A Charcuterie Lover's Pairing Guide
Six experts share their favorite cured meats and what to pour with them.
1. Rovagnati Mortadella
One of the best deli meats to pair with wine? Mortadella from the Italian producer Rovagnati, according to Anncherie Saludo, beverage director at L’Artusi in New York City. Well-seasoned and studded with melty pork fat, it’s a great partner for Lambrusco—the bubbles cut through the richness of the meat. (Get the mortadella at murrayscheese.com.)
2. Olympia Provisions Saucisson Sec
“As a catchall, I look for wine with vibrant acidity, a kiss of tannin, and moderate alcohol,” says Jessica Hereth, Olympia Provisions’ wine director at their Portland, Oregon, tasting room. “A cru Beaujolais or Loire Valley Cabernet Franc goes with a wide variety of meats.” When serving this saucisson sec, leave the casing on—it adds flavor.
3. Black Hill Ranch Large Black Salami
Felix Florez, a Houston-based sommelier turned humane farmer and charcutier, suggests pairing cured meats with a higher fat content, such as this salami, with high-acid wines: “That way, residual oils on the palate are broken up after each sip.” Florez’s latest project, Cherry Block Craft Butcher & Seasonal Kitchen, opens this November. In the meantime, his heritage Large Black salami is available by special order from r2khomedelivery.com.
4. Saucisson Smoked Pork Rillettes
For rillettes, Melissa Khoury and Penny Barend of the Cleveland shop Saucisson recommend a bold, dry Bordeaux-style red, like the Meritage Reserve (Estate) from local Ohio favorite M Cellars. “All you need is a fresh baguette and a fireplace,” says Khoury.
5. Journeyman Meat Co. Parmesan & Porcini Salame
Pete Seghesio, who opened Journeyman Meat Co. in Healdsburg, California, generally recommends pairing wine with the herbs and spices in salumi. “Spicier varieties work with whites to bring out their acid. Gentle spices work best with reds,” he says. Journeyman’s Parmesan cheese–porcini mushroom salame was designed to pair with Cabernets.
6. Olympia Provisions Landrauchschinken
For this Swiss-style smoked ham flavored with juniper and rosemary, try a sherry instead of red wine, Hereth says: “I love smoked hams with fino and amontillado sherry.” Hereth likes to dress ham in olive oil, crunchy salt, and lemon. (The combo is great on prosciutto, too.)