Your One Stop Guide to Charcuterie Wine Pairings
Charcuterie. On its own it's a good thing. But when paired with a complementary wine? You've got yourself a whole new level. Unfortunately, things can get tough when you're dealing with meats and cheeses that you're not super familiar with (what the heck is a Calabrese anyway?). Don't worry - we've got you. Here's your charcuterie cheat sheet that'll make sure you've got the perfect pairing for everything on your board.
Pairing with Prosciutto
A few slices of rich, salty, gorgeous prosciutto is a must-have on any charcuterie board. Add in some Jamon Iberico and it's even better. The trick to pairing any of these cured, fatty, and thinly sliced meats is balance. Have a salty meat? Go with a light wine. You want something fruity with just the right amount of acidity. Riesling is an excellent bet, or maybe a Chenin Blanc or Moscato. Got a crowd who loves a rose? Pick a Rose Cava to bring out your ham's underlying sweetness.
Pairing with Salami
If your guests are slicing up a nice, smoky salami, you'll want something rustic to go with it. Here's the place for reds to shine: try a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Petite Sirah, or a Malbec. The tannins will play nicely with your sausage's smoky flavors. Or go global! You can find salami from all over the world, or even from your own neighborhood. Choose wines from the same location as your salami for an international feast.
Pairing with Pate
Going fancy, are we? Good! Your pate wine pairing will depend greatly on the type of spread you're setting out. Do you have a light mousse (rather than something sliced)? Go for a rich, full-bodied pinot gris. Try pairing a dryer red wine like a Lambrusco with rustic Pate de Campagne. Or… just keep it simple. A good Pinot Noir will play well with any pate you put out, as well as with all the other meats on offer. Mellow, fruity, and just the right amount of acidic, you really can't go wrong with Pinot Noir.
Pairing with Cheese
There's an art to pairing wine and cheese. It's easy to get in a little over your head. So instead of trying to pair a wine to your cheese, look at it the other way around. Choose your meats and the wines to go with them, then choose your cheese according to your wine. Here are a few ideas based on the wines we've covered above.
Riesling: Pairing your prosciutto with a nice sweet Riesling? Nestle a wedge of blue cheese or a pile of feta on your board.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Depending on your Cabernet's age, go with an aged cheese or a semi-firm variety. Young cabernets love an aged cheddar, while older varietals are perfect with aged gouda. Going with a big, bold, cab? Set out an aged Gruyere and everyone will be happy.
Pinot Noir: Here's a place for softer cheeses to shine. A nice Brie or Camembert will be your Pinot Noir's new best friend. Enjoy!