The charcuterie is as symbolic of wine as the corkscrew and the wine glass. If you’re considering putting together one of your own, we’re here to help!
After all, charcuterie is a complex ensemble with a thousand options and combinations to choose from. Charcuteries give you the ability to experience different angles of your wine, enhancing the mouthfeel or bringing out entirely new flavors. If you choose incompatible food or wine pairings, you could end up with a dull or even gross experience.
Our list will detail the best wine for charcuterie, split into categories between red, white, and rosés. We’ll help you choose the most compatible food and drink pairings so you’ll have the tastiest experience!
How to Put Together a Great Charcuterie
Do you have your charcuterie board ready? Not so fast! Before you put your platter together, we recommend the following tips.
Choose Your Wine First, Then Build Everything Around It
The easiest way to build a memorable charcuterie board is to choose your wine first. Think of your wine as the sun and the finger foods as little planets revolving around it!
Charcuterie treats need to complement your wine’s aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. Attempting to put the board together the other way around runs the risk of an incompatible platter with unsatisfying combinations.
Add a Wide Variety of Options
While there’s nothing wrong with simple charcuterie, putting down a wide variety of options will give you a much fuller experience. Think about how many fun flavor combinations you’ll enjoy with seven or eight different kinds of food!
Don’t Put Down Any Food You Don’t Like
This tip may seem obvious, but wine culture is well-known for being pretty traditional when it comes to food pairings. If you don’t like certain finger foods, don’t put them on your board. Easy as that.
Have All Your Tools at Hand
Don’t interrupt your session with constant trips to the kitchen! Have all your tools on hand when enjoying your charcuterie so you can get lost in the sensation of delicious food and drink.
Some charcuterie boards are built with little drawers to hold items like cheese knives and corkscrews.
Don’t Put Down Too Much Food
Beware of your eyes being bigger than your stomach! Some finger foods come boxed or bagged, like crackers and chocolates. Other foods, like cheeses or meats, need to be refrigerated.
Put down a small amount of each food type because all the different options will add up fast. If you want more, you can always go back and refresh your plate. This approach is much better than filling up a massive platter you can’t finish and potentially wasting good food.
Always Keep a Few Neutral Items on Your Charcuterie
One of the most enjoyable aspects of charcuterie is slicing, spreading, and combining your food. Make sure you have simple crackers, toasted rounds, or slices of bread for layering on preserves, cheeses, or meats.
The Best Wine for Charcuterie
While we love robust and full-bodied red wines over on DrinkStack, we highly recommend acidic, medium-bodied reds and whites for charcuteries. Acidity is a practical detail for balancing out the savory and fatty nature of many traditional platters.
If you prefer sweeter charcuteries or need vegetarian options, we have suggestions for those, too!
Red Wines for Charcuterie
Why are charcuterie boards usually paired with red wine? It helps that red wine usually has strong red or dark fruit flavor notes to create a powerful contrast with classic meats and cheeses.
That said, some red wines are more suitable than others due to more balance between acidity and tannins.
We recommend beginner charcuterie fans and experienced drinkers alike do a pinot noir pairing. This complex, tangy red wine turns several combinations into a symphony of flavor.
Fresh pinot noir leans toward a berry medley of raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries, while aged pinot noir will have subtle hints of vanilla and freshly turned soil. Your goal with pinot noir is to urge out its red fruit notes without drowning out its earthy aftertaste, so steer clear of very sweet foods.
We Recommend Pinot Noir For Charcuteries That Have:
- Fatty, tangy meats like salami, chorizo, or roasted pork
- Firm, slightly nutty cheeses like gouda or cheddar
- Crackers dusted with rosemary or thyme
- Nutty mushrooms or green olives
- Savory balsamic spreads
While most red wines have a robust level of tannins, barbera is an Italian wine grape on the lower end of the spectrum. With high acidity and a fruit-forward nature, this red wine is a brilliant addition to most charcuteries.
Similar to pinot noir, barbera often has flavor notes of dried strawberries, ripe cherries, and raspberries. You may even enjoy subtle herbal, vanilla, or pepper finishes.
We recommend steering clear of very spicy or bitter foods that may be too strong for barbera’s gentle profile.
We Recommend Barbera For Charcuteries That Have:
- Salty and tangy meats like ground pork, salami, or pepperoni
- Fragrant cheeses like blue cheese or smoked cheddar
- Toasted rounds with light butter or sea salt
- Creamy hummus and green olives
- Vegetarian pâté spread on herb pita bread
White Wines for Charcuterie
What charcuterie goes with white wine? Many, in fact! Some wine drinkers vastly prefer white over red due to the smoother mouthfeels and reliably high acidity.
