Food Matching - Cured and Smoked Meats

Keep things cheap and cheerful. You will find that white wine can be surprisingly as good as red.

Sherry, particularly drier styles such as fino, manzanilla and amontillado work exceptionally well with this style of food. Spain's glorious fortified white wine is rarely considered a food partner in this country, but it's remarkably versatile and holds up against a broad range of flavours. The acidity of dry sherry helps cut through the fattiest meats.

Some of the world's most popular wines, such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, can clash with gamey cured meats because they're bogged down by excessive weight and lack the required acidity. Often, the best matches can be found off the beaten path. Get to know sherry and barbera, northern Italian reds have fantastic acidity which is a must for fatty salami and marbled meats.

Do not to get hung up on matching individual meats or you could end up with as many wines as items on the platter!

And don't rule out a cold, crisp beer, India pale ale, a fuller-bodied, aromatic and bitter style can work very well.

Riesling, with its good acidity, whether a moderately sweet style from Germany or a generally juicier new world example ranked highly in a charcuterie-pairing experiment led last year for a group of wine writers by British food-and-wine pairing expert Fiona Beckett. Ms. Beckett likes sparkling wine with charcuterie, largely because of its mouth-cleansing acidity. Not surprisingly, Lambrusco, a sparkling red, placed highly, too, just above riesling. 

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