How To Create A Delectable Charcuterie Board.
A charcuterie board that has been thoughtfully put together is a piece of art. This piece of artwork transforms into a masterpiece when served with the appropriate wines.
However, in contrast to the Mona Lisa, it does not take years of labor to produce an incredible charcuterie board that is complemented by the ideal wine pairings. Instead, the procedure will be far more manageable if you adhere to a handful of broad ideas and straightforward recommendations.
In addition, it is not a bad idea to have some knowledge of cheese and charcuterie.
Guidelines for Assembling a Charcuterie Board
It doesn’t matter whether you’re preparing a meal to wow guests or just want a quick and easy evening meal: charcuterie boards are straightforward to put together.
The following items may often be found on charcuterie boards, either alone or in combination:
- The cheese and charcuterie plate (aka cured and preserved meats)
- fruits, either dried or fresh, and/or both.
- Olives and other vegetables that have been pickled
- Crackers and loaves of bread
- Spreads such as olive oil, honey, jam, mustards, and other condiments
- Primitive Meat and Cheese Dishes
- To begin, pick your cheeses and charcuterie from the available options. The wines that you offer will be determined by these factors. The wine, meat, and cheese will take center stage on the board, while the other components will play a supporting role.
Pick up at least three different varieties of cheese. Choose a range of cheeses that differ in terms of their consistency, saltiness, amount of fat, and level of acidity. The following are some examples:
Ricotta and chèvre are two examples of fresh cheeses that are higher in acidity.
Cheeses that have been aged longer, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, have a saltier flavor and stronger tastes overall.
The amount of fat in cheeses like Brie and others that are soft-ripened is often greater.
A wine tasting accompanied by a charcuterie buffet.
Not captured on camera: me drooling behind the scenes. Wine Country Media has been cited.
If the charcuterie board is going to be served as an appetizer, you should plan on providing each guest with 2 ounces of meat. If, on the other hand, the board is the main course, you should treble that number.
Again, choose charcuterie with a wide range of textures, fat contents, salt levels, and spice levels. Consider, for instance, the contrast between the chewy consistency and salty, buttered taste of dry-cured salami and the smooth, buttery texture and flavor of paté.
A bottle of red wine, some cheese, and some almonds.
To successfully pair things, a little bit of preparation is required. By V. Lollipop.
The Basics of Wine and Food Compatibility
When trying to match wines with foods, you should concentrate on the food’s primary components, which are salt, fat, and acid. The presence of salt in food has the effect of smoothing out the rougher components of wine, such as its astringent tannins or tart acidity. At the same time, it will heighten the sense of body that one gets from it on the palate.
Always make sure that the wine has a higher acidity level than the meal that you are presenting.
Because fat has the ability to offset the high tannin levels in wine, foods that are heavy in fats or oils are a good match for bolder red wines. You might also go for a white wine that has a bright acidity to it.
This mixture creates the impression that it is washing the taste buds clean. The sharpness of the wine’s acidity cuts through the heaviness of the food’s richness.
Your goal should be to choose a wine whose aggressiveness is comparable to the boldness of the cuisine you’re serving it with. If you make a charcuterie board that has more delicate tastes, choose a wine that is also on the more delicate side.
Also, keep in mind that wines with a high tannin content will create an unpleasant taste when combined with anything that is bitter or spicy.
Choosing Your Particular Cheeses
The following is a list of eight varieties of cheeses and styles of wine pairings that will assist you in putting up delectable charcuterie boards with wines that complement.
A platter of mozzarella cheese.
Mozzarella cheese. By M. Verch.
Cheese Made Fresh
Fresh cheeses are available in a wide variety of tastes and textures. They might be fresh and creamy with subtly salted notes (mozzarella), or they can be crumbly and salty with flavors that are more tart (feta).
