Pepperoni, Vermentino, Canary Melon (2014 Colle dei Bardellini Vigna U Munte Vermentino)
When cocktail hour rolls around and you’re in the mood for something familiar, yet still with a little swing, a little verve, set up a platter of pepperoni and yellow honey melon slices. Then pour a cool glass of Vermentino, a bright, light-bodied, almost tingly white primarily from the coastal regions of Italy. It doesn’t fight with the zippy pepperoni — always a crowd pleaser — and the succulent melon coats everything with sweet silk. Cue up Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and settle into your comfy chair.
Milano Salame, Soave, Cantaloupe (2012 Santi ‘Vigneti di Monteforte’ Soave Classico)
Mel Torme has earned his moniker The Velvet Fog, and for good reason. So we’ve paired a velvety wine from Italy’s Veneto region in the northeast with a rich, finely ground, satiny Milano salame. We think it’s a hit with musky, floral cantaloupe and less predictable than the prosciutto that would normally come wrapped around the fruit. It’s a trio that will get under your skin.
Fuet Salame, Pinot Bianco, Honeydew (2014 St. Paul’s Plotzner Pinot Bianco)
The luminous green honeydew, the sweetest of the bunch, when enveloped with a swallow of minerally Pinot Blanco from the northeast region of Italy, becomes something transporting. Slip in a slice of smoky fuet — a Catalan-style sweet salame — and the earthy undertones of the wine come through while the acid cuts the fat. You might just break out in song. We recommend Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” Then hold on tight.