Challenging Wine Pairing: Sweet and Sour Pork

By LaGayle ~ March 6th, 2013.

Sweet and sour pork is a popular dish and one that easily lends itself to a challenging wine pairing given both its sweetness and tartness. The main dish included the pork, green bell peppers, celery, and onion in the sweet and sour sauce that included pineapple, apple cider vinegar, and sugar, as well as other seasonings such as soy sauce. I rounded out the meal with a green salad with mandarin oranges tossed with a mango ginger balsamic dressing and white rice.

Once the menu was set, my attention turned to answering the question, “What wines do we pair with this meal?” After referring to my favorite guide, What to Drink with What You Eat, we decided to try a Riesling and a Pinot Noir. We selected the 2011 Efeste Evergreen Riesling from Washington State and the 2010 Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir from Oregon. We enjoyed both wines very much; however, the Riesling was the unanimous choice as the best pairing with the meal. The acidity in both wines worked well with the sauce’s tartness, but the residual sugar in the Riesling really helped the flavors come together with the sauce’s sweetness.

Please let us know what you would have paired with this meal, and we welcome your suggestions for future challenging wine pairings.

Bon Appétit!

2011 Efeste Evergreen Riesling (Evergreen Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale to medium yellow. Very aromatic with citrus fruit, especially orange, and banana on the nose. More orange as well as white peach comes through on the palate. Slightly off-dry and light to medium-bodied with very crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $16.99; Available elsewhere, $16 to $20

2010 Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon): Medium-deep ruby red in color. Nice nose with strawberry and orange peel aromas. Fruit-forward with bright red fruit, particularly red cherry, on the palate. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity, soft tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30; Available elsewhere, $24 to $29

Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Mike Veseth | March 6th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    The Efeste Riesling is a brilliant choice!

  2. Kori | March 12th, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks, Mike. Cheers!