Porchetta is one of those dishes that there is a bit of a tug-of-war over. The French like to take a bit of ownership, but it’s the Italians that have really made it their own. In fact, directly translated, porchetta means ‘little pig’ in Italian. So that’s where I’m heading for our wine pairings.

Pork is a very versatile meat, in that it pairs well with both white and red, so it’s a great one to serve at a dinner party if you have a clearly divided ‘team white’ and ‘team red’.

Whatever colour you chose though, one of the key characteristics that we are looking for in the wine is really good acidity, a refreshing flavour profile that cuts through that rich salt and fat content of the meat. Neven also has a lovely range of herbs and the wine should complement those savoury flavours.

First up for white wine lovers is Verdicchio. This dry, crisp wine is typically paired with seafood such as salty anchovies or fried calamari. What’s the common thread here? Salt and fat, which is why I thought, give this a go with our porchetta. The gush of minerality and aromatic fresh fruit flavours presented pleasant proof that what grows together, goes together.

Silence of the lambs

My personal preference for a porchetta pairing, however, has to be red. Chianti garnered international fame with that classic line from Silence of the Lambs: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

Porchetta seems like a much more delicious pairing. Again, Chianti has really refreshing red fruit flavours that work with the saltiness of the meat but it also has good tannins which break down the protein molecules. It’s a moreish mix that will have you licking your lips.

Castellore Verdicchio. Aldi, €7.49

With a good gush of acidity, this dry white wine has fresh fruit flavours of citrusy lemon and juicy peach. But even though this is a light-bodied wine, it has got good complexity to offer with a touch of oily texture and a rounded almond finish. Well balanced and at a really accessible price point.

Marotti Campi Albiano Verdicchio dei Castelli. O’Briens Wines, €15.95

From an award-winning family-run estate in Italy’s Marche region, this wine really proves what Verdicchio is capable of. Apple, pear, apricots and zesty citrus fruit are backed up with a tasty minerality. Another example of those almond flavours shining through with good herbaceous notes, which makes it a very food friendly wine. In fact, I would argue this wine is better with food than without.

Campomaggio Chianti Classico. Simply Better range at Dunnes Stores, €17.49, on special at €13.99 until 14 February

What really stands out with this wine is its smoothness. Yes, it’s fruit forward with black cherries and nuances of red fruits but it has a really impressive hint of balsamic. The partial ageing in oak barrels has helped it achieve silky smooth tannins that give this wine a really lovely long finish. Perfect if you’re planning to impress with this spread on Valentine’s Day.

San Felice Chianti Classico. O’Briens Wines, €19.95

The people at O’Briens know how to pick their wine as this is from another award-winning and sustainably managed winery. This is a wine that really shows what the Chianti region is capable of with big juicy flavours of red berries, plum and a touch of tart cherry. It’s complemented by herbaceous notes and a touch of smoke, but it’s the impressive acidity and well-structured tannins that really strike a chord.

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