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Published on February 15th, 2024. 

How to Pair Wine for the Perfect Charcuterie Board

Your Guide to Perfecting Pairings

Whether you’re hosting a gathering with friends or brainstorming new menu additions, a charcuterie board stands out as a versatile crowd-pleaser. Yet, the thought of assembling one can seem daunting, especially when you start contemplating wine pairings.


What is a Wine Pairing?


Throughout history, people have been delighting in the art of pairing wine with food. The truth is, it’s not as intimidating as it may seem! In fact, it’s an exciting journey of exploration and discovery, especially when it comes to experimenting with different foods and wines—and cheese is certainly no exception.


At its core, wine pairing is about discovering the perfect match between a wine and a particular dish. Rather than overpowering the flavours, the wine should complement and enhance them, creating a harmonious dining experience.

While there are no strict rules etched in stone, there are some helpful guidelines to consider. For instance, red meats typically pair well with robust red wines, while lighter fare tends to shine alongside lighter, more delicate wines. It’s all about finding that magical balance that elevates both the food and the wine.

Build the Board Around the Wine


Classic charcuterie boards have such variety of foods that it can feel overwhelming to pair a single wine with the board. To combat this, choose the wine you would like to serve first, and use this to guide you in your cheese and meat choices.


While the meat and cheese undoubtedly steal the spotlight, the spaces they leave behind on your charcuterie board are perfect opportunities to add complementary elements such as bread or crackers, fruits, nuts, and even fresh herbs. These additional components not only enhance the visual appeal of your board but also provide a delightful variety of textures and flavours that elevate the overall tasting experience.


Aim to achieve a harmonious balance between the body, acidity, and flavour intensity of the wine with the various elements on your board. When in doubt, consider choosing a wine from the same region where your meat or cheese was produced. This ensures a seamless pairing that enhances the overall dining experience.

Sparkling Wines and Crisp White Boards


Sparkling wines are renowned for their high acidity, making them excellent companions for soft, creamy cheeses. The bright acidity of the wine beautifully cuts through the richness of the cheese, creating a harmonious balance of flavours. Similarly, crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and other acidic white varieties like Riesling also pair splendidly with creamy cheeses, enhancing the overall tasting experience with their vibrant acidity and refreshing character.


Meats: prosciutto, chicken liver mousse

Cheeses: goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, brie, cambozola

Fruit: green pears, green apples, green grapes, dried apricots

Nuts: almonds, pistachios

Condiments: flowery honey, apricot jam, green olives

Light to Medium-bodied White and Rose Boards


Increasing the body of the wine allows you to elevate the intensity of the cheeses and meats on your charcuterie board. If Chardonnay or a Chenin Blanc is your choice, opt for semi-firm cheeses and more robust meat items to match the fuller-bodied wine.


Meats: prosciutto, soppressata, salmon rillettes

Cheeses: Gruyere, fontal, Taleggio, mild cheddar

Fruit: red grapes, plums, yellow pears, pink apples

Nuts: roasted hazelnuts, toasted walnuts

Condiments: lavender honey, Dijon mustard, strawberry jam

Light-bodied Red Boards


Light-bodied red wines offer fresh, berry flavours that beautifully complement salty and nutty cheeses. Create an Alpine-style charcuterie board to pair with red wines such as Pinot Noir or Grenache. These wine varieties harmonise with the savoury notes of the cheeses, enhancing the overall tasting experience with their vibrant fruitiness and subtle complexity.


Meats: pork rillettes, truffle salami, prosciutto

Cheeses: fontina, white cheddar, Manchego, Gruyere

Fruit: grapes, cherries, figs, dried cranberries

Nuts: toasted walnuts, roasted almonds, pistachios

Condiments: fig jam, chutney, honey mustard

Medium to Full-bodied Red Boards


For tannin-heavy wines, bold flavours are essential. Soft cheeses should be avoided as the heavy reds can clash with the fat, rind, and milk proteins of the cheese, resulting in an unpleasant metallic and bitter aftertaste. Instead, opt for firm cheeses that can stand up to the wine’s robust structure. Wines like Merlot and Malbec are excellent choices as their firm structure can complement aged cheeses and bold meats, enhancing the overall tasting experience with their rich flavours and smooth texture.


Meats: saucisson, bresaola, pate, soppressata

Cheeses: aged cheddar, double Gloucester, aged Gouda, Parmigiano Reggiano

Fruit: blackberries, pomegranate, dried cherries

Nuts: hazelnuts, chocolate covered almonds

Condiments: plum jam, raspberry preserve, cornichons

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