The salty, smoky, crispy, crunchy awesomeness of bacon hardly needs help attracting attention these days. Whether it’s alongside eggs at brunch, on sandwiches, with pasta or all by its lonesome self, the fascination, application, appreciation, enthusiasm and love for bacon has reached epic proportions.
So how can we take this savoury product of the pig and make it even better?
By pairing it with wines that are every bit as craving-worthy, satisfying and delicious – that’s how.
Here’s our definitive guide to pairing your favourite vinous treasures with bacon; 7 of bacon’s greatest hits and our definitive guide to wine and bacon pairing:
1.) ORIGINAL CRISPY THICK SLICED BACON AT BRUNCH
Wine Pairing: Champagne & Sparkling Wine
What better way to kick-start this list than with a flute of bubbly at brunch. Whether we’re talking about the gorgeous soft poached eggs and ham in eggs benny, or just the salty, crunchy beauty of a couple of strips of bacon next to eggs sunny side up, a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine offers the perfect freshness, acidity and vibrant texture for your adventures with bacon at brunch.
2.) CLASSIC ST LAWRENCE MARKET / TORONTO STYLE PEAMEAL ON A BUN
Wine Pairing: Off-Dry Riesling
Each meaty and satisfying bite of this Toronto classic screams for a mouthful of bright, fruity and refreshing Riesling. Riesling and pig, broadly speaking, tends to be a marriage made in heaven, but you find the slightly off-dry Rieslings offer the perfect and appropriately unpretentious (and gulp-able!) partner alongside a big old peameal on a bun.
3.) PANCETTA & PASTA CARBONARA
Wine Pairing: Unoaked Chardonnay / Chablis
What happens when you take the Italian rift on bacon and wrap it in a luscious all-enveloping hug from a few egg yolks? You get this classic pasta. Delicious tender noodles surrounded by a rich, decadent sauce with the briny and savoury infusion of salted pork. With all this richness and decadence, a crispy and refreshing mouthful of lightly oaked Chardonnay from a cooler climate is the right call.
4.) PROSCIUTTO AND MELON
Wine Pairing: Chenin Blanc / Vouvray
An iconic example of the virtues of savoury and sweet uniting to offer a perfect way to get your palate warmed up at the beginning of a meal. And there may be no match on this list as electrifying as a glass of off-dry (or demi-sec) Vouvray with all its intense sweet fruit flavours and vibrant acidity to offer yet another counterpoint to this sensory dance.
5.) BACON WRAPPED STEAK
Wine Pairing: Traditionally styled Rioja Reds
Just in case you were worried that our greatest hits list was going to exclude red wines – don’t fret! Classic, old-school Rioja reds offer an incredible array of spicy, leathery, smoky aromatics that make these wines the undeniable choice to serve next to a fine piece of beef wrapped in bacon. Bottles with a bit of age – like Reservas and Gran Reservas – will take this dish to the next level!
6.) SMOKED HAM
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir / Red Burgundy
Whether you’re planning a big family meal at Christmas or Easter – or just another Wednesday night dinner, the refreshing cranberry, red cherry and raspberry fruit flavours in these medium to lighter bodied reds are a delicious choice next to a beautiful farm fresh smoked ham. The elegant and refreshing nature of Pinot Noirs produced in cooler climates offer exactly the right mix when served with this rich and smoky meat.
7.) COBB SALAD
Wine Pairing: Gewurztraminer
With all this talk of bacon we better get some vegetables onto the list to keep things healthy-ish! Between rich avocado, smoky bacon, full-flavoured blue cheese and sweet tomato, it’ll take one dynamo of a wine to stand up to this challenge. And that’s where Gewurztraminer enters the conversation. This is a complex wine offering both richness and freshness, often in equal measure. This complicated wine is the perfect match for such a complex array of flavours. Expressions with a touch of sweetness and bright acidity are the best choices.
P.S. – just in case we’ve tweaked your interest and left you with a bit of a bacon craving – here’s a fabulous list of 20 brilliant ways to increase your bacon intake, pronto!