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When you’re wanting a simple yet extravagant selection of food to either eat by yourself or serve to a group of guests. Few options can truly come close to the visual spectacle and variety of delicious tastes and textures that are provided by a charcuterie board. Of course though, when you’re experiencing the diverse delights and flavours that a charcuterie platter provides though, the perfect wine pairing is always something important to consider. As such if you’re debating the best wine for charcuterie then we’ve got your covered with our guide below.
Table of Contents
- What Is Charcuterie?
- What Goes With Charcuterie?
- Best Wine for Charcuterie
- Answered: Best Wine for Charcuterie
- FAQ – Best Wine for Charcuterie
What Is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is a word that originates from France and translates roughly to “pork butcher shop” with the root word charcutier meaning the individual who prepares the meat. That said though, charcuterie boards as a dish are not limited to having pork and in fact, can contain a multitude of different meats and indeed other foods.
With this in mind then charcuterie boards can be incredibly versatile and will often include an assortment of different ingredients. Some of which can be fruits, cheeses crackers, pate, nuts, dips and of course some smokey, salty, sweet or spicy cured meats. These meats though can and often do include beef, pork, chicken and seafood such as salmon.
That said though, your charcuterie board doesn’t need to include all of or even most of these ingredients. For example, you may solely wish to make a meat, fish or even cheese-board that doesn’t include anything else. Even with these types of charcuterie platters though there can be a wide variety of flavours available. As mentioned above cured meat can be incredibly diverse, however, this can also be true with a diverse array of cheeses and crackers.
What Goes With Charcuterie?
When you’re deciding on a charcuterie board to serve for your dinner, there are some fantastic items that you can pair with each other. Naturally, cured meats, seafood, cheeses, fruits and crackers all make for great options. However, you may also be curious about the best wine pairings that are possible to have the best dining experience possible.
Deciding on your charcuterie wine pairing is something of a complex process with a variety of different ways that you can do it. That said though, pairing wine that perfectly complements your main dish can be down by either contrasting or reflecting the main dish.
With charcuterie board and wine pairings though there is an assortment of ways in which this can be done. Some great pairing philosophies though are sweet and spice, acidic and fatty, bold and smokey or a combination of fatty, acidic, salty and spicy all great contrasting choices. Meanwhile lighter wines with light meat and cheese, or creamy with creamy are both wonderful flavour profiles when wanting to lean into a particular mouth feel.
Best Wine for Charcuterie
When you’re making your charcuterie board, the types of ingredients that are used to create the overall package will have a variety of diverse and delicious flavours. Naturally, there are some well-established options to include that are inherently obvious components such as goat cheese or prosciutto. However, charcuterie pairings with various wines can be a less clear choice to make. As such, if you need guidance on the best charcuterie pairing for different wines though then we’ve got some guidance below. No one wine will work best with every type of charcuterie board though. As such, we’ll suggest the best wine pairings for the following types of charcuterie boards.
- Cheese And Wine
- Meat And Wine
- Seafood And Wine
Cheese And Wine
When it comes to wines to pair with cheese there are a variety of options that are available to you that will pair great with different types of wine. As such, when you’ve got a cheese board that you wish to serve then the cheeses that you include should influence the types of wine that you decide to pair with it. As such when deciding on a wine you should determine which of the following categories your cheese falls into:
- Blue Cheese
- Semi Soft Cheese
- Fresh Cheese
- Hard Cheese
Although it is something of an acquired taste, the combination of sharp and tangy flavours with crumbly texture makes for a piece of wonderfully delicious cheese. Some great classic blue cheese options if you’re curious though are stilton, gorgonzola and roquefort.
When you’re wanting to find the perfect wine to pair with your blue cheese though, you are often best to pair it with something that adds a good contrast to the sharp and tangy tastes. As such, a fortified and robust red wine like zinfandel is a great choice. However, a bottle of sweet white wine like Sauternes is a truly wonderful option.
Semi Soft Cheese
Semi-soft cheeses are defined as cheeses that have a water content above thirty-six percent but below forty-five percent. These are often a classic choice for pairing with wine that works excellently well due to their deliciously rich and creamy textures but slightly mild tastes.
Some great options though for semi-soft cheeses though are gruyere, brie, camembert and gouda. All of which will partner wonderfully with a dry white wine like chardonnay or a more rustic red like a young bordeaux. Meanwhile, a buttery chardonnay makes for a wonderfully mirrored option.
Unlike most cheeses, fresh cheese doesn’t have a rind and isn’t aged. As a result is known for having refreshing, mild and tangy flavours to it. Often these will be made with goat, cow or sheep milk and will make for a wonderful addition to a Mediterranean or lighter charcuterie board variation.
Feta, goat and burrata cheeses are all wonderful options fresh cheeses to add to your charcuterie board. Each of which can pair perfectly with fruity red wines such as gamay and pinot noir. Meanwhile, for great white wines, a young chardonnay or sauvignon blanc make for excellent options.
