Wine & Food

Snooth User: HolidayGolightly

Walnut-crusted pork chops with wild rice

Posted by HolidayGolightly, Sep 29, 2008.

Is it wrong to be planning my cooking and wine decisions two weeks in advance? I already have my eye on the cover recipe of this month's Cooking Light - walnut-encrusted pork chops with autumn wild rice. What should I drink with them? I don't usually cook pork, so I'm not sure what wine would complement the dish. I'm pretty flexible, but I enjoy complexity and try to keep it under $20/bottle.

Here's a link to the recipe if anyone is curious. I'm not sure how to make active links in here, so you'll have to copy and paste.


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 29, 2008.

Hey Holiday,
if you live for food and wine, like me, thee is nothing at all wrong in agonizing, or anticipating the pairing for weeks. I make all sorts of Menus months in advance and it's almost like a I get to enjoy the meal over and over again.

Your dish is a very interesting one and I am curious what else is involved in the dish? So want choices would work well. My first reponse was a nebbiolo based wine from piedmont in Northern Italy such as which has great acids but nicely rounded fruit and just a touch of nutty tannin. While we are in northern italy and talking about Nuttiness we might as well check out a great Dolcetto as well. The is a classic version, well balanced and fresh.

Other chioces I would suggest would include a traditional Rioja such as the for it's earthy, layered complexity or even the for it's bright, zesty fruit.

Please let me know how these selections sound. Some of the other ingredients may change my opinion but these are definitely safe bets for the dish!

Reply by HolidayGolightly, Sep 29, 2008.

Those do sound like potentially good combinations. I was thinking something with earthy, nutty flavors might match the autumn feeling of the dish.

Here's the ingredient list if that makes a difference to your recommendations:

# Pork:
# 4 (8-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops, trimmed
# 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
# 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
# 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
# 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
# 1/3 cup walnuts, finely ground
# 1 bacon slice
# 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

# 1 cup finely chopped onion
# 1/2 cup diced carrot
# 2 teaspoons diced seeded jalapeño pepper
# 1 garlic clove, minced
# 1 1/2 cups finely trimmed chopped Swiss chard
# 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
# 1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
# 2 cups cooked wild rice
# 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
# 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 30, 2008.

Earthy and nutty is a great direction to go in.

Traditional Rioja would absolutely fit the bill and i see nothing in the recipe that would change my mind. I still like the Conde de valdemar and think you should opt for a Reserva over a Crianza as the additional ageing is what gives the wine it's nutty, earthy character. Happy hunting!

Reply by Philip James, Sep 30, 2008.

I just have to say that i'm starving right now... A milkshake for breakfast is hardly the sustenance I need to be able to read this stuff without gettings pangs of hunger.

Re wine pairings I'd have said to go with anything high acid - as it will balance the crusted sweetness of the pork. However, walnuts are pretty high tannin, so make sure you dont get a tannin bomb, or equally anything too light as the nuts will drown it. That leaves you with a medium intensity Italian as a good pairing - a barbera maybe...

Heres a decent example

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