Types of Fresh Cheese: cream cheese, Chèvre, ricotta, mozzarella, Mozzarella di Bufala, burrata, feta, cottage cheese, Mizithra, Marscapone, Boursin, Stracchino
Styles of wine that go well together include: sparkling wine, fruit-forward light-bodied red wine, fruit-forward light-bodied white wine, and rosé wine.
Wine Pairing Examples: Cava, Crémant D’Alsace, Albariño, Vermentino, Arneis, Riesling, Provencal rosé, rosé of Nero d’Avola, Beaujolais, Schiava
The fruitier aromas of higher acid wines will be able to come through when paired with saltier cheeses, which is why this combination works so well. Additionally, the acidity of fresh cheeses may be neutralized by these wines. The drier varieties of wine provide an interesting contrast to the creamier cheeses that are found here.
On a chopping board, there is some fresh Asiago cheese.
Fresh Asiago, such as the one before you, has a softer and sweeter flavor than its aged counterpart, which has a texture that is more crumbly.
Cheese with a Medium Texture
Because they are matured for a short period of time—anywhere from a few days to a few months—semi-soft cheeses have relatively muted tastes. The texture of these cheeses is normally creamy, but as they age, they develop a more solid consistency.
The flavors may vary from buttery and nutty (Asiago, aged Havarti), sweet and tangy (Fontina), salty and acidic (Havarti), and mild. Some cheeses have a combination of these characteristics (Jack).
Fontina, Monterey Jack, Asiago, and Havarti are some examples of semi-soft cheeses.
Styles of wine that go well together, with some examples: dry, light-bodied white wine; full-bodied, oak-aged white wine; medium-bodied red wine
Examples of Wines that Go Well Together Include Pinot Blanc, Verdicchio, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Condrieu or another oak-aged Viognier, oak-aged Roussanne, Carignan, a mix of Valpolicella, and Cabernet Franc.
The reason why it works is that the acidic and sour tastes of Fontina and Havarti are complemented by the light-bodied white wines. Verdicchio’s oily consistency is a natural match for the buttery tastes of semi-soft cheeses, making it a perfect matching ingredient.
In addition, oak-aged white wines have a buttery mouthfeel that complements their flavor. Red wines with a body of medium are acidic enough to pair well with semi-soft cheeses made from younger cows’ milk. They also include hints of citrus or spices, which complement the nutty qualities of the cheese.
- Brie cheese topped with tomatoes and fresh herbs.
- Brie cheese topped with tomatoes and fresh herbs. By M. Verch.
- Cheese That Has Been Let to Mature
- characterized by an edible mold known as Penicillium candidum, which contributes to the formation of a velvety white skin on the fruit. As the cheese matures, the inside of the cheese develops a more velvety texture and a creamier consistency.
On a charcuterie board, a cheese that has soft ripened often attracts the most attention from guests. The salty charcuterie is well complemented by the creaminess of the mouthfeel. Be prepared for tastes that are buttery, earthy, nutty, and tangy.
Cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Coulommiers, Robiola, and Humboldt Fog are examples of soft-ripened cheeses.
Styles of wine that go well together include: sparkling wine, fruit-forward light-bodied reds, fragrant white wines, full-bodied white wines, and light-bodied white wines with lighter bodies.
Wine Pairing Examples: Champagne, Franciacorta, Chenin Blanc, Albariño, Riesling, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Marsanne, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais
Why it Works: Sparkling wine and light-bodied fragrant white wines both offer a crisp acidity that works well as a lovely contrast to the richness of these exquisite cheeses.
The weight and texture of full-bodied whites are the perfect complement to the richness of the cheeses. When coupled with creamy cheeses, the fruity undertones of a light-bodied red wine with increased acidity will come to the forefront.
- Crottin cheese.
- Crottin cheese. By R. Siegel.
- Ripened Cheese on the Surface
- Surface-ripened cheeses often have a thin rind around oozy cheese or a wrinkled rind with more firm cheese. Both of these characteristics may be seen on the cheese’s exterior.
