Christmas Pairings: Pairing wine and suckling pig

Only a week until the great Christmas day, and at Decántalo we are continuing to develop our copious menu with the objective of offering the best options for pairing wine with our favourite traditional recipes.

After savouring the taste of a good soup, the best seafood, a delicate sea bream and a traditional Christmas turkey, we hope that you still have an appetite to enjoy one of the most traditional dishes of our gastronomy, that is usually a Christmas classic these days. We are talking about the delicious suckling pig. At Decántalo we have some tricks for the preparation as well as some ideas and suggestions for pairing wine and suckling pig. You will love them!

vino-y-cochinilloSpectacular suckling pig in the Segovia style. ©Bonvehi

The suckling pig is very typical in the centre of Spain, in almost all of the Segovia and Ávila provinces, in Castille and Leon. The idea is to use a small suckling pig (one that only drinks milk) and cook it in the oven in order to get the best contrast between the skin staying crispy and the meat, that will stay tender.

Traditionally it is cooked in a wood-burning oven, that keeps the special flavour of the meat, but also you can prepare it it in an electric oven, more common in houses, and it also achieves a spectacular result.

The best thing about this dish is that the animal is in the limelight, only adding water, salt and some aromatic herbs to its cooking. The suckling pig has to be split in half from head to tail. Prepare it with a mix of rock salt, thyme, oregano and pork fat which covers all of the skin on the outside.

Preheat the oven to 150 ºC and put the suckling pig in a deep oven proof dish, add  a glass of water and laurel leaves but take care that it does not moisten the skin that is facing upwards. For an hour and a half moisten the suckling pig with fat and its own juices.

After this time the suckling pig is almost ready, only need to brown the skin. Turn the oven up to 190ºC and leave for 20 minutes. Cut the suckling pig – the final test of the grand finale is to use a plate instead of a knife – and serve it with your own sauce.

For pairings of wine and suckling pig we have a huge spectrum of possibilities from red wines to whites, fortified wines to sparkling wines; this article presents you with three options for pairing wine and suckling pig. We hope that you find the result useful!

Mauro 2012. One of the basic rules for this pairing is that you would be able to summarise it in the following sentence “If they grow together, eat them together”. So in this context, we would recommend a good Castilian wine. In this case, we have opted for Mauro 2012. A great and powerful wine, profound and robust but marked by a fruity character and good acidity that helps clean the mouth from mouthful to mouthful…

1583 Albariño de Fefiñanes 2013. Although it may seem strange, many wine lovers trust the Albariño variety and its pairing with a suckling pig. The reason is that a suckling pig has not yet formed adipose tissue therefore a good white wine with a good acidity and structure is a great accompaniment. In this case we suggest this great Albariño de Fefiñanes, it is a symbol of DO Rías Baixas with aging in the barrel for 6 months.

Recaredo Brut de Bruts Brut Nature 2005. We close our suggestions for pairing wine and suckling pig with this spectacular cava from Recaredo, one of the great wineries in Penedés. This brut nature shows complexity, depth, elegance and nuances that bring the gastronomic experience to another level. A luxury for the senses.

We hope that these suggestions are adapted to your preferences. Enjoy your meal!


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