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What is the best wine for charcuterie? As you’ll see, there’s a perfect Chianti or Super Tuscan wine to serve with every type of charcuterie.
On our Tuscany wine tours, we often talk about (and taste) the most delicious wine and food pairings. We love sharing the joy in our local foodie traditions.
Charcuterie boards seem to be all the rage lately. The practice of salting and smoking meats to preserve them actually dates back about 6000 years to ancient Rome.
In Tuscany, we use the term “salumi” as a catch-all for Italian cured meats. From prosciutto to Tuscan ham, Italians have enjoyed these sharing plates for centuries.
Naturally, wine and charcuterie are an ideal match. Pairing Sangiovese-based wines with local salumi will surely bring a taste of Tuscany to your table.
Charcuterie wine pairing tips
With the salt, fat and spices in the meats, there are several flavours to think about when choosing a wine to go with your charcuterie board.
As with cheese pairings, the high fat content in cured meats balances the tannins in the wine. This will enhance the cherry flavors in Chianti and Super Tuscan wines. The acidity of these wines cuts through the fattiness of the meats. This means that you can choose bolder wines for meats with the highest fat content.
Cured meats also have a high salt content which works well with wines that have higher acidity. The salt in food softens the acidity in wine.
A good rule of thumb is to try to match the boldness of the wine to the boldness of the charcuterie. Stronger tasting or smoked meats will pair well with full-bodied, hearty reds.
Finally, be careful when choosing a wine to go with peppery meats. Full-bodied wines with high tannins tend to clash with spicy tastes unless there is also a peppery note in the wine.
Charcuterie pairings with Chianti and Super Tuscans
For light charcuterie:
If you’re serving milder tasting meats like prosciutto or Tuscan ham, choose a fruity, medium-bodied wine. The sweet and salty balance of the cured meats will pair well with the fruit and acidity in the wine. We suggest:
- This refreshing rosè from Fattoria Santo Stefano in the heart of Chianti Classico
- A rosé with a bouquet of strawberries and roses by Vallone di Cecione
- A smooth, 100% Merlot Super Tuscan, Savium by Il Bacio.
For smoky or stronger-tasting charcuterie:
A charcuterie platter that includes smoked ham or rich paté will match well with the bolder taste of a Super Tuscan or an aged Chianti. These wines combine Sangiovese grapes with Cabernet and Merlot and will nicely complement the stronger flavors. We recommend:
- The full-bodied Brecciolino from the Castelvecchio winery
- Drugo, a nicely balanced Chianti Classico Riserva from Fattoria Santo Stefano
- The highly rated Chianti Riserva by Fattoria Il Paganello
Of course, you can’t go wrong by serving more than one type of wine for guests to enjoy with your charcuterie selections.
Join us on a Chianti and Super Tuscan wine tasting tour from Florence and we’ll help you pick your favorites.