By comparison to fresh or semi-soft cheeses, hard cheeses will often be more aged and drier. As a result, these cheeses which include options such as manchego, cheddar or parmesan deliciously crumbly and nutty options that will perfectly round off any charcuterie board.
As such, when you’ve got a cheese board or charcuterie board that is centred around hard cheeses then bold red wines are excellent choices. In particular, though, something like chianti classico is an excellent choice for pairing with these types of hard cheese.
Meat And Wine
When most people think of charcuterie, of course, it is often associated with being a meat platter dish. Naturally then, some meat and wine makes for the perfect combination for your dinner. Like with cheese boards though, there are a wide variety of options and combinations that you can consider. As such, when pairing wine with meat, these are some great options:
- Light Charcuterie
- Medium Charcuterie
- Bold Charcuterie
A light charcuterie is typically one that is made up of mild meats that lacks much of the spiciness that is often associated with other cured meats. As such milder meats like mortadella, prosciutto and soppressata make for a great choice and are often the best option for those new to charcuterie boards.
As such, lighter red wines or medium-bodied red wines like pinot noir or merlot make for great pairings with these lighter meats. Meanwhile, for white wines, lighter-bodied options such as pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc are also wonderful choices. All in all, these will often have a high acidity which works perfectly with the light flavours.
For a great middle-ground of flavours between light and bold a medium charcuterie board is an excellent choice. Especially so since it can invite quite a broad spectrum of textures and tastes to the dish that adds some spices without overwhelming your palate.
As such, slightly bolder options that are not too heavy or bold are chorizo picante, guanciale or peppered salami. Meanwhile, for a more expanded option lardo or foie gras are also great options.
When choosing wine pairings though, there are a wide variety of options that can choose from. For a bottle of red wine, fruity reds such as malbec and gamay are great choices, whilst whites that are light-bodied such as verdejo and chenin blanc are excellent choices.
If though, you are after something that is incredibly bold, spicy and flavourful then a more bold charcuterie board is what you’ll be looking for. As such, some interesting options for a more bold and intense charcuterie platter are black truffle salami, dry Spanish chorizo and bresaola. Meanwhile, for more rich flavours that lack spice, some fatty pâté is also a fantastic option.
If you’re having a bold charcuterie of this type though, then again there are many wines that will be a good match for your platter. These can be a full-bodied red such as a syrah or a medium or full-bodied white wine such as chardonnay. Each of which is bold and strong enough to not be completely overpowered by your main dish.
Seafood And Wine
When you are making a pescatarian or seafood themed charcuterie board there are a wide array of seafood types that you can serve on this type of platter. Naturally, seafood is an incredibly broad spectrum, that said though there are a variety of wines that will pair excellently with a wide variety of seafood options. When it comes to white wines pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and moscato can all pair excellently with a wide array of fish. Meanwhile, merlot is an excellent option for red wine.
Of course, some types of seafood are known for being particularly rich such as shrimps, lobsters, prawns and potentially even seared scallops. As such, for these particularly rich and meaty forms of seafood white wines, such as pinot grigio and white zinfandel are excellent choices. Meanwhile, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are particularly great choices for a red wine pairing.
Answered: Best Wine for Charcuterie
When pairing wines with any charcuterie boards there is naturally an assortment of options that you can use in order to make this extravagant and delicious dinner. Naturally, these options involve the types of food that you include on your charcuterie board, whether it is fruits, cheeses crackers, pate, nuts, dips, cured meats and seafood.
That said though when you’re eating your charcuterie board you will want to pair it with something delicious to drink. As such wine is a perfect choice when it comes to this type of meal since it can provide either a great contrast or delicious harmony in terms of flavour. Either way, though it will be a delicious and incredibly simple yet rewarding option for your dinner.
With that in mind then, when deciding what type of wine you wish to pair with your charcuterie board though some specific options are best paired with different ingredients. As such, whether your charcuterie platter primarily consists of meats, seafood or cheeses different wines will work best with your spread.
Naturally then, when you are serving wine with your charcuterie board, the options above make for excellent options. That said though they may have given you ideas of your own for wine options to serve with your charcuterie board. Of course then if this is the case then why not try them out instead, they may even work better.
FAQ – Best Wine for Charcuterie
What wine goes well with charcuterie board?
When deciding what wines go with a charcuterie board, you should always tailor wines that specifically work with different options. As such, some options for how a cheese-based pair are a white zinfandel, gamay or chardonnay. Meanwhile, seafood pairs well with a pinot grigio or merlot. Meat-based ones though pair great with malbec and chardonnay. Ultimatly though, depending on the specific ingredients you use, these a subject to vary.
What drinks go with charcuterie?
A drink that will always pair perfectly with a charcuterie board is of course wine. Whether red or white these can be excellent options. That said though, the specific choice will vary greatly depending on the ingredients used.
What wine goes with meat and cheese?
Depending on your choices of meat and cheese, there are a wide array of options that can pair with them whether red or white. Some great options are maray or chardonnay.
What wine goes with cheese and prosciutto?
Wine options for cheese and prosciutto can greatly vary depending based on the types of cheese that your pair with it. That said though, some great options are pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir or merlot.