Pairing food with the perfect wine is an age-old struggle. There are a million philosophies and approaches, all of which lead us to one truth: the perfect wine can enhance your food experience.
Charcuterie is a name for any kind of processed meat that has been dried, salted, fermented or smoked. Typically served on a charcuterie platter with a variety of cheeses and vegetables, this variety of flavors can be difficult to pair with wine.
Artisanal charcuterie like that found at CharcuterieStyle.com is all the rage right now, and pairing cured meats with wine is trenched in tradition.
Sommeliers customarily pair a charcuterie platter with medium, full bodied red wines like a Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
However, modern wine experts say that with the flavor profile of salt, fat and spices, chilled, sparkling wines that are low in alcohol content, high in acid and a little sweet would be best to balance the salt. Try a crisp white wine or a lighter, fruitier red like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.
Something else to consider when choosing the perfect companion for your charcuterie platter is the difference in each platter. If cheese is the dominant ingredient on your tray, try an off-dry Riesling that will complement salty, creamy cheeses, but if the charcuterie itself is the star of the show, something with bubbles, like a California Schramsberg champagne or Prosecco will break up the fat on your palate.
Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or drink your red out of a coffee cup, wine is the drink of choice when putting together a flavorful charcuterie platter.