I know what you did yesterday, because I did exactly the same thing. I‘ve stayed at home. Do not whine, there is a good reason for this. Also no one forbids you to have a good time at home and I have the exact way for you to do this: the best Delicatessen and their perfect wine pairings! I imagine you will have noticed that now, in addition to incredible wines, botilia also brings fine delicatessen at your doorstep. If not, hurry to check them out and you will find what you need to follow my tips for endless pleasure at home!
For many it is the king of the cheeses. The combination of sweet, savory, bitter and umami flavor makes parmesan an exquisite and delicious cheese. Wherever it is added it gives a unique taste and aroma while in the cheese varieties it always steals the show. You can enjoy it plain, with some dried fruits, nuts and honey. In this version you can combine it with a rich, oaky Chardonnay or with an aged Santorini such as the SANTORINI NYKTERI - ARTEMIS KARAMOLEGGOS WINERY. Of course, parmesan loves sparkling wines and if you are a fan of Champagne, do not hesitate to accompany it with this special cheese.
The ultimate cold cut in my humble opinion. The first time I heard about it was on Anthony Bourdain’s show. He had visited a cave where the culatellos hung and each one had a name on it. The royal families, many Hollywood actors, Mick Jagger, Beckham had their own culatello. But what is this culatello and why is it so great? I read and learned that this is a cold cut made from the inner pork thigh. It is seasoned with salt, pepper, sometimes garlic and white wine and left to mature in cellars around the Po River. The humidity and the unique microclimate give culatello its special taste.
Of course no matter how much you read, only if you try it you can understand what we are talking about. The price may be a bit high but we are talking about the Rolls Royce of cold cuts and I am sure that if you were given the opportunity to drive one you would take it. The delicate culatello does not need much. Better to enjoy it plain, at room temperature with a not very aromatic white wine, with oily texture such as Pinot Gris or Vouvray like the BELLE AU NATUREL VOUVRAY 2014 - DOMAINE DU PETIT TRESOR.
The famous French cheese with the special smell has fanatical opponents but also fans. It is made from cow's milk and has a characteristic white, edible crust. Its interior is soft and has a very rich, buttery taste and texture. Sure you can enjoy it with breadsticks and a glass of Chablis or a white Burgundy like SANTENAY "LES HATES" 2011 - VINCENT & SOPHIE MOREY but the magic is elsewhere.
Baked camembert is a culinary experience as it transforms the inside of the cheese into a "fondue" and enhances its buttery and nutty aromas. Put the camembert in a small baking pan (to fit it exactly), make holes with a knife and fill them with garlic, rosemary or truffle pieces. Sprinkle the cheese with a little of olive oil and bake it at 180o C for about 15-20 minutes or until the inside melts (be careful, the outside will remain almost the same, do not wait for it to melt completely). Serve hot with toasted bread, red fruit or onion chutney and a glass of Pinot Noir like PINOT NOIR WILLAMETTE VALLEY - J. CHRISTOPHER WINES. Epic!
This delicacy consists of bafa eggs (the female mullet), which are pickled and then matured, losing moisture and concentrating aromas and flavors. This ethereal delicacy wants simple things for company, such as sourdough bread and fresh butter. In this case, choose a sparkling wine from Xinomavro or Assyrtiko such as the BRUT CUVEE SPECIALE - KTIMA KARANIKA. If you want to experiment a bit you can accompany your bottarga with pine nuts and dried figs and combine it with a spirit or a dry Madeira.
The rich spicy taste of aged pecorino is combined with the earthy taste of black truffle and create a cheese of great gastronomic emotions. Ideally enjoy it plain (perhaps with a drizzle of truffle or acacia honey) and a glass of Nebbiolo or Xinomavro. If on the other hand you want to travel mentally to the enchanting Tuscany then toast some bread, rub it with a clove of garlic and put sautéed mushrooms on top. Add a generous portion of pecorino tartufo and put it in the oven for a few minutes. And since we are in Tuscany, a Chianti like CASANUOVA CHIANTI CLASSICO - FATTORIA NITTARDI or a Rosso di Montalcino are the proper pairings.
Bresaola is a cold cut made from raw, lean beef meat. It is salted and then allowed to air dry. It has a very delicate texture and taste (and low calorific value). It is served plain or in sandwiches and bruschettas and goes well with light red wines. Personally, I prefer to serve it as a carpaccio, with arugula leaves, parmesan and a truffle vinaigrette (which is the secret of the dish). If you want to follow my lead you will need lemon, olive oil, pepper, Dijon mustard and a hint of truffle paste (or truffle oil), mix them and pour over the plate. It may seem simple but it is delicious (suffice it to say that I have a friend who even if I have spent 100 hours in the kitchen cooking he always prefers this simple dish) and goes perfectly with white, lemony wines like Sauvignon Blanc (ideally from Loire) like SANCERRE - DOMAINE DU NOZAY.
San Michali is one of the best Greek cheeses on the market. It is made from cow's milk and matures for at least 18 months, acquiring a parmesan texture and an intense spicy taste. In Syros it is usually combined with the local retseli, which is practically a compote of dried figs and spices. You can substitute it with a sweet and spicy chutney or some dried fruit. The wine that suits it is a robust red from Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot like GUIDALBERTO - TENUTA SAN GUIDO.
Creamy, buttery and spicy Gorgonzola Picante is a passe-partout cheese. You can enjoy it plain with a sweet Muscat like PASSOPASSO PASSITO - MUSITA WINERY but also make bruschetta or pasta sauces. Try making gorgonzola and pear or fig bruschetta or making a pasta sauce with gorgonzola, heavy cream and walnuts. In the latter case you should try the subversive combination with ORANGE - MARKOGIANNI WINERY.
The black pigs of the Iberian Peninsula, who eat acorns, make a top ham, the Jamon Iberico de Bellota. The thigh is salted and then matured for over 12 months. Its buttery texture and intensely nutty taste go perfectly with sparkling wines such as the traditional Spanish Cava and Champagne rosé like the CHAMPAGNE DEUTZ BRUT ROSE - DEUTZ. If you do not like bubbles try an oaked white wine like AM FINE ASSYRTIKO & MALAGOUZIA – ANATOLIKOS VINEYARDS.
It is probably the most famous and beloved Italian cold cut in the world. It has a very tender texture and a distinctive aroma. When it comes from Parma it is characterized by a pronounced salty and slightly firmer texture, while from San Daniele it is sweeter and more aromatic. Depending on your personal taste you can choose the right one for you. Surely you can enjoy it plain with a glass of Pinot Grigio, like PINOT GRIGIO - SANTA MARGHERITA or Vidiano like KLIMA VIDIANO – KARAVITAKIS WINERY. At the same time you can make bruschetta with mozzarella, roasted cherry tomatoes and Prosciutto. In this case, pick a rosé wine from Xinomavro such as MOSCHOPOLIS 8 2018 - MOSCHOPOLIS WINERY.