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Cozy up to triple-apple pork chops and a bottle of wine

| Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
An expert advises what wines to pair with this pork-and-apples dish. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

This recipe for pork chops with apple slices, apple cider and applejack is perfect for cold weather, especially when paired with one of these three wines.

It's time to start hoarding winter-friendly recipes, bringing them under the blanket you soon won't be unwrapping from your shoulders until spring. Since cooking and opening wine are both tough jobs when you're blanket-bound, ask your roommate, partner or neighbor to do the heavy lifting here. These pork chops with apple slices, apple cider and applejack will do the trick, especially when paired with one of three beautiful wine selections from sommelier Liz Martinez.

Pork Chops and Triple Apple Threat

Season 2 pork chops with salt. Brown chops in 2 tablespoons bacon fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 small red onion, chopped, to skillet; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, sliced; cook until slices begin to soften, 3 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup apple cider and ¼ cup applejack; return chops to skillet. Simmer until cooked through. Transfer chops and apples to dinner plates. Add 3 tablespoons cream to skillet; simmer until slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chops and apples. Makes: 2 servings

Pairings by sommelier Liz Martinez, of The Purple Pig:

2014 Nino Negri Ca'Brione, Valtellina, Italy: This decadent wine from northeastern Italy combines chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and nebbiolo vinified as a white wine. Its creaminess will bond with the cream in the dish and lift the smokiness of the bacon fat. The acidity in the wine is fresh, reminiscent of green apples, which will cut through the dish's rich flavors and streamline the pairing, highlighting the wine's silky texture and plush body.

2014 Domaine Bonjean Cuvee Gabin, Cotes d'Auvergne, France: A soft, red blend of pinot noir and gamay grape varieties, this wine is vibrant and alive, with tannin that brings out a rosiness.

2014 Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy: This wine, made of nerello mascalese, plays up the dish's smoke and is a step up in complexity from the cuvee above. Its lively acidity provides a juiciness that will pair well with the fat and cream.

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