Food & Drink » Flavor

Celebrating Texas Wine Month? Build a locally sourced charcuterie board to go with the vino

By

comment
Creating a charcuterie spread with local love may be easier than you think. - NINA RANGEL
  • Nina Rangel
  • Creating a charcuterie spread with local love may be easier than you think.
With October’s Texas Wine Month in full swing, your body will thank you for choosing not to explore the Lone Star State’s many offerings on an empty stomach.

Whether you’re planning a full-fledged party or a simple date night to facilitate your investigation of Texas-produced vino, a charcuterie board provides the perfect foil.
Charcuterie is, of course, the art of preparing meat products such as salami, ham, sausage, terrines, pâtés and confit. Together with rich cheeses, crispy crostini, lush fruit and what we could just as easily call “other fun stuff” — marmalades, spreads, pickled things, roasted nuts and chocolate, for example — a charcuterie board is the ultimate accompaniment to a wine night.

As we celebrate Texas wines, let’s also celebrate the state’s food producers by breaking down each charcuterie category and looking at where you can find local purveyors of each. That’s right, it’s possible to create a charc board from delicious ingredients found within 100 miles of SA.

Meet the meat

Cured meats are undeniably the star of a charcuterie board. They provide salty, savory and fatty notes that compliment Texas wine’s natural acidity.

We tapped San Antonio meat market Farmer’s Butcher for succulent pepperoni, boudin, salami and porchetta di testa for our spread, reveling in cured meats harvested from sustainably raised animals (1602 E. Houston St., (210) 757-3620, thefarmersbutcher.com). The flavor of meat from animals who live their entire lives in native Texas pastures is more complex than those raised on factory farms. Quite simply, it’s unmatched.

For another approach, indulge in the European-style charcuterie offered by Visca Charcuteria, the state’s first dry-cured salami facility ((713) 503-8369, viscacharcuteria.com). In addition to Tuscan-style salami, the Wimberley-based spot produces outstanding chorizo and soppressata, all of which are available at Alamo City meateries Smoke Shack and Coopers Meat Market.

Cheesin’ it

We looked to Schertz-based River Whey Creamery for uber-local fromage (17361 Bell N. Dr. #115, Schertz, (210) 326-1342, riverwheycreamery.com). The seven-year-old venture produces five fine-aged cheeses, including one smoked with pecan wood and another made in the style of creamy French blue cheese. All use Texas milk.

If you’re after something with a bit more funk, look to Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese, located south of Austin (3112 Windsor Road, Suite a302, Austin, (512) 963-5357, doslunascheese.com). Dos Lunas’ cheese is handmade from cow’s milk that is purportedly ever-changing, depending on the seasons and what kinds of grasses the cows are eating.

Carbo load

While some folks have no qualms about taking artisan meats and cheeses straight to the head, others need a carbohydrate-laden vessel. Enter the cracker, crostini, lavash — pick your poison here.

We sourced a few New Orleans French bread hoagies from San Antonio bakery The Bread Box, along with classic water crackers and breadsticks for dipping (555 W. Bitters Road, #115, (210) 277-8612, thebreadboxsa.com). Sure, you can buy toasted crostini, but it’s so much more satisfying when you do it yourself, and the fresh-baked hoagies don’t disappoint with a quick toss in olive oil and some toasting in the oven.

Other fun stuff

Round out your SA-centric charcuterie with sweet, spicy and savory items from some local spots that might not immediately spring to mind when you think “wine.”

For spicy elements, we dug deep into Alamo City bloodlines, sourcing hot mustard from Schilo’s Delicatessen (424 E. Commerce St., (210) 223-6692, schilos.com), the oldest restaurant on the San Antonio River Walk, and piquant giardiniera from the Esquire Tavern (155 E. Commerce St., (210) 222-2521, esquiretavern-sa.com). Giardiniera is an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil — in the Esquire’s case, we munched on crisp cauliflower, red pepper and carrots, pickled with Serrano peppers for a lingering burn.

Sweet elements came through thanks to Fredericksburg peach jam and an array of chocolate truffles from local sweet spot Chocollazo (Multiple locations, chocollazo.com). We threw in seasonal fruit including brown turkey figs from a tree in my backyard. A jar of Hill Country winery Kuhlman Cellars’ herbed almonds — roasted and tossed with French herbs de Provence — rounded out the experience (18421 E. U.S. Highway 290, Stonewall, (512) 920-2675, kuhlmancellars.com).

No matter how you choose to enjoy Texas wine, San Antonio-area food artisans offer plenty of options as you put together a delectable spread. And if the locally sourced charc board doesn’t turn out to your liking, just pour another glass and never speak of it again.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.