Prosciutto: Aligote & Sottocenere
Niman Ranch’s Prosciutto is a wonderful, butter and silky product that melts in your mouth. It is particularly elegant and should be paired with a cheese that is of the same caliber. Sottocenere is speckled with black truffle and is truly what dreams are made of. It doesn’t have to be truffle flavored, but any firm cheese striped with dill or paprika or washed in ale would be an excellent match for the prosciutto. This pairing is something that you and your guests would expect to find at a five-star restaurant, and a glass of Aligote, a white Burgundy from France that is citrusy but refined, is the perfect accompaniment. Aligotes are fresh and citrusy with hints of green apple and honeydew.
Genoa Salame: Syrah & Vintage Grand Ewe
Niman Ranch Genoa Salame has a rich flavor, pulling from the spices and wine used in its making. Because of the punch of flavor the Genoa Salame offers, you want to drink an unfussy red, such as a nice Syrah preferably low in tannins. The South of France has plenty of good options, most of which have intense notes of raspberry and pepper, and taste like black cherries and chocolate. For cheese, eat a Uniekaas’s Vintage Grand Ewe as the perfect pairing. It is an aged, firm sheep’s cheese that has notes of toasted almond, maple syrup, and cultured butter. If the Vintage Grand Ewe is unavailable look for an aged sheep’s milk cheese in a gouda style. They’re known to be nutty and have tones of dulce de leche that work just as well with the Genoa Salame. The slight sweetness of these types of cheese gives way for the Genoa Salame to be the star of any charcuterie board.
Capocollo: Txakoli, Aged Cheddar & Thyme Honey
Niman Ranch’s Capocollo is perfectly savory and laced with nice pockets of cured fat that balances out the cured meat. The mild smokiness of the capocollo works with an aged sharp cheddar, and holds its own. The slightly crystalline texture of the aged cheddar and its abundance of salty-deliciousness makes for an intriguing but complementary match with the capocollo. A glass of the minerally and dry Spanish wine known as Txakoli is a perfect pairing and easy to drink side by side with the capocollo and cheddar. Txakoli tastes like a sunny day by the seaside, with hints of salt and pinesap. A side of thyme infused honey works its magic with Niman Ranch’s capocollo and the aged cheddar because of its herbaceous sweetness.
Hot Sopressata: Pinot Noir & La Tur
Niman Ranch Hot Sopressata is a crowd pleaser. Spiced similarly to the uncured pepperoni, but deeper in flavor, and the complexity of the spices used, met with the fine grind of the meat which makes each and every slice melt in your mouth. This is the type of charcuterie whose pairings are understated, but truly are ideal companions. A dry Pinot Noir from California is a no-brainer. It’s an easy wine to drink, but when coupled with the Hot Sopressata it offers a slight cooling effect and a mouth full of juicy red fruits such as currants, strawberries, and blackberries. Cheese-wise one should go the luxurious route. La Tur, an Italian variety of Brie, is made with cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk, however any ripe brie will do. It is important however, that the brie is at its prime and is soft and creamy. Brie that hasn’t reached its peak won’t have those notes of mushrooms, cream and grass that truly compliment Niman Ranch’s Hot Sopressata.
Pepperoni: Grolleau, Coupole & Fig Jam:
Niman Ranch’s Uncured Pepperoni has the perfect balance of spice and savory. Its taste is rounded out by a slight paprika flavor and the find grind of the meat makes it tender and smooth. Paired with coupole, a rich luxurious aged goat cheese, the pepperoni truly shines and is accentuated by this cheese’s farm fresh taste. A glass of Grolleau, a juicy fruity red wine from France that is low in tannins, is the perfect accompaniment to this trifecta. Grolleaus are a fun wine to break out to friends who might not be well versed in wine drinking. It is a deeply interesting wine that always inspires conversation. The Grolleau we paired with Niman Ranch’s Uncured Pepperoni has strong notes of strawberry, honeysuckle and orange rind. Serve with fig jam on the side which is reminiscent of the fruit in the Grolleau and compliments the slight spice in the pepperoni.