Charcuterie & Wines

November 17, 2020

Wine and cheese are natural pairs. Getting together over a glass of wine, and having something to nibble on that’s light and tasty, salty and creamy is a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon (or to enjoy as a light dinner!). This holiday season, why not enjoy a low key glass of wine and a charcuterie board, whether on your own, or with some members of your social bubble?

How to choose your charcuterie

When you’re thinking about what to place on your charcuterie board to match with wine pairings, there are few broad rules to follow to make sure that it’s a hit. Fortunately, the salty hit from a lot of popular charcuterie selections will be a great match with most wines.

Charcuterie wine blog 1“Salt is a flavour component that compliments the fruity quality of wine and mellows out the astringency,” explains Kevin Schorath, Sommelier Coordinator, Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. “Wines that have higher acidity and higher tannins will also pair well with meats that have a higher fat content such as prosciutto.”

Finding cheeses to compliment a wine is the bigger challenge when it comes to pairing properly, says Schorath, noting the best rule of thumb is, ‘if it grows together, it goes together’.

When sourcing cheeses for your board, Schorath recommends looking at where the cheeses are from, or where a particular style of cheese is originally from, and you’ll be able to find a wine that will pair well. Cheeses with higher fat content will need wines with bigger tannin structure if you’re choosing a red wine, or higher acidity levels if you’re choosing a white. This helps cut through the richness of the cheese and compliment the flavour profile.

While you can and should choose whatever meats and cheeses you prefer, there are a few selections that make a dynamite charcuterie board:

Start with a variety of meats

An ideal charcuterie board has something for everyone. If you’re opting this time for individually portioned boards or plates to keep contact at bay, you’ll still want to have some variety. A dry cured salami, and a spicy salami give two saltier options. A nice smoked ham or a delicate roast beef are both popular. Italian hams like prosciutto or Spanish Jamon Serrano are also delicate and decadent selections (and each would be perfect with a wine from the respective region).

Mix in cheeses

When it comes to cheeses, think about covering all the flavour categories: choose a creamy cheese like a Brie or Camembert, a tangy Blue, a smoky cheese like a smoked gouda or edam, and something familiar but fun like and extra aged cheddar.

“Adding a Manchego cheese to the board will be paired beautifully with a wine that is dominant in Grenache/Garnacha. Parmesan pairs incredibly well with Italian wines with high tannin structures. Look for an Italian Chianti Classico, a wine made from the grapes Aglianico, Nero d’Avola or Montepulciano. A few other pairings that are sure to be a hit are Gruyere and Pinot Noir, Blue Cheese and Port Wine, aged Cheddar Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon, Brie and sparkling wine, or Gouda and Malbec,” Schorath recommends.

Don’t forget to round out your charcuterie board with jams or jellies, fresh honey (drizzled over Brie it’s divine!) and some nuts, plus crackers or flatbreads.

Open with some bubbly

Charcuterie wine blog 3A nice way to start off any holiday gathering is with a glass of champagne, prosecco, brut or other sparkling wine since the pop of that cork sets the festive tone. Look for Cuvee Grand Esprit Marquis de La Mystèriale Champagne if you want one of our favourite suggestions.

By the way, if you’re still searching for the ideal gift for the wine lover in your life, ask about Co-op’s Vin Bin Program.

Vin Bin is a program that’s unique and exclusive to Co-op that works with you (or your gift recipient!) to select specific wines that are perfect each month. You choose the nearest store location, and a locked cabinet is set aside inside the store.

The Vin Bin member meets with Co-op’s wine experts—trained sommeliers who will ask about tastes, preferences and interests with respect to wine. Once they get an idea of your recipient’s wine personality, they hand-pick a selection of wines just for them each month. It’s truly a gift they can enjoy year-round.    

 

Share:

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Wine, Holidays, Pairings Related Stories

Private Brand

Private Brand

At Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, we know you want quality products and are also looking for the best value.

Learn More

Easy Meal Solutions Pairings

Easy Meal Solutions Pairings

Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Sommelier Coordinator Katherine Mindach has some advice for cooking with alcohol:

“When you pour a little in the pot, make sure to…

Learn More

Light Summer Reds

Light Summer Reds

For wine drinkers, winter tends to be the season of robust reds, ports, and full-bodied vintages.

Learn More

Father's Day Drinks

Father's Day Drinks

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Rather than hosting another basic cookout this year, throw him a party as special as he is.

Learn More

Drinks for the Long Weekend

Drinks for the Long Weekend

However you choose to refer to it—May long, May two-four, Victoria Day weekend—May long weekend is the first official marker of summer.

Learn More

Wines for Easter

Wines for Easter

Any wine lover knows that, like food, wine tastes change with the season.

Learn More

Valentine's Day Cocktail Ideas

Valentine's Day Cocktail Ideas

This Valentine’s Day will be less fabulous dinner out in a packed restaurant and more cozy evening in at home.

Learn More

Co-op Private Reserve and Social Collection Wines

Co-op Private Reserve and Social Collection Wines

Sometimes choosing a great wine can be overwhelming; there’s so much choice out there that it can be difficult to know which brands to trust.

Learn More

Virtual New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Virtual New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

While we may not get to spend the holidays physically together, we can at least share the moment virtually.

Learn More

Holiday Tips & Tricks

Holiday Tips & Tricks

There is nothing quite like the perfect cocktail to set the mood for the holidays.

Learn More

Holiday Appetizers  & Wine Pairings

Holiday Appetizers & Wine Pairings

This holiday season one of our favourite ways to feed family, friends and folks is to set up a grazing station and let everyone nibble…

Learn More

Building a Festive Gift Box

Building a Festive Gift Box

One of the saddest consequences of the pandemic is the fact that it keeps us far from our friends.

Learn More

Pairings for Baked Goods

Pairings for Baked Goods

There’s something about the holidays that lets us all feel like we can indulge.

Learn More

Thanksgiving Drink Ideas

Thanksgiving Drink Ideas

Thanksgiving may look a little different this year.

Learn More

Montes Alpha

Montes Alpha

For more than 30 years, Viña Montes has been producing luxury wines from Chile and exporting them to customers worldwide.

Learn More

Stel + Mar Wines

Stel + Mar Wines

We’ve all heard that you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover—or a wine by its label, but how many of us have…

Learn More

Beer Pairings for Midway Foods

Beer Pairings for Midway Foods

Normally at this time of year, we’d all be shaking out our western duds and getting ready for that great annual outdoor show where we…

Learn More

Spirit Hills Winery

Spirit Hills Winery

Many of us dream about quitting our corporate jobs, moving to the country and living off the land.

Learn More

Wine and Burger Pairings

Wine and Burger Pairings

Throwing a western-style BBQ to make up for the cancellation of the greatest outdoor show in Calgary? You need just the right cold drinks to…

Learn More

Quails' Gate Winery

Quails' Gate Winery

Summertime is when many of us turn from drinking those warm, bold and cozy reds, so something lighter and more refreshing.

Learn More