A charcuterie board is the perfect food to serve to a gathering of friends and family. It is sophisticated yet informal, and packed with impressive ingredients and flavors.
Once you have put together a picture perfect charcuterie board for your guests, you also need to ensure that you are serving the right drinks alongside it. But what should you drink with charcuterie?
We have put together this useful guide to help you decide which drinks to serve to your guests alongside your charcuterie board. Keep reading to get yourself ready to be the perfect host.
What Is A Charcuterie Board?
If you haven’t tried a charcuterie board yet then what are you waiting for? A selection of meat and cheeses are arranged beautifully on a wooden board, surrounded by other foods that complement their flavors like nuts, fruit, crackers, and dips. It is perfect social evenings, as everyone can mingle and chat and help themselves to little bits of food whenever they fancy it.
The board looks very appetizing with all the food arranged in a neat yet rustic way, which makes a charcuterie board ideal for impressing your family or friends.
One of the best things about a charcuterie board is that they are totally customizable. You can choose which meats, cheeses and accompaniments you want to include to cater to your guests or your own personal preferences.
You can switch it up each time and try new ingredients and flavor combinations, or just stick with your old favorites.
Which Wine Pairs Best With A Charcuterie Board?
Finding the perfect wine for your charcuterie board depends on which meats and cheeses you have decided to use.
A complex Cava would work really with jambon imperico, but a Rioja is better if you are serving prosciutto. Fruity red wines are an ideal pairing with salami, but a dry wine or a Pinot Gris would cut through the richness of a chicken pate.
If you have included blue cheese on your board then you should consider serving a white dessert wine or a port. A nice soft pinot noir would work better with a brie or a camembert as it won’t won’t overwhelm the flavor of the cheese.
A crisp, zesty wine with high acidity is perfect for drinking with goat’s cheese, but manchego cheese should be served with a Rioja. Merlot is a good choice if you have some jarlsberg on your board, but stinky cheeses like taleggio need a riesling wine to cut through the strong flavors.
If you are hosting a large gathering then you can choose a few bottles of white and a few bottles of red. If it is a smaller group of guests then pick one bottle of each. If you are struggling to choose, then you can’t go wrong with a sparkling wine when you are serving cheese.
The bubbles will cut through the rich cheese and it is a great drink to serve at a party. Champagne is preferable, but a prosecco or a sparkling rose would also be suitable.
Which Cocktails Pair Best With A Charcuterie Board?
Pairing a cocktail with your charcuterie board is similar to pairing wine with it – it depends on which individual elements you have included on your board.
If you have duck on your board- perhaps smoked, with berry jam and toasted walnuts- then the zesty and spicy flavors of an Old Fashioned cocktail would be perfect. Devilled eggs can be enjoyed with a Dirty Martini, whilst pork rillettes pair well with a Boulevardier cocktail.
Some cocktails are good all-rounders that will go well with any charcuterie board. A champagne cocktail with brandy and bitters will help to set the party mood and the effervescence will cut through the rich food.
A Bloody Mary is also an excellent choice as it has a very savory taste. An espresso martini is the perfect after dinner drink which you can make for your guests once they have finished eating.
Try to avoid cocktails that are overly sweet, like Daiquiris and Pina Coladas, as they will overwhelm the flavors on the board and won’t complement the savory elements.
Which Gin Pairs Best With A Charcuterie Board?
Gin is becoming more and more popular, especially as new flavors are being developed each year so there is something to suit everyone. This wide range of flavors gives you lots of options when it comes to choosing a gin to pair with your charcuterie board.
If you have chicken pate or poultry on your board, or soft cheeses like brie and cranberry, then a wintry gin would be ideal. A winter berry gin, or a cranberry and clementine gin- something with tart fruits and perhaps a bit of spice. If you are serving duck then an orange gin or a burnt orange gin would go perfectly.
Duck also goes well with other fruity flavors like plum or cherry, so keep an eye out for those gin flavors too. Salami has quite a peppery taste and fennel is often used to flavor the meat.
This means it needs a gin with a bit of a kick, like a rhubarb and ginger gin. Nduja spreadable sausage is also a popular choice of meat for a charcuterie board, and this would be excellent served with a smoky gin or a horseradish gin.
You can also offer your guests a plain gin with a crisp, bright flavor, with a range of mixers so they can choose which flavors they want- tonic, lemonade, and a few different fruit juices.
Which Craft Beer Pairs Best With A Charcuterie Board?
When it comes to craft beer there are so many different options for brands and flavors. This gives you endless possibilities of flavor combinations when you are choosing the best beer to serve alongside your charcuterie board. Again, it comes down to which meats and cheese are on your board.
Soft cheese like brie and camembert would be best served with a tart, fruity beer. Perhaps something with raspberry and lemon. A surprisingly good combination is goats cheese with a beer that has tropical flavors, like mango or pineapple. The sweetness complements the tang of the cheese and mellows the grassy flavor notes. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are lovely with a sip of peach tea beer, or any craft beer with a peachy flavor.
Beers with a strong hoppy flavor are perfect for cutting through the saltiness of meat like prosciutto or strong flavors like blue cheese- perhaps a West Coast IPA would be a good choice for this. When it comes to accompaniments like olives and artichokes, a pale ale or a blonde ale would be a refreshing pairing.
Which Non-Alcoholic Drinks Pair Best With A Charcuterie Board?
Not everyone at your social gathering will want to drink alcohol, so you should also offer a non-alcoholic drink option alongside your charcuterie board.
A sparkling cordial with flavors like grape, or lemon and elderflower, would be a perfect choice. The fruity flavors complement the meats on the board whilst the sparkling bubbles help to cut through the richness of the cheese and cleanse the palate in between mouthfuls. You could also offer your guests a non-alcoholic cocktail of cranberry juice, lemonade and a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
Deciding which drinks to serve with your charcuterie board can be a difficult task if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully in this article we have given you some new ideas as to what drinks work best with what you are serving.
From wines to craft beers, to non-alcoholic cordials, our handy guide will hopefully have given you lots of ideas on what to serve at your next party or event to make you stand out as a host!