The texture of these cheeses is often rich and creamy, and their scents tend to be earthy. They sometimes exhibit tastes that are more astringent and tart.
Crottin de Chavignol, often known as “the most renowned goat cheese of the Loire Valley,” is one example of a surface-ripened cheese. Other examples are Vermont Creamery’s Bijou and St. Marcellin.
Styles of wine that go well together include: fragrant white wine, light-bodied red wine, and aromatic white wine
Wine Pairing Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontés, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Cinsault, Counoise, Pinot Noir
The rich, creamy texture of these cheeses is perfectly contrasted by the crisp, fragrant white wines, which also accentuate the earthy tastes of the cheeses. Why it Works: Red wines with a lighter body that feature scents of soil or spice will provide the same effect.
Swiss cheese accompanied with various fruits.
The type of cheese known as semi-hard cheese encompasses a wide variety of firm cheeses that have a high percentage of moisture. The taste of these cheeses tends to be salty, nutty, or savory, and they develop additional nuances as they mature.
Gouda, Gruyère, Swiss, Emmental, Colby, Provolone, and Halloumi are all examples of semi-hard cheeses. Halloumi is also included in this category.
Styles of wine that go well together include sparkling wine, light-bodied white wine, full-bodied white wine, light-bodied red wine, and medium-bodied red wine.
Wine Pairing Examples: Cava, Champagne, Silvaner, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Carménére
The fruity fragrances of the sparkling wine and white wines with a light body will be complemented by the salty and savory tastes of the cheese. Why This Works: Whites with a full body and body have the structure to complement the harder and more assertive cheeses.
Additionally, the saltiness of the cheese is able to complement the tannins and structure of red wines with a medium body.
Grana Padano and capers.
The taste of hard cheese is often salty and astringent, with a hint of nuttiness; as the cheese ages, the saltiness increases. They have a tendency to be crumbly, and it is more difficult to cut them.
Types of Hard Cheese: Cheddar, aged Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano
Styles of wine recommended for food pairings include sparkling wine, light-bodied white wines, medium-bodied red wines, and full-bodied red wines.
Wine Pairing Examples: Franciacorta, Champagne, Cava, Vermentino, Cortese, Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero D’Avola
Because these cheeses get saltier as they age, they have the ability to reduce the acidity in sparkling wine and light-bodied white wine. The reason why this works: Tannins in medium-bodied to full-bodied red wines become more approachable as a result of the greater salt level.
In both instances, the salty cheese improves the wine’s body and brings out its fruity undertones.
The texture of blue cheese may range from crumbly to crumbly to creamy to solid. Some of them have a more sweet flavor, while others have a saltier one. On the other hand, blue cheese always has blue veins of mold running through it, which contributes a strong and sour taste.
Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola are the three varieties of blue cheese.
Styles of wine that go well together include fragrant white wines, full-bodied red wines, and sweet wines.
Wine Pairing Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Sémillon, Gewürztraminer, Zinfandel, Right Bank Bordeaux, Ruby Port, Sauternes
The reason why it works is because blue cheese has a tendency to be salty, robust, and pungent. Therefore, fruit forward wines or sweet wines are recommended to complement the saltiness and robust tastes of the cheese. Red wines with a full-bodied character have the strength to compete with the bold tastes of blue cheese.
Cheese made with Oxford Isis.
Cheese with a Washed Rind
Cheeses with a washed rind derive their name from, you guessed it, the washing process. These cheeses are frequently washed in brine, beer, brandy, or seawater, and as a result, they have a reputation for having a strong odor.
The following cheeses are examples of washed rind varieties: Taleggio, Appenzeller, Oxford Isis, and Limburger
Washed-rind cheeses have an unpleasant aroma on their own, so mixing them with wine does not provide for a delightful experience. Keep these cheeses stashed away for the next time you get a taste for Belgian beer.
Choosing an Approach for Your Charcuterie
The majority of charcuterie consists of meat that has been fermented or salted. Due to the fact that charcuterie is salty and includes a significant quantity of fat, it is possible to combine it with wine in a quite straightforward manner.
