Your Complete Lunchmeat, Cheese & Wine Pairing Guide

We all know there’s a science to pairing cheese and wine. There are cheeses that taste better when paired with a Merlot, and others that hit their prime when paired with Zinfandel. But what about when you throw meat into the mix?

Using our favorite Hillshire Farm® Farm Classics® deli meats, we put together this quick guide that outlines the basics when it comes to pairing deli meat, cheese, and wine—and how you can do it all on a budget.

Black Forest Ham

When it comes to the deep smoky flavor of Black Forest Ham, you’ll want to go pair a cheese that has a sweet or tangy flavor.

What Cheese?

Gruyere Cheese
This sweet yet slightly salty cheese has a creamy texture. It’s flavor isn’t too overpowering, so you’re able to soak in every bite of your Black Forest Ham without too much distraction.

Cheddar Cheese
The sharpness of cheddar cheese serves as a perfect partner for the smoky taste of the Black Forest Ham.

What Wine? 

Due to the smoky flavors of the Black Forest Ham, we recommend going with a fruity red, like Zinfandel or Pinot Noir.

Hickory Smoked Ham

Any good meat-and-cheese ensemble should include this classic deli fare. Due to it’s salty-sweet flavor, Hickory Smoked Ham can be paired with a number of cheeses. The trick? Find one with a complementary flavor and texture.

What Cheese? 

Meunster Cheese
Muenster cheese has a fairly mild and smooth flavor, and a soft texture. This allows it to complement the smoky flavor from your meat in the best way possible. And, as an added bonus, it’s lower in fat than some other cheeses, like mozzarella or cheddar.

Swiss Cheese
Like muenster, Swiss cheese is soft and smooth, with what some might describe as a nut-like texture. It’s mild taste complements the toasted flavors of the Hickory Smoked Ham.

What Wine? 

This particular combination pairs well with a large variety of red wines, like Pinot Noir and Merlot. But, if you prefer a sweet white wine, try a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio.

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

While Honey Roasted Turkey Breast has a sweet flavor, Oven Roasted Turkey Breast has a more mild, home-cooked taste. When it comes to pairing cheese with this deli meat, you’ll want to look for something that has a somewhat tangy flavor, but you’ll want to try to keep a smooth texture.

What Cheese?

Havarti Cheese

Havarti is similar to Swiss in its buttery, smooth texture. But, it has a slightly acidic taste, which means it’s perfect to pair alongside your Oven Roasted Turkey Breast.

Asiago Cheese

Asiago has a semi-sweet flavor, but is also sharp—which will balance out the mild flavor of the Oven Roasted Turkey Breast perfectly.

What Wine? 

Go with a Sauvignon Blanc in this pairing—since it’s a dry white, it’ll pair well with the semi-sweet taste of the Asiago and the mild flavors of your Oven Roasted Turkey.

Honey Roasted Ham

The time-tested taste of golden honey matched with the tender taste of ham? Yes, please! Be sure to include Honey Roasted Ham in your set-up—but note that it will disappear fast.

What Cheese?

Brie Cheese

Brie has a smooth, buttery taste with a somewhat salty finish. Pair it with your Honey Roasted Ham for a foolproof combination.

Provolone Cheese

Provolone; one of the most versatile cheeses of all. It has a mild, smoky flavor, which makes it the perfect partner for Honey Roasted Turkey Breast. Put them together, close your eyes, and escape to your meat-and-cheese paradise.

What Wine?

We recommend sticking to a white wine for this pairing, like a Chardonnay. But, if you like to stick with reds, we recommend going for something with a fruity flavor, like a Merlot.

So, the next time you’re prepping to throw a dinner party or are asked to bring an appetizer, put together a meat and cheese tray using Hillshire Farm® Farm Classics® deli meat instead. Grab a few bottles of wine, pop them open, and pair away.