Monday, January 12, 2015

Cooking and Entertaining: Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie

our amazing dinner

Because I loved Adam Centamore’s Assembling a Cheese Plate class (click here to see the post), I recently took his Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie class.  It was a great experience.  Here are a few of the things I learned:

Charcuterie refers to preserved meat.  Salami, prosciutto and pastrami are charcuterie, as are bacon and even spam
  • Pâté is a cooking method.  Country style means the pate has a hamburger-like texture, while mousse pâté is whipped and smooth
  • Rillettes is cubed meat cooked and packed in fat.  It’s similar to duck confit.
  • Culatello is salted, smoked and dried pork shoulder
  • Prosciutto is pork hind hock that is salted, larded and air cured (with moisture)
  • Jamon is pork hind hock that is salted and air cured with no moisture
  • Speck is salted, dry rubbed (with herbs), smoked and air cured pork belly
  • Guanciale is smoked pork cheek
When pairing wine, cheese and charcuterie, have combine flavors that complement or contrast each other.  For example. pair a tangy goat cheese with sweet preserves (for contrast), a salty culatello or prosciutto (for contrast) and a dry white wine (complementary)

Remember there are no “hard rules” about pairing wine, cheese, charcuterie and condiments. Pair whatever you like!

After the class, we went to the cheese/charcuterie and wine shops.  Adam was gracious enough to help us select wines to complement our dinner.  Here is what we served in the picture above:

Robiola tre latte cheese
Prosciutto di Parma
Raw Wildflower Honey
Chalone Vineyard Pinot Blanc

Pardon Brebis Fermier cheese
Mostarda di Mele Campanine
Arnad Montjoves Vallee d’Aosta

Ona cheese
Country Style Rabbit Pâté
Confiture de Cerise (Cherry Jam)-this was the best jam I've ever eaten!
Arnad Montjoves Vallee d’Aosta

Comte Grand Cru
Dijon Mustard
Arthur Murray Vineyards Syrah

We added a few olives to the plate, served baguette on the side and had a wonderful meal!

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