While you may have mastered how to select a good wine, the next challenge is what to pair with it. There is an overwhelming plethora of cheese, fruit, nuts, and cured meats out there, which can make pairing charcuterie and wine an even more daunting task. To help you create the perfect pairings, below is a list of charcuterie and their pairing recommendations. With these guidelines in mind, you will be sure to craft a plate that will please every palate!
Prosciutto or Jamon Iberico
High grades of jamon iberico are known for their sweet, nutty acorn flavor, whereas prosciutto has a slightly saltier taste. Both, however, are salted, cured, fatty, and thinly sliced meats.
In terms of wine pairings, you can eat them alongside red or white — as long as the white is not too bright or acidic. For example, you could pair a rose Cava with the jamon iberico to complement the subtle sweetness of the meat. Crianza Rioja would serve well as a red wine because of its dry flavor and nutty richness.
Salumi is a charcuterie staple because it is packed with flavor and easy to prepare. Also, there is a wide selection of salamis, from French to Italian varieties.
You will want to pair salumi with a fruit red wine, but not one that is overly tannic. Barbera and Barbaresco are both excellent choices since they have some balancing acidity to cut through all the fat.
Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Pate
While foie gras is traditionally paired with sweeter white wines, when you combine the foie gras with the more rustic chicken liver pate, you can opt for a variety of whites that are not overly oaked and have bright acidity.
If the pate is hearty, you could even pair it with a dry Lambrusco because its dry red, musky fruit and carbonation will cut the richness. If it’s a gamier pate, you could try earthy, but not too heavy reds, like Pinot Noir.
Rillettes is a very rich pork because once the meat is shredded, it is cooked in fat, and then mixed with more fat to form a paste as it cools. Rillettes is usually a spread used on bread or crackers and is typically prepared with spices and dried herbs.
Rillettes can also be paired with Sauternes to add a nice contrast to the meat’s rusticity. Or, you could pair it with some lesser-known white wines called Assyrtiko and Albarino.
Lardo is essentially meat fat. Since it is mostly fat and salt, you want to avoid wines that are overly complex. A perfect and simple pairing for lardo is champagne, which will be enhanced by the fat and salts contained in the lardo.
Cheeses & Other Additions
Classic charcuterie plates will also include items such as cheese, pickled vegetables, sweet fruit pastes, and nuts. Explore the different varieties to determine how they can best enhance your charcuterie spread!