When choosing a wine, however, you should never forget to take into account the intensity of the tastes and spices in the charcuterie.
Because it does not have any smoky or fiery aromas, mild charcuterie is able to mix well with a wide range of wines. On a charcuterie board, the saltiness of the meats is well balanced by the luscious creaminess of the cheeses.
The following items are considered to be examples of charcuterie: prosciutto, jamón ibérico, mortadella, soppressata or another kind of dry-cured salami, finnochiona, and chicken liver mousse.
Styles of wine that go well together include sparkling wine, medium-bodied or fragrant white wines, rosé wine, and light or medium-bodied red wines.
Wine Pairing Examples: Prosecco, Champagne, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Tavel (a Rhone Valley rosé), rosé of Grenache, Beaujolais, Cannonau (aka Grenache from Sardinia), Cabernet Franc
Why it Works: Acidic wines are a natural match for salty charcuterie because of their similar flavor profiles. Because of the salt’s moderating effect on the acidity, the aromatics and fruit tastes will be able to take center stage.
Charcuterie de niveau intermédiaire
At this stage of the charcuterie process, additional spices and tastes will be introduced. Therefore, the tastes of your wine pairings will need to be more robust or include fruits with opposing flavors in order to compensate.
Types of Charcuterie: Speck (smoked Prosciutto), guanciale, lardo, chorizo picante, coppa or spicy coppa, pastrami, peppered salami, foie gras
Styles of wine that go well together include fruit-forward light-bodied white wines, fruit-forward light or medium-bodied red wines, and full-bodied red wines.
Wine Pairing Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Verdicchio, Soave (Garganega), Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola, Zinfandel
The fruity scents in the red and white wines may create a fascinating contrast of tastes to the savory flavors of the charcuterie, which is why this combination works so well. In addition, the light-bodied whites and fruit-forward reds in this collection are delicious when paired with a variety of cheeses.
These full-bodied red wines have tastes and structures that are more robust, which are a good complement for the more robust flavors of the charcuterie. If you choose a more robust red wine, your charcuterie board should also contain a salty, hard cheese or a cheese with more robust characteristics to complement the wine.
If you want to open a stronger wine with greater tannins, a wonderful choice is to serve it with charcuterie that has more flavor. Nevertheless, fragrant white wines also provide a delectable contrast of tastes.
Types of Charcuterie: Bresaola, black truffle salami, country paté, Jamón Ibérico de bellota, jamón serrano
Wine Styles That Go Well Together: full-bodied whites or medium-bodied whites with robust flavors, and full-bodied red wines
Examples of Wines That Go Well With Food: Roussanne, Chardonnay, Malbec, Nebbiolo, and Syrah
The reason this works is that white wines with a full-bodied taste complement the richness of foods like jamón or paté with more fat. When paired with truffles or beef (bresaola), red wines that are bolder and more structured are the best option since they complement the more robust tastes of the charcuterie.
Other Components of the Charcuterie Board
After you have decided on the cheeses, meats, and wines to accompany your charcuterie board, you may then choose additional things to add to the board. Each of these may improve the scents and tastes of the wine you choose, in addition to complimenting the cheeses and meats you pick.
On charcuterie boards, dried fruits are an essential component. By E. Huybrechts.
Dried Fruits as well as Fresh Fruits
When choosing fresh or dried fruits, a good rule of thumb is to pick fruits whose smells are compatible with those present in the wines that you will be serving. This applies to both fresh and dried fruits.
As an example, you may serve dried apricots with a Viognier, dried cherries with a Pinot Noir, or fresh raspberries with a Pinot Noir. You should also avoid placing any fresh citrus on your charcuterie board since the acidity might make it difficult to match with a number of different wines.
Figs, apricots, cherries, and cranberries are some of the fruits that may be dried and eaten later. When it comes to choosing fresh fruits, you should think about getting grapes, figs, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries.
