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The Sommelier-Recommended Wine To Pair With Cured Meats

charcuterie board and red wine
charcuterie board and red wine - Mediterranean/Getty Images

Even the most seasoned wine enthusiast can benefit from essential wine and food pairing tips to ensure that flavors mesh beautifully. When it comes to cured meats, flavors can vary from salty to spicy to sour, depending on the type of meat and seasonings used. As a result, finding the perfect wine to enjoy with your favorite cured meat can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, sommelier Scott Mattson has provided Daily Meal with some excellent insights into the matter.

In addition to being a certified sommelier, Mattson is also co-owner of Nocturne, a Denver-based jazz and dinner club that features a menu of delicious delights. Along with tasty offerings like braised pork belly and boardwalk frites, the establishment offers a meticulously curated wine list courtesy of Mattson. As for what wine is best with cured meats, the sommelier offers a simple yet impassioned answer: "Dolcetto is THE best cured meat wine -- full stop."

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Why Dolcetto Works So Well With Cured Meats

pouring red wine into glass
pouring red wine into glass - Day Of Victory Studio/Shutterstock

Dolcetto wine consists of grapes that hail from the Piedmont winegrowing region of Italy. A red wine, Dolcetto offers a nice balance of flavors that includes bright, fruity notes coupled with the astringent quality of tannins (organic compounds that are a primary component of dry wines). According to Mattson, it's these qualities that make Dolcetto a perfect option when enjoying a well-organized charcuterie board brimming with cured meats.

As explained by the certified sommelier, "Dolcetto is a touch bitter, with dark, rich fruit (think blueberry compote) with low acid." Low-acid wines have a particular mouthfeel that pairs well with the richness of cured meat. Low acidity can make for a smoother texture, as well as a fuller sensation in the mouth. As for the flavors of Dolcetto, the bold berry notes offset the more robust flavors within cured meats. On the other hand, the slightly bitter quality serves as a nice complement to the sharpness of cured meats like chorizo, mortadella, and genoa salami. Mattson also offers a few practical reasons why Dolcetto is the optimal cured meat pairing.

It's All About Timing (And Affordability)

cured meat and red wine
cured meat and red wine - Miguel Curiel Mena/Getty Images

Cured meats like salami are often served at the beginning of a meal before the heartier courses that come later. According to Mattson, Dolcetto is "light enough" to accompany these starter dishes, whereas a "weighty wine" can be reserved for the main course. While the definition of a weightier wine may vary depending on who you ask, the term generally refers to a wine that is higher than 13.5% ABV with a more substantial viscosity. Taking a cue from the Nocturne menu, a dish like braised pork belly might be accompanied by a wine with a minor hint of sweetness and high acidity, which can include selections like a German Riesling or Pinot Noir.

Mattson also describes Dolcetto as "affordable," which is an important quality for wine lovers on a budget. In fact, it falls neatly into the price range of cheap yet quality wines, which spans between $15 and $25. While prices can vary, many great bottles of Dolcetto cost between $17 and $23, which is a real steal when you consider the high praise it receives. Now, you can choose a wine to accompany cured meats with confidence and without breaking the bank.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.