Parma gives its name to the famed prosciutto di Parma, which is made in the vicinity. In the region of Trieste, the similar salted and air-cured raw ham produced nearby is prosciutto di San Daniele. It’s just as revered as its Parma cousin, if maybe a little less known over here, as it is produced in lesser quantities. I’ve found it is slightly sweeter in taste, but quite similar, and a similarly excellent product. I was planning to eat a lot of it while staying in Trieste, probably Verona, too.
In Parma, the recommended wine to accompany prosciutto di Parma eaten as antipasto or a snack is locally produced, fizzy low-alcohol Lambrusco in the amabile, or off-dry style. It is an excellent pairing, better than with the dry version of Lambrusco that I had drank more frequently. In recent contact with wine producers in Friuli I queried them on what they drink with the regionally produced prosciutto di San Daniele. A couple replied it was Friuliano, typically a dry, light- or medium-bodied white wine that is often aromatic, with notes of pears or citrus, and a bit of welcome minerality. I quite enjoyed the Friulianos during the week I spent in the region some years ago. I remember that it was an excellent match for the seafood we ate, and I’m sure it complemented the prosciutto quite nicely, if my memory is a bit hazy on that. One producer recommended Pinot Grigio ramato, a unique richer style in which the grape must is in contact with the skins for about 10 hours or so. I was looking forward to trying that, too, especially since it is tough to find here.
I found it interesting that wildly different wines, the slightly sweet, effervescent, light red wine and a couple richer white wines might complement the not-so-different-tasting hams. I was looking forward to confirmation of the latter this week and next. Though that won’t come to pass, I might have to do some prosciutto pairings at home in its place. It won’t be as enjoyable, but good prosciutto and good wine are always fairly enjoyable wherever you are, I’ve found.
An advertising poster hanging in the only commercial prosciutto di Carpegna factory I visited a few years ago.