Alsace Riesling with Pork Country Ribs and Sauce Nénette #Winophiles #AlsaceRocks

The French Winophiles Dig Into Alsace with #AlsaceRocks

This month the French Winophiles are collaborating with the kind folks at Alsace Wines in their summer promotion, Alsace Rocks! This post is one in a series of four wine pairing challenges for Alsace wines with American dishes.

Pairing #1: Alsace Riesling Loves Pork
We visited Alsace in late fall 2016, and we had a great time. Beautiful fall weather (!), great hiking, friendly people. We tasted many regional dishes, and I was struck by how much pork figures in to the local cuisine. Ham, ham hock, ham knuckles, about 50 different kinds of sausages, bacon, pork belly. You name it, it was on the menu. We also experienced first hand the perfect pairing with all this porcine goodness: (dry) Alsace Riesling.  As is often the case in French wine regions, any given town, no matter how small, has a number of wineries. You can choose from a wide variety of wines all within a literal stones’ throw from your restaurant. How cool is that?

Our first pairing stayed true to French cuisine and Alsace Riesling + pork. The dish is topped with a classic sauce courtesy of Julia Child.  However, we did give it an American twist.  It’s summer in Minnesota, so we cook at the grill as much as possible. Our Pork Country Ribs with Julia Childs’ Sauce Nénette recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Charles Baur
From the winery: “Charles Baur is located in Eguisheim, in the heart of Alsace, 3 miles away from Colmar. The estate has been in the family since the early 18th century. Arnaud, the son of Armand and Brigitte Baur, joined the family business in 2009, after obtaining a degree in agricultural engineering, with a specialization in winegrowing and oenology. Today, the domaine covers 42 acres of vines, on the finest slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate vicinity. The vineyard also has several plots located in the Grand Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg.”

Jeff’s note: Charles Baur is a Vigneron Indépendant winery, an organization you should definitely be aware of. The Vigneron Independant wineries represent small to medium size growers with a great ethic both toward their vines and toward their customers.  Read a little more here, and look for the symbol, usually on the foil capsule on the wine.

Charles Baur Riesling Cuvee Charles AOC 2015 (sample, $23 SRP)
Eye: Clear, pale lemon
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. A touch of petrol / rubber hose on the nose but just a touch. Fresh lemons and lemon rind.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. Tart lemons, with medium+ acidity, medium- body, medium alcohol. Youthful. Tart with a lingering refreshing finish. Very enjoyable Alsace Riesling, just what I would hope for.

Pork Country Ribs with Julia Childs' Sauce Nénette

The classic pairing with Alsace Riesling is virtually any kind of pork dish. I wanted something classic made with an American twist. Roast pork is classic, so I decided to reverse sear the pork and simultaneously roast potatoes, onions and carrots on the grill.

I set my grill for 1/2 direct heat over the coals, and 1/2 indirect heat with the temperature kept at 325° F on the indirect side. The vegetables and potatoes went into a cast iron skillet over the direct heat while the pork slowly heated to 155° F. When the pork reached 155°, I switched the two and finished the pork over the direct heat of the coals, with the internal temperature completing at 160° F. The meal is finished with a surprising flavorful and lively sauce from a classic Julia Child recipe.

Julia Child’s Sauce Nénette


  • 8 oz. whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp triple concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil sliced thinly (chiffonade)


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce the whipping cream by about 1/3, stirring frequently to prevent any scorching
  • Except the basil, mix in the other ingredients and stir well.
  • Just before serving, mix in about 1/2 the basil, reserving the rest for garnish.

Country Pork Ribs with sauce Nenette served with Alsace Riesling at

5 Responses to “Alsace Riesling with Pork Country Ribs and Sauce Nénette #Winophiles #AlsaceRocks”
  1. I love that you traded traditional roast pork for a grill-friendly pork rib. What type of ribs did you use? I’m not an expert on ribs but would like to try and make this dish – looks delicious!

    • Thanks Lauren. These were marked as country style pork ribs, but they looked a lot like thick cut pork chops to me. The sauce was a surprise treat that made the dish, so don’t skip it!

  2. Surprising pairing! I know they do that in the Alsace, but I haven’t tried pork with riesling myself yet. Did you try the bäckeoffe when you were there?

    • Thanks Olivier. I was a fan of white wine with pork before we visited Alsace, but I wouldn’t have guessed how well the Riesling paired with it. Sadly, I didn’t have bäckeoffe during our visit. We did enjoy the flammekucken and choucroute garni 7 ways.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Unlike their German cousins, Alsace Rieslings are usually dry or nearly so. A classic regional pairing is pork, served in any number of dishes. Are you looking for a great recipe for pork on the grill? Try our pork country ribs with Julia Childs’ sauce nénette recipe, linked here. […]

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