From a ham sandwich to a table with fine salamis and pates, charcuterie needs a good accompaniment. Here goes a guide to enjoy divine pairings between sausages, hams and wines.
Charcuterie is made with different types of meat, more milled or thick, smoked or raw. Imagine the variety of aromas and flavors to consider in a pairing with wine. A common denominator of all of them is fat. The style of wine to choose depends on its amount. It is a crucial aspect because wine tannins become harder and dry on the palate with the contact with fat.
The other important aspect when it comes to pair sausages with wine is the level of salt and spices. Salt is not such an enemy of red wines, as it tends to soften the tannins. However, spices including pepper make us perceive the tannins harsher. For each type of sausage we have to consider its weight and taste to choose the perfect wine.
Mild taste charcuterie
In the case of the finest hams, including the most delicate ones, made from chicken and turkey meat, a white wine is always recommended. I suggest Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay for its excellent balance between structure and freshness. While for a Paris style ham (a delicate taste white ham from cooked pork) I prefer the aromatic Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection White.
Some sausages contain cereal thus their perception in the mouth changes completely. For example, in Slovenia you will find a sausage called jaglača. This recipe is made with millet grain that soothes the feeling of fat. It is a sausage that seems less aggressive, but on the other side has a lot of body and flavor. I recommend you to try it with the voluptuous Casillero del Diablo Viognier.
The same wine will serve you as a marvelous pairing with mortadella style sausages. They’re fatty, delicious, and full of spices, wine and pistachios, characterized by a beautiful mosaic obtained from the traces of pork fat. They are a traditional product of Bologna and I recommend enjoying them with our bubbly Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut. A terrific combination.
Surely you know very well the pork and ground beef mix sausages called Frankfurter. These sausages are thin and can be served only with a drop of mustard or prepared as a rich gourmet homemade hot dog. In this case do not forget to uncork Casillero Diablo Rosé.
Charcuterie which matures
Matured hams and sausages have a completely different profile of more complex and deep flavors. One of the stars of this category is obviously ham, mainly of European origin.
Each region has its own tradition and recipe for maturing hams: the Spanish jamón ibérico, Italian prosciutto di San Daniele or from Friuli or the German Westphalie or Black Forest ham and Portuguese Presunto de Chaves. They all have a common production base method: sauté the mixture let it sit and dry for prolonged time until they develop their particular flavors.
The mature hams, not necessarily ask for mature wines. I want to invite you to try these hams with a red wine of medium body as Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir. With some bread and dry fruits you can create a fabulous pairing. Here you go with a real party at home.
A classic ingredient of this category is liver. Goose or duck liver is a delicious gourmet ingredient and base of pates, terrines and some sausages as German Lebewurst or Polish Pasztetowa.
Liver has a very particular taste, with a touch of iron. Almost all children in the world go through a phase of hiding the liver in a napkin and throw it when mom is not looking. I am no exception. But adults know that, besides being a delight, liver is also a very healthy product. For these sausages is ideal to serve a red wine of medium body, juicy and spicy, as Casillero del Diablo Merlot.
Another ingredient that arouses ambivalent emotions is tongue. Pork tongue is a main ingredient of fromage de tête (a type of fat sausage). The tongue is a fairly strong muscle. Contains various spices, but not much fat, therefore a red wine with a little more tannins, and good structure, but also with freshness and juiciness, as Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon is highly recommended.
In the group of sausages made with “rare” animal parts is a special type of sausage which contains animal blood. In Chile is known as prieta, in Germany as Bloetwurst, in France as boudin noir and as morcilla in Spain. I like to find this very unique taste of blood in wine and make a match with a red wine of medium body, with a very expressive bouquet, but also with spicy notes. My choice is Casillero del Diablo Shiraz.
There are literally millions of types of sausages in the world. In Germany alone there are about 1,500 kinds: some should be eaten cold, others are dried, raw or cooked, also smoked, from beef or pork, etc. German classified Würste (sausages) according to the manufacturing process:
- Cooked before eating sausages (chipolatas type).
- Dried sausages like salami, a real prima ballerina among the sausages. It is produced in Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, Spain and other countries. Originally it comes from Italy and is a durable and dry sausage with finely minced pork fat and spices.
- Smoked sausages.
- “Boiled” Sausages which, despite their name, are not necessarily boiled in water (or put in the hose) products. This category includes white sausages (Weisswurst) or meatloaf (Leberkäse).
For several kinds of sausages and even a good salami, a wine that makes a perfect pairing is a red medium body one with hints of spices, and very juicy as Casillero del Diablo Carmenere.
The sausages can be made not only from pork or beef, but also from deer or wild boar. The meat of wild animals has more color (intense red), and flavor, and order a red wine with good structure and powerful aromas. I recommend you to try Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection Red. A rich blend of red varieties, with intense color, aromas of black cherries,plums, and a smoky and wild touch.
Recipes with charcuterie
We must remember that we often use sausages as an ingredient in a recipe. And every cooking technique, from frying or grilling until cooking in soup or risotto, change a little the direction of the pairing. For fried sausages with onions and served with fresh bread you need acidity. Try it with Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc.
Today I want to present you a very easy recipe for a comforting and warm lunch, especially during winter months. It is a traditional Polish recipe and is called Fasolka po bretońsku. It is a stew of beans, sausages, spices and tomatoes. My recipe is a bit more Chilean because it contains a hint of merquén. And to underline this Chilean influence, I serve it with Frontera Specialties País, a wine from a very traditional Chilean strain.
Fasolka po bretonsku
Ingredients for 4 people
- Half kilo of large grain beans (soaked the day before, for 12 hours)
- Half kilo of good smoked sausage
- 1 onion
- 100 g of tomato paste or tomato concentrate
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use grape-seed)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 grains of allspice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of dried marjoram or dried satureja
- 1 tablespoon of black tea and pepper (freshly ground)
- 2 garlic cloves
- Half a teaspoon of merquén
- Soak the beans the night before
- The next day boil them in the same water and pour it to remove any impurities, then cover with 2 liters of fresh water, add the bay leaves and allspice and cook the beans over medium heat until tender (approximately 2- 3 hours). If necessary, top up the water.
- Make a fried onion with vegetable oil.
- When the beans are almost tender, add salt, other seasonings, sliced or half slices sausages. Add the fried onion. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes.
- Finally add the tomato paste, cook for about 10 minutes and season to taste. Before serving, remove bay leaves from the pot.
- Serve withrustic bread.