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The Best Panino to Serve With Wine, According to a Detroit Sommelier

There’s no better pairing than this meaty, olive-y sandwich and a glass of wine

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While I’m sure you have the art of sandwich-making down, the warm, and pressed panino is a guaranteed way to up your go-to sandwich. Eater Wine Club’s guest sommelier for June, Liz Martinez, was most recently at Detroit wine bar and shop the Royce, where she found her favorite wine snack — the panino. (Now you can find Martinez as the director of beverage and service at Daxton, a brand-new hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.)

The offering at the Royce is devised by its wine buyer Monica Tân. Tân’s general panino philosophy is quality over quantity: a few thin slices of soppressata and a firm cheese with good olive oil are really all you need between a baguette. Her recipe is also all about finding the ideal accompaniment to the wine in your glass. Here is Tân’s ideal meat and cheese combination, plus her go-to brands for the olive oil, olive tapenade, and truffle salt to finish it off.

The baguette

The star of any sandwich is the bread that wraps it all together. For this panino, the ideal vehicle for Tân is a French baguette. If you’re local to Michigan like Tân, she recommends the baguette from Cannelle in Ann Arbor. That said, your best bet is to support a local restaurant or bakery — which very well might be an Instagram-only operation. There are also options like Bread Basket NYC to have one from a beloved bakery shipped to your home.

The meat

For Tân, the only option for the meat in this panino is a soppressata. She’s also particularly fond of the dry Italian salami from Creminelli ($9.99), which you can order online or find at a grocery store near you. You’ll need 1.5 ounces soppressata, thinly sliced.

The cheese

Hear us out, the cheese for this Italian sandwich is Spanish; Iberico to be specific. Trust your local grocer or cheesemonger and get their recommendation for a good Iberico (you’ll need 1.5 ounces per sandwich). Taleggio would also do nicely here.

The accompaniments

The first thing you’ll want to layer when building your panino is a green olive tapenade. Tân likes hers from Sable & Rosenfeld ($12.42), a blend of green olives, carrots, cauliflower, red bell peppers, celery, and capers — all soaked in olive oil. Then, to finish it all you’ll need really, really good olive oil and salt. For the extra virgin olive oil, Tân recommends using Pons from Spain ($19.95). And for the salt, it’s truffle salt from Urbani di Italia ($23.99) or nothing at all.

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