Your Guide to Vegan Charcuterie Boards & What Wines to Pair it With
There’s been a large shift of people being more aware of what they consume and many people going vegan, vegetarian, or dairy-free. Approximately 65% of the human population has some sort of lactose sensitivity and with the increasing awareness of how the meat industry causes environmental problems, this shift is no surprise.
And those who have these more restrictive diets know the envy of seeing those beautiful charcuterie and grazing boards all over social media. Plus, more people going vegan equals way more options for cheese and meat substitutes that taste so much better than they did just 5 years ago. So let this guide you to create a delicious vegan charcuterie board that will surely be enjoyed.
If you’ve never bought vegan cheese before it can be a little daunting because there are several brands, and some have varying tastes and textures. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to find the best cheeses your grocery store has to offer.
Look for cultured cheese. This means the cheese is going to have a more traditional cheese flavor because probiotics have been added which gives that pungent flavor we’re used to.
- Find 3-4 different cheeses with different textures. Grab 1 or 2 spreadable cheeses, 2 harder kinds of cheese, and 1 dippable cheese like a ricotta. Also, be sure to find a variety of flavors within those cheeses to give an assortment to choose from and more options for styling.
- Be aware of cheeses with too many ingredients, or with ingredients you’ve never heard of or don’t know how to pronounce. The best cheeses usually have some of the following ingredients; tapioca starch, agar, nuts, and coconut oil.
Vegan meats aren’t quite as tricky as vegan cheeses. We suggest choosing 2-3 different types of meat, for example, 2 deli meats and 1 sausage. There are plenty to choose from and they come in a variety of flavors like plant-based salami, ham, and Italian hot sausage.
Mostly everything else that goes on a charcuterie board is already vegan, so from here it’s easy!
Crackers & Bread - 2-3 different types of cracks with varying shapes and flavor profiles and a sliced baguette.
Dips - 1 or 2 different types of jams with 1 being either smoky or spicy, and hummus of any flavor.
Nuts - Walnuts, pistachios, and cashews are delicious nuts that pair well with fruit and cheeses.
Fruit - Go with whatever fruit is in season and find 2-3 different kinds. Fruit not only pairs well with cheese but also adds some sweetness.
Olives & Pickles - add a small bowl of olives or pickles for that tart, acidic flavor.
So now that we have all the ingredients for our vegan charcuterie board, how do we pair it with wine? Because dairy-free cheeses are a lot more delicate than traditional cheeses, we suggest a light or medium-bodied wine. We like something refreshing and crisp like rosé, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, and light, fruit-forward pinot noir.
Now all you have to do is put all of it together! We like to go on Pinterest for inspiration on how the ingredients should be laid out to make sure it looks just as good as it tastes. Then pour your glass (or glasses) of wine and enjoy!