It’s Barbecue time! Now if you are like me, you’ll grill just about anything – salmon, steaks, burgers, pizza. I even know a guy who likes grill marks on his pancakes. There is one thing that just belongs on the grill, smoker or bbq and that is pork. Whether you are grilling up pork chops on a Wednesday or doing a whole pig roast (like we are doing Saturday) one wine I think works just as well with pulled pork sandwiches or Ribs is Barbera.
Barbera comes from the north of Italy, near the German border. High up in the foothills of the Alps they eat a lot of pork, sausages and Prosciutto. Barbera is generally lower in alcohol and distinguished by soft tannin, a bright sweet tart cherry character and certain roundness. These qualities make Barbera an easy wine to pair with many different dishes from Thanksgiving turkey to Pizza to Cuban style pulled pork sandwiches.
One of our favorites is the Barbera from Scarpetta. Scarpetta is owned by a Sommelier and a Chef so these wines are naturally made to go with food.
Scarpetta 2014 Barbera del Monferrato DOC $14.99
Made in collaboration with Fabrizio Iuli in Monferrato, Piemonte this Barbera is medium bodied with low tannins but bright acidity, giving it wonderful balance. Monferrato is the birthplace for Barbera, and historically unlike the rest of Piedmonte, its top cuvees are frequently Barbera. Hence, for good reason, Barbera from Monferrato is celebrated for its balance of fruit, terroir and acidity. The high acidity and low tannins let this wine work with everything from a pizza or homemade pasta to a piece of beef or pork.
Here is a version you can make at home no matter what the weather.
Cuban Roast Pork Sandwich
Rolls – hoagie, ciabatta, slider buns
Butter for rolls
Cilantro Garlic mayo (Recipe Follows)
Roast pork (see below)
Coleslaw (recipe follows)
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 oz. rum
3 lb. pork shoulder
*****Cilantro Garlic mayo
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Lemon, juice
Salt and pepper as needed
1 cup mayonnaise
1½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¾ teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ medium green cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
½ medium red cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled; julienned or grated
- In Ziploc bag large enough for pork combine orange juice pork, orange juice, garlic and spices and let marinated overnight.
- In a large roasting pan place pork and marinade cover and roast for 3 – 4 hours until meat falls apart. Remove from oven. With two forks shred pork,
- To make mayonnaise: in bowl of food processor combine cilantro, garlic, lemon juice and mayo season if necessary.
- In a large cast iron pan melt butter and add onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until soft and caramelized about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- For coleslaw: whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, celery seeds, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to combine. Add green and red cabbage and carrots to dressing and toss to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- To assemble sandwich: brush hoagies with butter and toast or grill.
- Spread hoagies with cilantro Mayo then pork, mustard, onions and pickles. Top with coleslaw.