May 25, 2011

Pork and Pinot

The other day I set out to discover whether Pork and Pinot, a.k.a. Pigs and Pinot, is just a witty alliteration, or if those two things really work well together.
For the “pigs” part, I decided on pork tenderloins with an onion and dried apricot stuffing. Here’s the recipe, but note that I substituted dried apricots for the dried figs.

Just a few years ago, I would not touch any food that contained fruit in an otherwise savory meal. I have since become more open-minded and adventurous, and I have to say that this particular dish was absolutely delicious. I definitely plan on making it again. Even if it sounds unusual to you, give it a try!

As a counterpoint to the slight sweetness of the pork, I decided to go with a Pinot Noir from a cooler climate, the 2006 Anton Bauer Wagram from Austria. Austria and Germany is probably as far north as it gets for cultivating red wine grapes in the world. These Pinot Noirs are often described as lean and elegant in style.

Upon sniffing the wine in the glass, it actually smelled sort of vegetal, I would call it mushroom, whereas hubby described it as collard greens… (You know I just had to mention this little tidbit.) But then a cherry note came through as well, which was a little bit more encouraging. The taste was rather tart, like cranberry, and I could tell a little bit of oak on the finish. It was well integrated though and did not bother me the least.

I think the pairing with the sweet pork dish was excellent. Emphasizing a contrast, the sweet versus the tart, was the right way to go in this case. This particular wine definitely needed a worthy food partner, and the pork tenderloin was just the right fit. So whoever came up with this Pork and Pinot thing, was actually on to something! Final verdict: an amazing combination!

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