The New Pig in Town – Blending Booze and Cured Meat

It really is a tough job, working here at Cannon & Cannon. As a junior member of the team my first task, on my first day in the office, was to host a private event pairing fine wines with our fine cured meats. Poor me.

I must make it clear that I didn’t at this point know very much about either of these things. What’s more I didn’t know the outstanding alchemy that happened when you put them together. One single combination made this abundantly clear to me – a delicate yet meaty Chilean red wine (Ploughmen’s Carignan from The Garage Wine Co) paired with our Moons Green Mushroom and Truffle salami. A lesson in indulgence indeed. The earthiness and umami of the salami combined with the vegetal and tannic qualities of the wine opened my eyes. From there I was converted.

Here at our Meat School we pair wines and meats always once and sometimes twice a month. Our great friends at Borough Wines are more often than not our partners in crime, providing unique and exciting wines to match our range of artisanal meats. We take a relaxed approach to this pairing process, understanding that tastes differ hugely from person to person, so we are not offended if our guests choose to disagree with our choices. Well, not too offended. I must say this rarely happens and our pairings are usually greeted with warm applause; a sign of tastebuds jumping and anticipation sated. Raucous cheering usually ensues as our pairing evenings come to a close. I’m still not sure if that’s because our guests approve of the menu, or we’re finally letting them leave…

Wine and cured meats are surely a classic pairing, but the revolution of craft beer in the UK presents us with a slightly more left-field range of flavour sensations to try. We host a carefully selected brewery every month here at Meat School to present the best in flavour combinations these two craft products have to offer. The vast array of beer styles being produced today means that there is always a sensational pairing with our flavoursome meats. Think of a smokey porter with a blood, wine and chocolate chorizo – a deep and unctuous blend of chocolate and coffee richness. Drool.

Our British cured meats have stood up to even the strongest of alcoholic temptations. We’ve invited Balvenie whisky, Chase Vodka and Sipsmith Gin to join us for an evening’s frivolity at our Borough Market HQ. One would perhaps wonder if these pairings would work, but I defy anyone to sample a 50% proof Gin and not enjoy anything it was paired with. That said, I don’t remember much about those evenings…

Yours truly has now graduated to the point that I have some say in curating our boozy, meaty menus. The endless number of combinations and permutations still amaze and fortunately we have many, many more wines, spirits and beers to try and meats galore to tempt our guests with. Almost too many options. It really is a tough job this…

If you would like to join us at any of our pairing evenings at our Borough Market HQ, please see what’s on on our online calendar.