a sunny summertime afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some cheese, charcuterie and wine. It’s the ultimate trifecta!
So this stellar combination of flavours is the number one treat to round out a dinner party or a quick summer snack with friends.
Charcuterie and cheese go hand in hand, but the right wine can really take the flavours to a new level, and it’s all too easy to think of cheese and wine pairings as being simple. That’s why we’re here to show you there’s much more to it.
Charcuterie is a tricky beast, so given the high salt content in cured meats, freshness is key when picking a wine. Salt in food softens the acidity in wine, so here we’ve covered all bases in our four fool proof flavour combinations for summer.
Made locally just outside of Brighton, this Multi Vintage is a fantastic fizz from Albourne Estate. Generous and soft on the palate, the wine is open and expressive with delightful panettone-like aromas of sweet baked bread, dried apricots, nuts and candied citrus peels.
When it comes to charcuterie, there’s no doubt that this sweet and bubbly tipple makes the perfect match for fatty meats; as fat and salt together are quite dominant factors in tasting, so the acidity and citrus work really well to refresh the palate.
Our top charcuterie picks: Salt Pig Smoked Pork Belly or Beals Managlitsa Coppa.
This is a very versatile wine for cheeses and is equally adept at matching rich and creamy cheeses as well as those with more aging and a saltier profile. However, smoky and mature flavours really complement this complex multi vintage, so a mature cheddar or Emmental are the perfect match.
Our favourite cheese pairings: Mature Cheddar or Emmental.
Next up, we have a traditional method sparkling wine produced at the local Hidden Springs Vineyard. It is lively and bright with lemon peel, blackberry and brioche aromas leading to flavours of lime, blackcurrant and crunchy green apple. Vibrant bubbles with a lingering finish make this a real gem.
This punchy fizz will happily stand up to the stronger flavours! It works well with all charcuterie but will particularly hold its own to refresh your palate through fatty, salty and spicey flavours.
Our top charcuterie picks: Lishmans Nduja, King Peter Ham, Beals Lomo
Another versatile wine when it comes to cheese, but as this is our summer selection, we’re highlighting those to give you a full summer tasting. The beautiful, lingering fizz works well with Goats Cheeses, Feta, Macadamia Vegan Feta cheese, and will also take on soft blue cheeses.
Our favourite cheese pairings: Goats Cheeses, Feta, Macadamia Vegan Feta cheese, Beauvale, Pevensey Blue.
Now of course we had to throw in a rosé in our summer selection! And what better than this wonderfully made Sussex sparkling rosé from Poynings Grange Vineyard. The minerality from the Sussex chalk shines through and combines beautifully with the full pinot character and brioche toastiness of this wine.
There’s a general rule of lighter styles of rosé pairing better with more delicate food, such fresh salads or charcuterie; so, it’s a given that this fizz will makes the perfect accompaniment to a light afternoon snack. When it comes to charcuterie, a soft and silky ham works a treat. We have a fantastic range of air-dried hams for you to choose from.
Our top charcuterie picks: Beals Air Dried Hams, Lishmans Yorkshire Ham.
Delicate, fruity, and balanced; one of our favourite aspects of this variety of rosé is its acidity and crisp finish that makes pairing it with cheese a breeze. It’s earthy-but-elegant crisp tones complement young, fresh tasting cheeses such as a feta or mozzarella.
Our favourite cheese pairings: High Weald Feta or Halloumi, Laverstocke Buffalo Mozzarella.
Finally, we’re rounding it off with a very light red produced at the Biddenden vineyard in Kent. Fresh raspberries and summer fruits abound in this refreshing, light red wine. Dornfelder is an ideal accompaniment to light fresh favours and can be drunk chilled for a great summer refreshment.
The wine’s fresh berry flavours are the perfect match for mellow salamis with a nice balancing acidity to cut through the fat. It’s important to match the boldness of a wine to the boldness of the meat.
Our top charcuterie picks: Moons Green Wild Fennel or Rosemary and Garlic.
The fruity flavours match well with mellow nutty cheeses but will also stand up to soft washed rind cheeses. A good rule of thumb to follow is, “the funkier the wine – the funkier the cheese.” A sweet berry wine will beg for a cheese that’s well… cheesy!
Our favourite cheese pairings: Cornish Gouda, Old Winchester, Ogleshield and a punchy Stinking Bishop.
So that rounds up our top pairings for summer. You don’t have to go overboard with flavours, simple combinations of the best selection of cheeses, the perfect wines and the most delicious charcuterie will go a long way; especially when using quality, local produce. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for more recommendations.
Phil, Louise & the team