Party Guaranteed: Pulled Pork and Argentine Wine #WinePW

Smoke a Pork Shoulder for the Family
Want a sure-fire crowd pleaser? Learn how to smoke a pork shoulder (pork butt) for pulled pork sandwiches. Your barbecue skills will become legend. And, (shhh….) it’s easy! Details at the bottom of this post.

Wine Pairing Weekend “Visits” Argentina
January and February 2019 take our Wine Pairing Weekend group on a virtual trip to the southern hemisphere with Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Take a look further down in this post for a whole host of food pairing ideas for Argentine Wines.

I think Otto of the North snitched a few bites of pulled pork, hence the wagging tail!

Party Guarantee
When you’re hosting a group, a sure winner is home smoked pulled-pork sandwiches. For drinks, Argentine wines are sure-fire crowd pleasers. As a combination, you’ll have a tough time beating barbecue and Argentine wines. Bingo!

Zuccardi and Santa Julia wines will please many palates and are easy on the wallet. Perfect for a party!

Over the holidays, we hosted a fun family event and I took advantage of the opportunity to test out my thesis. Result: pork disappeared, no leftovers. Wine bottles empty, happy and lively conversation all evening. Thesis proved!

Home smoked pulled pork sandwich with a mustard based Carolina-style sauce. Topped with slaw and washed down with a nice Malbec from Santa Julia. Party Pleaser!

Zuccardi and Bodega Santa Julia
I would usually share some information from the  Zuccardi Wines and Bodega Santa Julia websites here, but I had a reason to be extra excited about these wines. In 2017, I attended a terroir session at a local wine shop who was hosting Martin di Stefano from Zuccardi Wines. Martin gave us a guided tour of the differing terroirs at Zuccardi, primarily focusing on the effect of alluvial fans (ancient river beds) on the flavor of the wines. Fascinating! I purchased bottles that day and have enjoyed their wines on several occasions since.

(click on any photo below to see full size slide show. Hit escape to return to the post)

Disclosure: The wines for this post were thoughtfully provided as samples by Winesellers, Ltd, Zuccardi Wines and Bodega Santa Julia. No other compensation was involved. All opinions are mine.

Zuccardi Q Tempranillo

Zuccardi Q Tempranillo “Old Vineyard Lots” Santa Rosa 2013 (sample, $20 SRP or online here)
Eye: Slightly hazy (likely unfiltered) medium intensity. Ruby with a garnet edge, lightly stained legs
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Dark fruit, ripe blueberries, blackberries. Cocoa, a bit of pepper, vanilla and coconut. Just a hint of a bit of smoke, far in the background. Fruit forward, with nice secondary aromas.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity flavors. Medium+ acidity, medium tannins. Medium body, medium alcohol. Ripe fruit registers first with those dark fruits, backed up with the cocoa and pepper. Overall impression is of a nice international style, but with restraint. Fruit is clearly in front, with multiple aromas and flavors surrounding. Nice medium+ length finish. 14% abv.

Santa Julia Chardonnay

Santa Julia Chardonnay “made with organic grapes” 2018 (sample, $11 SRP or online here)
Eye: Clear, medium lemon yellow
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Lemon, hints of fresh garden herbs, just a touch of vanilla, not overpowering
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. High acidity, medium body, medium alcohol. Flavors of lemon and pineapple. Crisp texture. Nice medium+ finish of lemon curd and pineapple. Ready to drink right now. 14% abv. A crowd pleaser for the white wine crowd, and a surprisingly nice wine for a picky Chardonnay drinker (me).

Santa Julia Malbec – made with organic grapes!

