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Can you drink white wine with charcuterie?

Charcuterie and wine pairings can seem intimidating. With so many options for both meats and wines, how do you know what goes well together? The good news is that white wine is quite versatile with charcuterie. Here’s what you need to know about pairing white wine with charcuterie.

The Basics of Pairing White Wine and Charcuterie

In general, white wines pair well with charcuterie and cheese boards. The high acidity in white wines helps cut through the richness of fatty meats like salami and prosciutto. The crisp, bright flavors complement the salty, savory flavors of cured meats. Here are some quick tips for pairing white wine with charcuterie:

  • Lean towards medium to high acidity whites. The acid helps balance the fats.
  • Fruitier whites pair better than oaky wines. You want the fruit, not the wood.
  • Match weights. Lighter meats with lighter wines and vice versa.
  • Consider bubbles! Sparkling wines are quite versatile with charcuterie.
  • Go for complementary flavors, not competing. For example, pair sweet wines with sweeter meats like sopressata.

Popular white wine varieties that pair well with charcuterie include unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and sparkling wines. Now let’s get into more specifics.

Full-Bodied Whites

Fuller-bodied white wines have more texture and weight on the palate. Here are some excellent options:

Unoaked Chardonnay

Unoaked Chardonnay has a medium to high acidity and fuller mouthfeel without intense oak flavors. This allows the fruit to shine and match cured meats. Try an unoaked Chardonnay from Burgundy or California.

Aged White Rioja

White Rioja from Spain offers aromas of herbs and brine that complement charcuterie. The aged versions also have nice texture. Lopez de Heredia and Allende make tasty aged white Riojas.

White Bordeaux

White Bordeaux blends like Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon offer bright acidity, citrus notes, and grassy aromas. They stand up well to fatty meats like pâté.


From Spain’s Rias Baixas region, Albariño has a lush texture, bright acidity and flavors of peach, citrus and ocean breeze. It pairs beautifully with jamón serrano.

Medium-Bodied Whites

Medium-bodied whites provide a nice middle ground in weight and texture. Popular options include:

Sauvignon Blanc

The high acidity and herbaceous, grassy notes in Sauvignon Blanc are perfect counterparts to salty, funky charcuterie. Lean towards Old World styles from France’s Loire Valley over very tropical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio from Italy (not the sweeter “Pinot Grigio” from the U.S.) has moderate acidity, minerality and citrus flavors. It pairs well with lighter meats.

Vinho Verde

The lightly effervescent “green wine” from Portugal is crisp and easy drinking with salumi. Look for affordable options like Aveleda and Gazela.

Soave Classico

With apple and almond notes, minerality and bright acidity, the Garganega-based Soave wines from Italy pair nicely with speck and other charcuterie.

Lighter White Wines

For charcuterie and cheese boards with very fatty, rich meats or funky washed rinds, try these light, zesty whites:


Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, Muscadet from France’s Loire Valley is crisp and briny. It cuts through fat and complements cheese.


From Spain’s Basque region, the highly acidic Txakoli (chock-OH-lee) white made from Hondarrabi Zuri grapes pairs excellently with slices of chorizo or jamón ibérico.


With stony minerality and lemon-lime acidity, Assyrtiko from the Greek island of Santorini cleanses the palate between bites of salty charcuterie.

Grüner Veltliner

Austrian Grüner Veltliner has fresh white pepper spice and crunchy green apple flavors to complement meat. It’s especially nice with speck or prosciutto.

Sparkling Wines

Bubbles are beautiful with charcuterie! The effervescence scrubs the palate and prepares you for the next tasty bite. Excellent sparkling options include:


Crémant sparkling wines from France are made like Champagne but more affordable. Try a Crémant d’Alsace with salami.


Cava from Spain is made from local grapes like Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo. The dry, lemon-lime flavors pair nicely with serrano ham.


Light and crisp Prosecco from Italy cuts through fat and complements prosciutto or sopressata. Avoid the sweeter styles.


The lightly sparkling red Lambrusco grapes of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region make a fun pairing with mortadella or salami.

What to Avoid with Charcuterie

While most white wines work well with charcuterie, there are a few styles you’ll want to avoid:

  • Sweet wines can clash with salty meats. Go for dry wines.
  • Overly oaked whites overwhelm charcuterie. Unoaked is best.
  • Low acid wines taste flat and flabby next to cured meats. Seek higher acidity.
  • High alcohol whites can be too heavy. Look for 12-13% ABV range.
  • Fruit bombs don’t complement charcuterie. Seek more subtle fruit.

Plan Your Own White Wine and Charcuterie Pairing

To plan your own charcuterie and white wine pairing, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select your meats. Include a mix of cured meats like salami, prosciutto, speck, etc. Add cheese for variety.
  2. Consider meat weights and flavors. Delicate meats need lighter wines. Bolder meats need fuller bodied whites.
  3. Choose a few white wines options. Pick 2-3 whites across a range of styles and weights.
  4. Buy wine options. Purchase bottles at your local wine shop or order online.
  5. Arrange meat and cheese board. Assemble a visually appealing charcuterie spread.
  6. Chill white wines. Get whites nicely chilled before pouring.
  7. Taste pairings and enjoy! Sample meats with different whites for fun combinations.

Following these guidelines, you’re sure to end up with some stellar white wine and charcuterie pairings!

Favorite White Wine and Charcuterie Combinations

When in doubt, you can always fall back on these classic white wine and charcuterie pairings:

White Wine Charcuterie Pairing
Chablis (unoaked Chardonnay) Jambon de Bayonne (French ham)
Manzanilla sherry Jamón ibérico (Spanish cured ham)
Grüner Veltliner Coppa (Italian cured pork)
Muscadet Saucisson sec (French dry sausage)
Torrontes Chorizo (Spanish sausage)
Vinho Verde Salame piccante (spicy Italian salami)
Prosecco Bresaola (Italian air-dried beef)


The vast range of white wines pair deliciously with charcuterie. Dry, high acid whites complement the rich, fatty, savory qualities of cured meats. Lean towards light, citrusy whites for fatty meats and fuller-bodied whites for strong flavors. Sparkling wines provide a nice palate cleanser between bites. Following basic pairing principles, you’re sure to enjoy white wine with salami, prosciutto, ham and more.