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Cured meats and wine... what wines do you drink?

I love all sorts of high fat salumi, pate, etc. I have a horrible time, however, finding a wine that works well. I know that dry rieslings are often a good pairing but I always seem to crave a red wine when I'm eating cured meats like wild boar, pork sausages, etc. Recently, I had some country pate w/ a dolcetto that worked beautifully. I've also heard that dry lambrusco is sometimes a good pairing, but I haven't had the chance to try it yet.

What are some of your favorite cured meats and wine pairings?


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  1. Really, this one depends on your palate, and what flavors one wants to bring out in the wines and food:
    If there is no pepper/spicy-ness to the meat I like Amarone or a GSM blend or an aged Cab with some smoky notes.
    Peppery/Spicy cured meats require something a little more punchy for me - Sangiovese or Tempranillo based wines work .

    3 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      A good dry sparkling wine like cava or champagne will help to cut the grease. I suspect its palate-cleansing effect will also work quite well with spicy meats.

      A four-square pinot noir (such as a Pommard) also works quite well with gamier, non-spicy sausages.

      1. re: goldangl95

        All of those wines leave me with a metallic after taste if I'm eating a fatty cured meat like those mentioned above.

        Julian, yes, a sparkling works well... but alas it's not the red wine I crave with it.

        1. re: lynnlato

          Hmm intriguing, I've found that as long as the tannins have been given time to integrate it's fine (I assume that's what gives you the metallic taste? or is it the minerality of the wine itself)?

          I don't know a lower tannic red varietal than Grenache/Granacha or Pinot. . .

          A Burgundy can be wasted on very smoky or spicy cured meets. So if it's spicy or smoky, I'd stick to what everyone is suggesting a Grenache blend or a new world pinot.

          Otherwise you'll just have to switch to white =P

      2. I enjoy a lot of proscuitto, salami, etc and typically go with lighter versatile reds like Cotes du Rhone, Cabernet Franc, Garnacha, Beaujolais Village, etc. I'm letting the salumi shine. Having said that you could equally go the other way and feature bigger red wines and let the salumi play background.

        1. Amontillado and oloroso sherries. But it kind of depends on what's on the plate so I'll also reach for Priorat, Montsant, dry Rieslings and Pinots. Savagnin has worked remarkably well too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wattacetti

            I haven't had any luck with a priorat or a montsant either. I love them, just not with cured meats. I'm not familiar with savagnin, but I'll look into it.

          2. For salume: Do like they do in Emilia Romagna--Lambrusco. Love prosciutto, speck and salume with a really good Lambrusco, like Francesco Vezzelli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro "Rive dei Ciliegi."

            For pate, I like sparkling Vouvray, Cremant d'Alsace, or Champagne.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chefdilettante

              I've ordered some lambrusco. I'll look into those you've suggested, thanks.

            2. A rose/rosato with personality--Corbieres , Chinon, Bergerac, Cotes du Frontonnais or a Cotes du Rhone rose from France, a rosato from Puglia, Sicily, or Calabria, or a Cerasulo d'Abruzzo from Italy or an agiorgitiko-based rose from Greece. Make sure there's some fruit to balance the cool cleansing acids.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bob96

                I've not tried a rose, hmm... I see the possibilities. Thanks Bob & jock.

                1. put me in the rose camp. especially a really good Bandol.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jock

                    ditto on the "rose with character." also some of the fruitier cru Beaujolais'.

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I like Rose wines with a little oomph also with cured meats like prosciutto, salami, etc.

                      Rose bubbly too. As well as lIghter, friskier reds.

                      The trouble with deeper reds (Priorat, Cabernet, etc.) is that some of the flavor subtleties of the cured meat are lost (the cured meat's sweetness, its subtle secondary flavors).

                      Pate -- I'm hoping you mean pate de campagne, not goose or duck pate de foie gras, which pairs best IMO with bubbles or Sauternes. Pate de campagne can be paired with richer, darker reds if the ingredients in the pate can stand up to them (green or black peppercorns, heavier spicing, etc.). Otherwise, medium or lightweight reds work fine.

                      Bresaola -- agree with Eugene below -- this can take a heavier red.

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        What "lighter, friskier reds" do you recommend?

