Wine & Food

Snooth User: napagirl68

What to pair with Herbes de Provence encrusted pork chops...

Posted by napagirl68, Feb 7, 2010.

I am hoping someone with some pairing knowledge can help me. for Valentines day, I am making a nice, intimate dinner... I have pairings for the appetizer and dessert... but I am looking for a main dish pairing..

I am basically making a bone-in pork chop, which I dredge in semolina flour (vs regular, cause I like the slight crust) and totally dredged in Herbes de Provence. I will pan roast this in extra virgin olive oil. Will serve with asparagus. Normally, with pork, I would pair a pinot. But since this is a very HERBAL pork... including tons of lavendar, I am at a bit of a loss? I first thought of sauv blanc, but I think two herbal things competing would not be good. Any help from fellow snoothers? The lavendar and thyme really predominates in the Herbes de provence I have blended. A pinot may still work, but region would really matter here. I would also like to hear white wine suggestions.


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Reply by Charles Emilio, Feb 7, 2010.

My first thought was also a pinot noir. Second thought is a beaujolais.
In the white wine department i'm thinking Marsanne.

Good luck.
If it's a success you'll have to put the recipe up on snooth.

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 7, 2010.

Hi Charles Emilio... thanks for suggestions.. I have made this before and it is GOOD... will try to post recipe.. I don't measure anything but can wing it...

Ok.. so for pinot.. there are so many different ones... I am interested in specific wines, and how they can pair with lavendar and pork.... I will research this as well...

Reply by dmcker, Feb 7, 2010.

I just spend 20 minutes writing a lengthy post on why I thought a southern Rhone or provencal red was good, but it just evaporated! ???grrr`&%$#aaahhh!!!!.

Have to run now, and if it doesn't appear here and I have time later, I'll write it up again... ;-(

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 7, 2010.

oh please do.... I was hoping you would post to my thread... we have a week still. I would truely appreciate your input..

Funny, I was thinking a Cab franc... am I totally off base here? (was considering the strong lavendar component)

Reply by Matchupichu, Feb 8, 2010.

Pesonally, for me, I would add some black pepper to the chops and some garlic in the pan, then do either a syrah (cali or rhone, whatever) or a sangiovese romanga, maybe a barbera or dolcetto, I dunno actually. I mean, you said you wanted something with floral notes, so I'm gonna go with sangiovese romanga (by umberto cesare) costs about $20.00. good luck! sounds very good!

Reply by Benzibar, Feb 8, 2010.

Personally I'd be careful with the shiraz and cab franc - yes the herbs will have a strong taste but you still don't want to lose the relatively subtle taste of the pork. I wouldn't rule out a Sauvignon blanc, the asparagus will go excellently and as long as it's not too herbaceous, I think it could be a winner. Consider something like Pouilly Fume or Dog Point from New Zealand. A good clean Viognier might also be an unexpected winner!

Reply by Eric Guido, Feb 8, 2010.

Pinot would work as long as it's of the earthy, instead of the extracted style.

I really like the idea of a light styled sangiovese. Maybe a Chianti Classico, but not a riserva.

I would also consider something like a Valpolicella or a Lagrein. Many of these are light styled but very fruity and with a good amount of acidity to balance.

Reply by Eric Guido, Feb 8, 2010.

As for white wine, you could easily go with a dry Riesling.

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 10, 2010.

thank you everyone for your suggestions... I am thinking now of I have in possesion, one I would procure....

My first thought is Sangiovese.. well, because, besides Cab Franc, Sangio is one of my fav. varietals! Not sure on which one tho.. I currently do not have any in cellar :-(. But I honestly tend toward CA sangios... usually Amador or Livermore Valley (because of my limited tasting experience with this varietal). I like earthy and spicy, with full finish. if anyone has suggestions for this description, I'd love to here it.

As for the white contender, as per Eric Guido (love your recipes!!!), I do possess a dry Riesling.. 2006 Trefethen Oak Knoll District Dry Riesling.

Any comments regarding my two choices????

Reply by GregT, Feb 11, 2010.

Wow I didn't know our intimate dinner was going to have so many people involved in preparations!

But sounds like you need to get in touch with that guy GhostLemur here:

And Sangiovese is pretty perfect IMO. If you can find one with a little bit of age on it, you'll get more of that earthy quality - try something like a Felsina from a few years back. They're a fairly clean "modern" kind of producer, but they're relatively available, not crazy expensive, and around in sufficient quantity that you can find one with some years on it. I've seen some mid-90s around not long ago.

Reply by Normans of Texas, Feb 11, 2010.

Love the two choices! However, being the sort of fellow that I am, I would like to confuse the issue by asking you to step out of the box and try a Chilean Carmenere with your pork. With the Herbs de Provence, I have found this to be an excellent wine to provide the floral and fruit forward enjoyment that you seem to seek with ehough spine to clear the pallete for the next bite. I use that spice blend with pork quite often. In the value priced area, the Concha y Toro offering labeled Castillo de Diablo is widely available. Something a bit different from a varietal that may be the next big thing.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 11, 2010.

I thought I had responded tot his post. I would have suggested a nice Loire Valley Cab Franc. Another option would be a high quality Beaujolais or even a cool climate syrah, particularly if it has a dollop of viognier.

