Chorizo Sausage pairs best with fresh Spanish red wines such as Crianza Ribera del Duero, Menica, Navarra and Crianza Rioja. Malbec, Syrah and Pinotage also make excellent pairings, especially if the Chorizo Sausage is part of a savoury recipe like an slow cooked stew or casserole containing Chorizo.
Chorizo is a highly seasoned pork-based sausage that has many variations across the globe. Spain, for example, uses smoked pork, whereas Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Argentina and even Louisiana have their own versions that rely on local ingredients to season.
In general, however, Chorizo will be spicy, high in fat, salty, smoky and full of calories. Spanish Chorizo is often red in colour due to the spice mix containing lots of smoked paprika.
Young red wines that are fruity provide refreshment against the salt and fattiness of the Chorizo sausage and add a contrasting fruit flavour. The higher acidity of these young wines also mellows out any heat in the seasonings and spices. If your Chorizo is part of a larger recipe, such as Spanish Rice with Chorizo, Chorizo and bacon stuffed Salmon, Sautéed Chorizo with peppers and onions wrapped in a burrito, Chorizo and corn soup, or Jambalaya with Chorizo, you’ll often want the aged versions of these wines as they have more complexity to complement the earthier notes of these dishes.
Best Wine with Chorizo Sausage
|Red Wine||Chénas - Beaujolais Cru||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Navarra||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Pinotage||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Rioja, Red||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Mencía||Chorizo Sausage||
|Sherry||Sherry, Manzanilla||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Ribera del Duero - Crianza||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Garnacha Tinta||Chorizo Sausage||
|White Wine||Albariño||Chorizo Sausage||
|White Wine||Chardonnay||Chorizo Sausage||
|Sparkling Wine||Sparkling Wine||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Shiraz||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Syrah||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Tempranillo||Chorizo Sausage||
|Red Wine||Malbec||Chorizo Sausage||
Crianza Ribera del Duero & Chorizo Pairing
Crianza Ribera del Duero is perfect with Tapas, where you’ll often find Chorizo used in multiple instances. Crianza Ribera del Duero is a young version of the wine, and it’s incredibly food-friendly with fruity flavours of black cherry, blackberries, black currants and figs. You’ll also find a hint of earthiness that complements the smoky seasonings found in your Chorizo sausage.
Ribera del Duero also comes aged, such as a Reserva Ribera del Duero, or Gran Reserva Ribera del Duero. These wines will be expensive and aren’t well suited towards Tapas as they are more complex and deep. These aged wines are much higher in tannin due to longer exposure to oak, so they may also make the spicier hot seasonings in Chorizo burn hotter. Thus, you’re better off pairing these aged wines with Chorizo dishes where is an minor but flavourful ingredient, such as pork tenderloin stuffed with citrus and Chorizo sausage, or wild boar stew with Chorizo.
Crianza Rioja & Chorizo Sausage Pairing
Rioja is incredibly similar to Ribera del Duero as both wines use the Tempranillo grape as its base. When young, Rioja is medium-bodied and refreshingly fun with berry notes of black cherries, blackberries, plums and cassis. Rioja will also feature notes of smoke, earth, leather and vanilla. When aged longer, Rioja will become more complex and tannic, and won’t pair as well with Chorizo. You’ll be able to decipher if the Rioja is aged by the price (it’ll be be expensive), or labeled Reserva or Gran Reserva.
Young Rioja – called Crianza Rioja, works much better with Spanish Chorizo Sausage as the wine’s fruitier flavours mellow out Sausage’s spicy notes. Meanwhile, the wine has just the right amount of smoke and earth to complement the seasonings. Young Rioja has enough spunk to pair up nicely with other dishes where Chorizo is a component, such as a Pasta featuring Chorizo, Chorizo in a breakfast wrap, or a Chorizo with Chickpeas dish.
Rioja is also perfect with Tapas or with a Charcuterie Board, where you’ll often find Chorizo sausage accompanied by other cured meats and cheeses.
Pinotage and Chorizo Pizza Pairing
Pinotage is a South African red wine that is loaded with raspberry, blackberry, cherry and savoury meat flavours that are all wrapped up in a sweet but smoky finish. Basically, Pinotage is a drinkable version of BBQ sauce (I’m exaggerating here of course, in an attempt to be funny). With a moderate zing of acidity, Pinotage will be wonderful with Pizza containing Chorizo sausage. Pinotage’s smoky and black pepper notes will complement the earthier sausage seasonings, while the refreshing fruit flavours and acidity cut through the fat and salt.
It’s an absolute must to buy a Pinotage from a reputable producer, as when made poorly, this wine will smell like nail polish remover. Producers of Pinotage that I’ve had good look with include Kanonkop, Simonsig, Spice Route, Fairview and Beyerskloof.
Syrah and Chorizo Sausage Pairing
Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape. Syrah (at least when produced in France) refers to an old-world approach to the wine where it focuses more on savoury meat and herbal flavours and earthiness. By comparison New-World Shiraz is much more fruit-forward. Both styles feature ripe fruit and black pepper notes, however, the fruit is much more restrained for Syrah.
While I prefer young and fruity Spanish red wines with Chorizo, I mention Syrah, as it is much more accessible. Syrah isn’t going to be as food-friendly as a young Rioja or Ribera del Duero, but for savoury Chorizo dishes, such as a Chorizo based pasta (that isn’t too heavy in tomato sauce), or a hearty stew or casserole containing Chorizo, Syrah, will be a winner.
I love the old-world versions of Syrah from Southern Rhone because this is a savoury wine. On the nose, you’ll smell cured meats and bacon, which complement the Chorizo Sausage flavours. You also get plenty of spice, black pepper, herbs and smoke, which, once again, mirror the Chorizo Sausage seasonings. Finally, while not jammy, Syrah has lovely blackberry, blueberry and raspberry flavours to help wash the sausage notes down.
If you are not a fan or earthier or ‘dirtier’ wines, or you feel like I’m making French Syrah sound like it tastes like Salami, stick to a California Syrah or Australian Shiraz, which are more fruit-forward and geared towards North American tastes.