Santa Julia Malbec “made from organic grapes” 2018 (sample, $11 SRP or online here)
Eye: Clear, deep purple with a purple edge and rich staining of the wine glass. Richly stained legs
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity. First impression is floral with violets, the fruit is strawberries and blueberries. Behind the floral and fruit is a bit of forest floor.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ flavor intensity. Medium- acidity, medium tannins. Medium+ body, medium+ alcohol. Flavors of red and blue fruits, fresh and ripe. Not overly plush or soft with no overt notes of oak in the aroma or flavors. Medium- finish. Very drinkable right now. I was very impressed with such a nice wine for this price point, and hand harvested organic grapes to boot.

It’s fun to pull the pork apart (use gloves as the pork is hot!).

Wine Pairing Weekend Visits Argentina (Virtually of Course)
Join our group posts and discussion on Saturday Jan. 12 at 10am CST. You can find us on Twitter at the #WinePW hashtag.

The dark outer layer of the pork is known as “bark”. It adds a great crunch and smoky flavor to the finished pulled pork.

Smoked Pork Shoulder – an All-Day Affair
Pork shoulder (a.k.a. Pork Butt) is one of the most forgiving items to smoke. It takes time, but you’re virtually guaranteed a success, even on your first try. You need a grill you can hold at around 250° F for hours at a time. Your current grill is most likely capable of this, give it a try! The most comprehensive website for learning the craft of slow smoked barbecue is Amazing Ribs. I always use their advice as the best available. You’ll need time, this is a get up early (or start the night before) process, but it’s easy and you don’t need to fuss with the grill every minute. Give it a try, you’ll have a new Party Guarantee!

One of the things I enjoy is the many directions you can take your pulled pork, depending on the wine and the crowd.  I’ve served it with old world wines with a simple addition of carmelized onions and dijon mustard. Sweet and spicy tomato based sauce is super popular and pairs nicely with Zinfandel. Today, the Zuccardi and Santa Julia wines paired beautifully with a mustard-based Carolina BBQ sauce, the recipe is here. A little different from the typical sauce, everyone raved over it. Another party success!



29 Responses to “Party Guaranteed: Pulled Pork and Argentine Wine #WinePW”
  1. Looks like a blast. Love your pork! Sounds like great pairings.

  2. Jill Barth says:

    Love this — so Jason and Kennedy and I all watch Steven Raichlen pretty regularly and just last night we saw a grill/smoker that made me think of you. And then I thought of Otto! This looks fantastic, something we can all drool over. Great post, beautiful as always…love images of people enjoying life and loved ones (and food and wine).

  3. crynning says:

    What a great pairing! It’s terrific to read so many recipes that complement Malbec from Argentina! Thanks, Jeff!

  4. Suzanne Hoffman says:

    As always, a great post. I’m anxiously awaiting summer (hopefully a little wetter) to fire up the Big Green Egg to make the pork!

  5. One day I must come to dine with you my friend! Cheers!

  6. deanna says:

    I am thoroughly impressed by not only by the wine pairing but your ability to grill in the snow. Meanwhile, in CA, I won’t dare touch my grill in the winter because I think it’s too cold out lol. Reverse seasonal grilling! Love it!

  7. I love pulled pork! Will have to try this method one of these days. I’ve typically either made it in the slow cooker or braised in oven.

  8. Your party looks like a lot of fun! My husband is also a master with pulled pork. He got a smoker from Texas when we lived in San Diego, it was quite the novelty in CA in the ’90s, but here in Atlanta he is just one of the crowd. I completely understand why all the food and wine were consumed!

  9. Vino Travels says:

    I love that you still get out there during these winter months cooking these scrumptious meals. That pulled pork looks fantastic and a wonderful gathering too.

  10. wendyklik says:

    I’m drooling over your pulled pork. I’ll bet it was delicious with the Argentinian wines.

  11. This sounds delicious! I am looking forward to trying some Argentine wine with BBQ!

  12. As always, your food pairing is off the charts. How nice you had a master class from the Zuccardi winemaker to fill in the background on their wines! Thanks for hosting this month.

  13. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    OMG! That pork shoulder looks absolutely INCREDIBLE! I’m sure it was perfect with the wines.

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