Bright, tart wines are a bold contrast to fatty and savory foods, enhancing their flavors while still being refreshing. Consider chilling your white wine for twenty or thirty minutes so you can enhance the zesty flavor notes.
The king of acidic white wines is easily sauvignon blanc. With its tart notes of lemon, green apple, and passionfruit, you’ll want a charcuterie board that skews very salty. Depending on the origin of your vintage, you may have green bell pepper, minerals, or pine tree finishes.
Sauvignon blanc is wonderful both at room temperature or chilled, though the latter is extra refreshing when devouring fatty, salty cheeses.
We Recommend Sauvignon Blanc For Charcuteries That Have:
- White and semi-soft cheeses like goat cheese, asiago, feta, gruyere, or muenster
- Salty meats such as prosciutto or mortadella
- Salted white crackers or lightly toasted and buttered sourdough bread
- Rich green vegetables such as kale, spinach, or toasted artichoke hearts
- Tomato basil sauce on toasted rounds
Another acidic white wine is pinot grigio, though it doesn’t have quite the same level of tartness. This Italian varietal is legendarily balanced, skewing toward a semi-sweet and semi-dry result that’s just irresistible.
Pinot grigio’s dominant flavor notes are yellow apples, pears, and lemons, though some bottles may have a honeyed aftertaste. As such, pinot grigio charcuteries tend to be a bountiful array of sweeter foods and saltier foods.
We Recommend Pinot Grigio For Charcuteries That Have:
- Soft and mild white cheeses like brie, asiago, and gouda
- Crunchy nuts with gentle flavors like almonds, pecans, or cashews
- Sweet (not sugary) treats like white chocolate or dried dates
- Fatty meats like turkey sausage or pork salami
- Tiny pizza slices or toasted sourdough with tomato basil spread
With a twinkly exterior and hearty bubbles, prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine that will make charcuterie nights extra enjoyable.
A prosecco charcuterie board is usually composed of savory and cured meat that contrasts the dominant flavor notes of pear, apple, and honeydew. Thanks to the bubbles, the potential stickiness of fat will be easily washed away.
We Recommend Prosecco For Charcuteries That Have:
- Salty meats such as pancetta and prosciutto
- Soft cheeses such as brie and camembert
- Tart fruits such as dried cranberries or apricots
- Slightly bitter sweets like dark chocolate or chocolate-dipped nuts
- Grilled chicken or veggie sausage kebabs
Rosé for Charcuterie
If red and white wines aren’t quite your style, try out rosé charcuterie boards. Blushing wine still reigns supreme when it comes to casual evenings out or family movie nights!
Still Rosé for Charcuterie
Rosé is particularly enjoyable due to its impeccable balance of semi-sweet red fruit notes and slightly dry mouthfeel. We recommend chilling this wine beforehand to create a crisp and refreshing finish.
Rosés generally have bright, sunny flavor notes of watermelon, strawberries, cranberries, and citrus. If you want to get a little fancy, consider grilling or pan-frying a few of your meats or vegetables right before eating. These foods can be stuck onto little toothpicks for easy eating.
We Recommend Still Rosé For Charcuteries That Have:
- Mildly savory vegetables like artichokes or sundried tomatoes
- Soft cheeses such as brie, mozzarella, or goat cheese
- Marbled and fatty meats such as ham or pork
- Juicy fruits like melon slices or chocolate-dipped strawberries
- Sea salt crackers or soft pita bread
Sparkling Rosé for Charcuterie
Are you feeling like popping open a sparkling rosé for your next holiday dinner? While sparkling rosés have many of the same flavor notes, their bubbly texture adds a whole new spin to your platter.
A detail worth noting is the niche of the sparkling brut rosé: this term refers to a sparkling rosé with a drier mouthfeel, leaning away from the sweetness usually associated with the drink. Depending on your tastes, this wine type could make or break your next dish!
We Recommend Sparkling Rosé for Charcuteries That Have:
- Salty/smoked meats such as pepperoni, pancetta and prosciutto
- Crunchy, fresh fruit like grapes, strawberries, or melon slices
- Sharp and lively cheeses like feta or swiss
- Rosemary popcorn or toasted rounds
- Roasted chicken or veggie herb sausage
We Recommend Sparkling Brut Rosé for Charcuteries That Have:
- Cured and savory meats like chorizo or sopressata
- Soft, salty cheeses like mozzarella, brie, and goat cheese
- Fruity or honeyed preserve spreads on toasted rounds
- Crunchy, tangy vegetables like bell peppers or radishes
- Savory balsamic spread or artichoke dip