What Kind Of Drink Should You Serve With Pork Chops? We Asked An Expert

Pork chops stand center-stage in many great recipes, and the best way to maximize the deliciousness of this lean, succulent cut of meat is with the perfect drink. Mashed spoke to Jessica King — co-owner and operator at Lilou, Brother Wolf, and Osteria Stella in Knoxville, Tennessee — who shared her recommendations for great pork and beverage pairings.

The key to food-and-drink pairing is to recognize and complement a dish's unique flavor profile. When it comes to pork, King says you should look for a wine that is "light-bodied, mildly aromatic, and nothing that may overpower the subtle resonance of a perfectly prepared chop." For example, chardonnay is a great choice that goes well with pork chops prepared with citrusy ingredients or sauces. Other perfect pairings include Riesling and Pinot Grigio, both acidic wines with a slight sweetness that accentuates flavor and cuts through the fattiness of pork.

No matter which wine or beverage you choose, King recommends chilling. "If the food is served hot, the beverage should almost always serve to cool the palate in preparation for the next bite," she advises.

How to pair your pork chops without alcohol

Pairings can be tough for non-drinkers, as the recommendations often contain alcohol. When Mashed asked Jessica King about this, she suggested "a sparkling non-alcoholic wine or grape juice, split with seltzer to dampen the sweetness, and a twist of lemon is a lovely alternate pairing.‌" White wines tend to pair better with pork, because of their lightness and varying levels of acidity, so pick up a sparkling white non-alcoholic wine if you plan to mix up this mocktail.

When it comes to pairing non-alcoholic drinks with food, the practice of picking complementary flavors does not change. King's advice about pairing pork with something light and mild, potentially with a splash of apple, also applies to non-alcoholic drinks. If you don't have the ingredients for King's drink, there are plenty of mocktail recipes that you can try. If you want to chase that pork and apple combination, our small-batch apple cider is refreshing and gently spiced without the need for alcohol.