Simple yet delicious Grilled Paprika Pork Chops make an excellent companion for a bottle of Rioja red wine from Spain. We share this recipe and wine pairing as part of the Wine Pairing Weekend focus on Rioja today. Disclosure: The wine described in this article was provided as a complimentary sample by the winery.
Today our Wine Pairing Weekend theme is “Rioja & BBQ”, taking a look at how the highly regarded Spanish red wine pairs with grilled foods.
I quickly landed on pork as the meat I’d put on the grill to pair with our Rioja. Preparing pork chops with a simple rub featuring paprika, a spice common in Spanish cooking seemed natural.
Checking out some articles on matching Rioja with food, such as this one from Fiona Beckett,confirmed that I was on the right track with my Grilled Paprika Pork Chops. The article suggests pork as well as lamb as meats to pair with Rioja.
Fiona also suggests that young Riojas can be good paired with spicier food. Our Paprika Pork Chops aren’t super spicy, but definitely flavorful. So more evidence suggesting we had a good pairing in the making.
We served our Grilled Paprika Pork Chops with some sautéed spinach and quinoa for a delicious, easy meal. Our Spanish Roasted Potatoes could also be a nice side dish for this recipe.
Lan Crianza Rioja with Paprika Pork Chops
We were provided with a bottle of the 2015 LAN Crianza Rioja ($14, 13.5% ABV) for this #winePW event. I think of Rioja as being made from Tempranillo grapes. I learned that while Tempranillo is the dominant grape in a Rioja red wine, other grapes can be blended.
The LAN Crianza is made from a blend of 96% Tempranillo and 4% Mazuelo, the term for Carignan in Rioja. The grapes come from select vineyards in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, aged between 10 and 20 years. The is fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged in a unique hybrid barrel comprised of American and French oak. More details on the LAN Crianza can be found on the winery website.
Tasting LAN Crianza Rioja with Paprika Pork Chops
Let’s talk about tasting this Rioja!
- Color: Deep inky purple in the glass.
- Nose: Vanilla and spices on the nose.
- Body: A full bodied red wine, long finish.
- Palate: Jammy, cherry fruit taste with a bit of vanilla. Also can pick up a bit of the oak element that comes from the aging process. Spices on the finish
- Pairing: This LAN Rioja is definitely a good partner for grilled meat! The wine has the heft to stand up to the pork chops, and the nuanced flavor profile matches the spices from our pork chop rub, and the smoky flavors that come from grilling.
About Bodegas LAN
Bodegas LAN has been making wines in the Rioja region of Spain since 1972. The winery takes its name from the three provinces that comprise the Rioja region: Logroño (now La Rioja), Álava and Navarra.
The LAN Crianza that we tasted is part of the LAN range series that works with trusted suppliers in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa areas. The LAN series offers some great values — certainly the LAN Crianza we tasted is a great option for an under $15 BBQ wine!
In addition, Bodegas LAN produces a series of estate wines and some other special bottlings. Learn more at the winery website.
Grilled Paprika Pork Chops
Grilled Paprika Pork Chops feature a simple rub for an easy to make recipe full of flavor. Excellent paired with a Rioja red wine.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 17 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: Spanish
- 2 pork chops, approximately 1 inch think
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅔ teaspoon salt
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- Make the rub: combine the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pinch of saffron in a bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Set the pork chops on a large plate, and sprinkle roughly half of the rub to cover one side of the meat. Work the rub into the meat, then turn the pork chops over. Rub the remainder of the spice mix into the pork.
- Let the paprika pork chops sit a room temperate as you heat a grill to medium high heat, about 10 minutes.
- When the grill is ready, coat the grill with oil spray, then place the pork chops on direct heat. Grill covered for 6 minutes. Turn the pork chops over, and grill for another 6 minutes. Check for doneness — pork should be cooked to at least 145 degrees followed by a 3 minute rest time.
- When the chops are done, allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a glass of Rioja!
- Grilling time will vary based on the thickness of your pork chops. Our bone in pork chops were a bit thicker than 1 inch.
- The 145 internal temperature recommendation for pork doneness is relatively new. As this article from Pork Checkoff explains, this leads to meat with more pink than you might have grown up eating. A bit of pinkness in the pork tends to lead to a more flavorful pork chop.
- Our Spanish Roasted Potatoes would make a nice side dish here!
- Smoked paprika is a good option here especially if pairing with Rioja. But you could use other paprika on hand.
Keywords: paprika pork chops, foods to pair with Rioja, grilled pork chops recipes
Rioja and BBQ from the #WinePW Bloggers
Be sure to check out all the articles below for more ideas for pairing Rioja with BBQ favorites! If you come to this article in time, you can also join our live Twitter chat on Saturday, July 16 at 11 am EDT by following the #winePW tag.
- Deanna at Asian Test Kitchen shares “Vegan BBQ: 3 Ideas to Pair with Crianza Rioja“.
- Lori at Exploring the Wine Glass shares “A Father’s Passion is Passed Down to Daughter and Expressed in Bottle“
- David from Cooking Chat shares “Grilled Paprika Pork Chops with a Rioja”
- Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Grilled Sausage Feast Paired with Rioja Crianza“
- Lauren at The Swirling Dervish shares “Paella and Bodegas LAN: Perfect for Your Summer BBQ“
- Jill at L’Occasion shares “On the Grill with Rioja Wine“
- Jennifer at Vino Travels Italy shares “Oven Roasted Italian Sausage with Rioja Riserva“
- Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog shares “Grilled Garam Masala Lamb Chops paired with Bodega LAN Reserva“
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass shares “Keep your cool with grilled steak salad and Rioja“
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Robatayaki and Rioja Wines, the Perfect Summertime Party“
- Pinny at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill“
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Our Favorite BBQ Ribs with LAN Rioja“
- Gwen at Wine Predator shares “An American Summer BBQ with Spanish Rioja Wine: LAN Crianza and Beronia Rosado“
- Nicole at Somm’s Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva with Smoky Seared Octopus”
- Rupal at Syrah Queen shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja with Canjun Butter Steak”
- Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Smoking Low & Slow with Rioja Wines“