November 15, 2021 by Arden Montgomery
Best Wine for Charcuterie
Far from being a summertime-only, picnic-blanket experience, a charcuterie board can be a fun and creative way to display a selection of sophisticated snacks, whether you’re hosting (or attending!) a seasonal gathering, or just feel like dressing up your food a little before a night on the couch.
‘Charcuterie’ is a French term originally used to describe cured meats. But a contemporary spread can include just about anything your heart desires, from classics like meat and cheese to weirder additions such as pickled fruits or peanut butter cups.
Because of the variability of the modern charcuterie board, knowing what wine to pick for your platter is a tricky business. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the perfect pairings for your next spread.
How to pair wine with charcuterie
Unless you’re planning on choosing a unique and individual wine to go with every element of your charcuterie board (far be it from us to tell you ‘no,’) you’re going to want to generalize a little bit.
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to operate on the assumption that cured meats and vibrant cheeses will be making up the base of your board. The easiest thing to do in this case is to pair your wine with protein, and maybe narrow your selection of 100-wines-that-go-with-brie to 2 or 3 by matching subtler tasting notes to the other aspects of your platter.
Fatty pork products like prosciutto are uplifted by crisp whites like Chenin Blanc or Riesling. Duck products, such as rillettes or paté, love a lighter bodied red like a Pinot Noir (most aspects of a charcuterie like a Pinot, to be honest.) Spicy meats, and cheeses including Bries, Camemberts, surface-ripened goat cheeses and many semi-hard varieties, are well complemented by drier whites and high-acid but low-tannic reds.
Now let’s get into the specifics. Here is a selection from the Argaux cellars to match your charcuterie array.
Best red wine for charcuterie
- 2019 Domaine de La Bonne Tonne Morgon ‘Côte du Py’ Beaujolais – $45
A Beaujolais is a classic staple of any charcuterie picnic. And this Burgundy Beauj made using Gamay grapes grown biodynamically in rich schist soil is an extra special treat. With aromas of red fruits, and saline cranberry desserts on the palate, we recommend pairing this wine with Humboldt fog cheese, dates, and most preparations of ham.
- 2020 Cargaux Pinot Noir – $45
Fruit-forward with undertones of flowers, tea, sugar and spice, this light and acidic Pinot is the quintessential libation for enjoying with a platter of prosciutto, dried apricots, spicy cornichons, Crottin de Chavignol and pork paté. Yum. We know what we’re having for lunch.
- 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Touraine Pinot Noir – $25
A bouncy and accessible Pinot that gives your fresh berries, cherries, and cherry blossoms with every sip. If you’ve invited this wine to the party, serve it chilled and make sure to include crostini with ricotta and sour cherry preserves as well as a generous shave of Jamon Iberico on your board.
Best white wine for charcuterie
- 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Chenin Blanc – $25
Tart, acidic and totally delicious, this refreshing wine is an athletic and energizing delight during a hot summer day. Enjoy on a white tablecloth loaded with smoked salmon, goat cheese, burrata and rosemary-roasted marcona almonds.
- NV Doyard Vendemiaire 1er Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – $60
A pure and classic Chardonnay from old growth vines that express delightfully quintessential flavors reminiscent of a spice-forward cherry tart. Keep the creaminess of this beautiful Champagne going by pairing it with Camembert, Halloumi or aged Cheddar, summer sausage, and chicken liver mousse.
- 2019 Pedralonga Rias Baixas Albariño – $27
Wild, floral and aromatic, we want to take this wine with us on a bicycling tour of her native Spain, stopping for tapas and sunbathing at every opportunity we can find. If you can’t make it to the Iberian peninsula just yet, open this Albarino with feta, garlic-stuffed olives, and Soppressata.
- 2012 Doyard Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut – $135
Something about charcuterie just begs to be paired with Champagne that tastes like a bakery. This elegant, effervescent, citrus-tart forward bottle is not the drink for a casual picnic in the park, but there’s no reason you can’t dress up your board to match the auspiciousness of whatever occasion would give you cause to pop this cork. Think caviar, duck Foie Gras, and the freshest Mozz you can get your hands on.
Best rose wine for charcuterie
- 2020 Chateau Barbebelle Aix-en-Provence ‘Cuvée Madeleine’ Rosé – $24
Rich, friendly and utterly delicious, this fruity and floral rosé is a summer staple made using sustainable farming practices at a woman-owned winery in the heart of Provence. With this wine on your table, you should think about loading your charcuterie with fresh fruit, semi-hard cheeses and dry-cured salamis.
- NV REVI Cavaliere Nero Extra Brut Rosé – $58
A sparkling rosé made entirely from Pinot Nero grapes, the redness of the original fruit shines through in the sharp and deep notes within this wine. Citrusy and floral, this is a food-friendly bottle of bubbles and will complement whatever saline delights you have on your platter.
How Argaux can help
If you want to learn more about wine, and especially about pairing wine with day-to-day vittles, check out our Food & Wine Pairing Kit. Vanessa Price, foodie and author extraordinaire, put together a guide to wine pairings that covers viticultural matches for everything from fast food burgers to grilled swordfish. With this book in hand, as well as a few select bottles from the Argaux collection, you’ll be ready for whatever a charcuterie board has to throw at you, no matter how chaotic things get.