A charcuterie board is enhanced with the addition of nuts, which provide a pleasant crunch and a delectable salty bite amid creamy cheeses. There are several delicious nut alternatives available, including almonds, Marcona almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.
Olives and other pickled vegetables are served with cured pork.
Add some olives and pickled vegetables to your charcuterie for some added flavor and texture. By Larry.
Olives and other pickled vegetables are included.
Olives and other types of pickled vegetables provide a salty and sour taste that pairs particularly well with wines that are stronger in acidity or that emphasize the fruit. However, you should steer clear of employing ingredients like hot pepperoncini, dill pickles, pickled asparagus, and pickled mushrooms.
These may have tastes that are overbearing or umami overtones that are too harsh to pair with the majority of wines. Instead, go for something milder like cornichons or artichoke hearts that have been marinated.
There are a lot of different kinds of olives available, so choose the one that you like most. Olives from Castelvetrano, which are known for their meatiness, are often accompanied with butter.
Several layers of baguette.
To tell you the truth, what kind of dinner is lacking bread? Photography courtesy of Lietz.
Crackers and Loaves of Bread
Determine the varieties of cheese and charcuterie you will be provided before making your bread and cracker selections. Include sliced fresh baguette, toasted crostini, or a heavier cracker to serve as a basis in the dish in the event that the menu has soft, spreadable cheeses or paté.
Honey and jam, served with various types of cheese and fruit.
Honey or jam, when used in moderation, may go a long way. By the hands of Mon Petit Chou.
The Use of Oils and Spreads
In addition to the meats and cheeses on your charcuterie board, you might also offer them condiments such as fruit jams, honey, mustard, or olive oil. The perfect complement to warm bread or crostini is a drizzle of olive oil. Jams made from fruit go well with cheeses that are rich and acidic, as well as charcuterie that is mildly salted.
Honey is delicious when it is poured over pungent blue cheese, while mustard is delicious when it is paired with paté. In addition, it is recommended that you combine fruit jams and honeys with fruit-forward, off-dry, or sweet wines whenever it is feasible.
A board with assorted meats.
Putting Together a Breathtaking Charcuterie Board
The proverbial saying that “you eat with your eyes first” is one that unquestionably rings true in this situation. To make a gorgeous charcuterie board, take into consideration the following elements:
To begin, arrange on the board a variety of tiny dishes or ramekins for things like olives, oils, and spreads. Build a structure in the form of a triangle, with each bowl serving as one of the triangle’s corners. The structure of your composition will be determined by this.
You have the option of serving the cheese whole, or you may cut it into squares or triangles to serve. Cheeses that are young and have a soft ripening, such as goat cheese or brie, should be cut with a cheese knife and served intact.
After that, place your cheese, charcuterie, crackers, and other snacks in a circular pattern immediately around the ramekins. After that, continue to work your way outward from there until the whole board is complete.
Increase the variety of colors that you have on your board as much as you can.
Wrap each piece of charcuterie in a separate piece of paper and place it on the board. The visitors won’t have to battle as much to tear them apart this way. To provide a more appetizing presentation, meats such as prosciutto may be rolled or folded.
A platter of assorted charcuterie.
When in Doubt, Keep it Simple
Do not complicate the process of making charcuterie boards by giving it more thought than it deserves. Choose many different kinds of cheese and charcuterie to serve. The next step is to determine the kind of wine pairings they have in common. Think about which wine will go best with the salt, the fat, and the acid in each dish, and choose that one.
It is best to serve between two and three different wines with the charcuterie board so that there is something to suit everyone’s taste.
If nothing else works, you may fall back on these two fundamental ideas. The majority of cheeses and charcuterie may be paired well with sparkling wines, light-bodied white wines, and fruit-forward light-bodied red wines. And stronger tastes deserve bolder wines.
Now that you’ve mastered how to match charcuterie, it’s time to show off your abilities to your pals.