Note Pork cheeks may need to be ordered ahead from specialty butchers. Farro perlato is available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute pearl barley.
Sometimes, a mouthwatering food and wine partnership comes about through pairing contrasting textures in the dish and the drink. This recipe is all about comforting softness: the sweet, gelatinous quality of the pork cheeks; the gentle toothsome satisfaction of the farro; the tenderness of the baby veggies; and the warming heartiness of the broth. You need a wine with some brightness, some juicy acidity, maybe even some light, snappy tannins to cut through all that somnolence. A pinot noir would be good - especially if it's from a cooler climate vineyard, or made in a refreshing rosé style, or both - but the deep savoury quality of the pork and the farro call for a pinot meunier, a red wine with a little more earthiness and undergrowth lurking deep in its flavour profile. Meunier is usually blended with chardonnay and pinot noir to make sparkling wine, but Australia also has a long history of turning this grape into a light but satisfying dry red.