Reply by enotheque, Feb 11, 2010.

A lot of you guys made some great suggestions! Here's my take...

Regardless of what wine you wind up getting (availability issues depending on where you live), here are some basics to go by in any event:

Red: Med. body, mineral and floral notes are important here, also herb notes with some fruit acidity as well to cut through the pork.

Some suggestions:

*Gamay-based reds: Cru Beaujolais, particularly Fleurie, Brouilly, Moulin a vent and Morgon; Julienas works too.

*A relatively young Austrian Zweigelt or Blaufrankisch.

*Pinot Noir: Oregon, NZ Central Otago PN and Patagonian PN, which particularly brings concentration of blueberries, crushed violets, etc. One of my favorite new world PN's out there is the Familia Schroeder Saurus Pinot Noir, from Neuquen, Argentina. Another amazing one is the 2007 Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Central Otago from NZ.

*Young, well crafted Cotes du Rhone blends, any of the Coteaux du Languedoc reds (Pic st.loup,Montpeyroux) . We're looking for reds with some Mourvedre in the mix, because it will add soft aromatic berry and floral flavors. Also staying in the south of France Costiere de Nimes works really well too. You really can't go wrong with a lot of these. One of my favorites is the 2008 Mas de Libian Cotes du Rhone "Bout d'Zan."

*A delicate Chinon, from the Loire, such as produced by Gasnier (2008 Domaine Gasnier Chinon Les Graves)

White: Good acidity to cut through the pork and good degree of citrus fruit to play nicely with the lavender/thyme.

*CDR blanc blends, which are very aromatic (floral, pineapple, citrus) and have good fruit structure as well. Some of the grape varieties involved are: Roussane, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, etc.

One of the best values out there now is Domaine Jaume Cotes du Rhone Les Collines Blanc
*I really like white Rioja wines for pork, given that the fruit/citrus balance from the Viura grape (aka Macabeo) is hard to beat. Think quince, ripe pears, apples, that sort of thing...but with really nice, fragrant lemon to match the thyme. My favorite one is Lopez de Heredia's Gravonia, any vintage will do. Think more fruit, less oak. A really consistent producer who is a steal for the value is Marquesa de Valserrano.

*Any Veneto white wine (IGT's and well-made Soave, in particular, made mostly of the Garganega grape variety, since it has really refreshing, bright Mediterranean lemon flavors along with white peach. (please, no Pinot Grigio!) (component of the sparkling Prosecco)

Two of my favorites are the 2008 Cantina del Castello Soave Classico Monte Pressoni, as well as the 2008 Corte Gardoni Bianco di Custoza

Regardless of what you wind up going with, have a great Valentine's dinner!

Reply by D9sus4, Feb 11, 2010.

White Cotes du Rhone blends are a great suggestion for white wine pairing. As for reds, I'd serve a red CDuP or Gigondas as I normally serve with Provencal style rack of lamb. I'm thinking more of cutting through the herbs and spice than the fact that you're serving pork chops instead of lamb chops. But that's just me.

Reply by Charles Emilio, Feb 11, 2010.

Greg DP as always, is on the money, well atleast with me.
Cool climate Syrah/Shiraz with this dish would be lovely.

In fact I tried a gorgeous one yesterday, Punt Road "Airlie Bank" Shiraz Viognier. 13.5% alc.
Textbook example of how a cool climate shiraz with 3% viognier thrown in.... and the price, $15, wow, buy a case.

Reply by britishken, Feb 11, 2010.

Most of the French whites will do, but I feel these may be too earthy, I have great success with one of the old wines, a well made Vinho Verdi from Portugal. keep it simple let the food shine.

Reply by VegasOenophile, Feb 11, 2010.

I recommend pink! A nice Cote de Provence, Cote Du Rhone rosé, Tavel, or a pinot noir rosé like the one Toad Hollow makes. Should be a nice complement to and not overpower your dish.

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 12, 2010.

Ok.. since GDP gave the red light on my fav varietal, cab franc, I do have one here I am thinking of.

I have tasted it before, but not with this dish. I am still learning and exploring with pairings. I rated it 3.5 stars here.. it is the 2006 Chinon Domaine de la Noblaie. Any thoughts on paring this with the dish in question?

Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 12, 2010.

Hi there
I really like the wines of Noblaie. They're fresh and light with great fruit and tannins that are not too dominating - Jerome Billard is doing a good job making wines that are accessible relatively young. I think it would go well with your pork dish. Thinking outside the Loire I would look to the Languedoc region of France where all the herbal notes are in the landscape around - the 'garrigue'. An old vine Carignan with a little Syrah and Grenache would work well. In whites I think a Marsanne, Rousanne could compliment the flavours. Your idea of a Sauvignon would match the asparagus but I think would be drowned by the herbs - something with a little more oomph is required.
Hope this helps

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 12, 2010.

Thanks, Cathy, for the input on Noblaie! I think I am going to go with it.

And I made a typo.. meant to say gave green light not red! LOL!

I love cab franc, and was thinking it might pair well with the herbs involved....

I have had Rousanne, but never Marsanne. Can you recommend a good Marsanne to try?

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