, cinnamon, and dried tobacco. These flavours will vary depending on where the wine is produced, as you’ll find a variety of Grenache styles from France, Spain, and California.
The refreshing fruit flavours of Grenache make it a wonderful pairing with Pork Tenderloin as the wine won’t smother out the silky flavours of the meat. As Pork Tenderloin is a lean cut of meat, the low tannin content of Grenache also ensures that the wine will not overwhelm your meal.
If you are dining out, Grenache may not be on every wine menu, but every restaurant should have a Côtes du Rhone, which is a French Grenache blend. Côtes du Rhone also varies, but most will be exceptional with Pork Tenderloin.