Good day my wine lovers and enthusiasts I hope you’ve been venturing out and trying new wines and practicing the tasting methods which I’ve stated in previous articles, if not, what’s taking you so long? Better still take this Easter as an opportunity to try something new!
Something worth trying is pairing your wine with cheese and cold cuts! Wine has a very long pairing history with cheese and cold cuts and the best part is there is a wide variety of cheese and cold cuts, allowing you to continuously discover what is best suited for your palate.
Just like dinner and dessert dishes, cheese and cold cuts have wines which best pair. General rule of thumb is to pair your cheese with wine according to the taste intensity, so if the cheese is hard, drink a bold wine. For new wine lovers this information could be overwhelming so I’m going to try and keep it simple;
Creamy cheese like a Brie or Camembert best pairs with sparkling wine or chardonnay
Hard cheese like Gouda or Cheddar is best paired with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Or for a much harder cheese like Gruyere a Sauvignon Blanc would cut well through the smell and stiffness
Blue cheese like Stilton or just varieties of blue cheese Port and Riesling is best paired
Fresh, easily spreadable cheese like Goat or Mozzarella is well paired with Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc
Have I lost you? No need to be, the best way to get familiar with the different variations of cheese available and to see which one you like, is to go to a local delicatessen and sample the different cheeses.
The fancy word for cold cuts is ‘Charcuterie’ – it’s basically meat that you can eat without cooking such as prosciutto (ham), roast beef, salami, foie gras. Ham not being your ordinary sandwich filling for your child’s packed lunch, there is turkey ham, mortadella with olives and pistachio nuts and many more variations.
Cold cuts are quite flexible when it comes to wine pairing, an advised pairing is as follows;
Prosciutto is well paired with a lovely, smooth and bubbly Cava, Moscato, Riesling or for a red Crianza Rioja.
There are different types of salami, the main varieties that you may come across in Accra includes Chorizo which is hot and spicy and well paired with a Zinfandel or Prosecco.
Then we have Pepperoni Salami which is best paired with a Pinot Noir and interestingly enough a Pinotage.
The best cheese and cold cuts are when you combine them together on a platter dressed with pine nuts, grapes, dates, apricots, figs, apple, olives and gherkins with a spicy chutney and honey coupled with baguettes and crackers (Jacobs).
Wine, cheese and cold cuts are great for group gatherings, intimate parties and appetizers. It tends to go down well but it’s important the remember that it is not to be replaced with actual food as you would find your guests hungry quite quickly.
Be adventurous to try different cold cuts and cheeses, try a maximum of 3 or 4 varieties of each to satisfy your audiences palate. Don’t forget to tell your guests what type of cheese they are trying so they can remember what they like.