One of my favorite little pleasures is a great charcuterie board. If you’re not familiar with that word, it’s French for meat and cheese. And, if you’re anything like my husband, that word alone is enough to deter you from ordering one. But, a few years ago I was at a winery in Arizona and they served us their sparkling moscato with white cheddar Cheetos. I’m serious. It was delicious!! They later explained that it’s a perfect combination because of the air, crunch, and flavor. That one sip is all it took for me to re-create and brainstorm other unconventional charcuterie items to pair with your wine and not intimidate your guests.
This is what I served last weekend for a holiday party I hosted. I paired this board with mulled wine (recipe coming Friday) and champagne. It was a hit with my friends. The traditional cheddar Cheetos paired great with the mulled wine which has a base of Cabernet Sauvignon. Traditionally, you would pair a cab with cheddar anyway, so it’s a perfect match.
Instead of fancy truffles, I substituted Junior Mints. They are smaller, easier to eat, less filling, and full of flavor. They paired perfectly with either the mulled wine or the champagne, and helped alleviate salami breath 😉
I kept some of the usual suspects though, including salami, blue cheese, crackers, and some almonds. Another twist was that instead of offering an additional fancy meat, I used beef jerky. Do you even know how many variations of beef jerky there are?! I had no idea. I stuck with traditional but if you’re serving a crisper, sweeter white wine, like a Riesling, a teriyaki beef jerky would pair well.
Here’s a quick reference list of unconventional charcuterie items you could try for your next girls night, party, or dinner (no judgement here). If you have other ideas, let me know in the comments!