                        We just got a Chateau Puech-Haut 'Prestige' rose. I'd like to give it a try w/ a wild boar salume we bought recently.

                  2. Wifey and I had a 2004 Marchesato Brunello Di Montalcino with crackers and prosciutto, several salumis and bresaola. The BdM worked well with everything except the prosciutto.

                    1. Tavel (Rhone rose), Cotes-du-Rhone, Chinon (Loire cab franc, Bourgueil (ditto), Blaufrankisch (Austrian cab franc), Zweigelt (Austrian cab franc/st. laurent hybrid).

                      1. Cava, all the way. It breaks up the fatty flavors without being sweet. perfect

                        1. I am thinking Sherry for "cured meats."



                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            Actually, a chilled manzanilla.... yes.

                          2. Clearly it all depends upon what YOU like -- and you may enjoy different wines than I do. For example, I do *not* get anything like a "metallic aftertaste" when enjoying a Sangiovese or Tempranillo with salumi and cheeses . . .

                            My rule-of-thumb is simple: where does the food come from? Drink the nearby wine.

                            Now obviously this is not an exclusive match, nor is it meant to be. But when in doubt, I've always found that to be rather reliable. So I will often pair a Spanish or Portuguese red when serving a variety of chorizo, Iberico ham, Marcona almonds, etc., etc. That said, the suggestion of a chilled, fresh Manzanilla*, or an aged, dry white Porto (think Churchill's) also works beautifully. Shift over to a variety of salumi and cheese from Italy, and I'll head in that direction . . . pâté and sausages of a (vaguely) French origin, and I'll go "sud" to something from the Côtes-du-Rhône, Provence, or the Languedoc -- whether it's a red or a rosé.


                            * especially if seafood (octopus, anchovies, oil-cured tuna, etc.) is included in the mix.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: zin1953

                              Then, of course, there's always the possibility that the "salumi" is produced in Wisconsin, the "prosciutto" in Iowa, etc, etc, etc. :o)

                              1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                True, but I'd still opt for a wine similar in style . . . .

                                1. re: zin1953

                                  Well, of course. But now let's bring duck prosciutto into the mix, and rabbit rillets, and and and... :o)

                                  Just messin' with ya.

                                2. re: Brad Ballinger

                                  When geographical profiles fail, then move to plan B.

                                  I rather agree with Jason, but when one is dealing with products, not from their original geographical points of origin, then flavor-profiles come into play.

                                  When in doubt - taste.


                                3. re: zin1953


                                  Also a thought about that metallic taste the original poster is experiencing. Assuming it is the tannins that is causing this.....

                                  If it's a young red (say the vintage is 5 years ago or less), have you tried decanting or double decanting? If you don't have a decanter, and its that young, you can also pour a glass, see how the tannins are. If they are strong, put the cork back in and shake the bottle (wouldn't advise for wines that are older and have significant sediment).

                                  1. re: goldangl95

                                    Or shoot for a relatively low tannin red, like some young tempranillos, barbera, gaillac, ciro, even a gamay.

                                    1. re: bob96

                                      Yes agreed, but even with many of those the OP stated there was a metallic taste.

                                      1. re: bob96

                                        I had a barbera recently and the metallic after taste wasn't as pronounced as I've noted with other reds, but I still picked up on it slightly. This past wknd. I had a dolcetto w/ a country pate that, oddly enough, complimented the pate rather nicely.

                                        We've gotten some good rose wines in recently. I'm excited to give them a try.

                                  2. Hi LynnLato,

                                    I see that you are not short of suggestions in response to this question...here are mine...

                                    In my experience, you are generally looking for wines with fairly high acidity to "cut through" fatty foodstuffs, in terms of reds this means grape varieties such as Barbera or (some) Sangiovese.

                                    Steer clear of American Barbera (less acidity than the Italian options) and chose a Barbera d'Asti. Or in terms of Sangiovese, ignored the hyped Tuscans such as Brunello and instead aim for something like a Morellino di Scansano which is typically vinified in a fresh and bracingly acidic manner.

                                    Ultimately whatever you personally enjoy with a particular foodstuff in the perfect food pairing for you, but these would be some "traditional" suggestions.

                                    Enjoy experimenting!