Best Wine with Pork and Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is popular in many cultures around the world. It’s traditionally made by mixing shredded cabbage with salt, allowing it to ferment. The result is a tangy and acidic condiment that pairs well with pork, especially when served alongside potatoes or other starches like dumplings or spaetzle (German egg noodles). You might even find it served in sandwich form.

Also known as….

Sauerkraut goes by many names: Choucroute (in French), Kapusta (in Polish), Szalámi (Hungarian) and Sauerkraut (German).

The Germans have long been known for their love of this dish and for good reason. Not only does it taste good, but it’s also an excellent source of vitamin C which boosts immunity during cold weather months by strengthening our bodies’ defenses against infection.

How to pair? Start with the dominant flavor

Sauerkraut is highly acidic, so that’s the dominant flavor you need to pair with it. You need to find a wine that is sweeter than the sauerkraut and less acidic. This will help balance out any bitterness from the cabbage.

Don’t try to find an Austrian wine because the chances are that you won’t like it with pork and sauerkraut. Instead look for something sweeter like Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Both wines that go well with pork dishes

Sweet!

Find a wine that is sweeter than the sauerkraut and less acidic. This is important. Sauerkraut tends to be an acidic food item, so we don’t want to pair it with a wine that has too much acidity. We also don’t want to pair our pork with something that’s too sweet, as it would overpower the flavor of our dish.

The ideal wine for pairing with sauerkraut is one that has just enough sweetness and acidity to complement both food items without overpowering them.

What works?

The best wine to pair with pork and sauerkraut is a sweeter wine, like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, or Vidal Blanc. The lower acidity of these wines will help balance the high acidity from the sauerkraut. Whites like Riesling and Gewürztraminer pair well with both the tangy sauerkraut and savory pork respectively. Gewürztraminers crisp acidity cuts through the fat in your meal while Riesling’s sweetness complements it perfectly.

Look to Alsace

Sauerkraut originates from Germany but the French were quick to adopt it and make it their own. Choucroute is often found on the menu in the restaurants of the France and especially in the Alsace region bordering Germany. It is no surprise then that the French have cultivated some wonderful wines to match choucroute.

  • Alsace Pinot Gris is a great choice for pairing with sauerkraut, pork and potatoes. It has a beautiful balance between acidity and fruit as well as a nice touch of oak that gives it some complexity. You can also try an Alsace Pinot Blanc or Riesling if you’re looking for something lighter.
  • Alsace Riesling with choucroute is a classic pairing that can’t be beat. The acidity of the wine works well with the sourness of the sauerkraut and the fruitiness brings out some sweetness in the dish. This is one of those pairings where you really can’t go wrong.
  • Alsace Sylvaner is a good pairing for choucroute as well, especially if you’re looking for something that’s a little lighter. Sylvaner has a nice fruitiness and acidity as well as some complexity from the oak that makes it perfect for this dish. It also works well with a lot of other dishes, so it’s a good all-purpose wine that you can keep in your cellar.

What you should avoid!

Sauerkraut and pork are a classic combination, but if you’re pairing wine with this dish, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, avoid Pinot Noir or Merlot. Both of these wines have notes that can clash with the sourness of sauerkraut. They’re also too acidic and sweet to complement pork well.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve learned how to approach pairing wine with pork and sauerkraut. It’s important to note that not all wines will go well with these two ingredients. So make sure you’re using a sweeter wine like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer. However, my own preference is to opt for the Alsace wines that are served with choucroute in the region. I’d recommend the Alsace Pino Gris or the Alsace Riesling in particular. These wines are made for choucroute/sauerkraut and work extremely well.

Recommended Recipe

Not sauerkraut but it’s Alsace equivalent choucroute. This excellent and highly-rated recipe by Jacques Pepin is a classic. Pair this with an Alsace Pinot Gris or Alsace Riesling and you have a pairing that is difficult to beat.

For more pork and wine pairings check out my other posts on the Best wines for Pork Roast.