Ham is a cured meat that is sweet, salty, and rich. Vibrant white wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are enhanced by the saltiness of Ham, while providing a tropical citrus tang to refresh your tastebuds against the meat. Meanwhile, acidic and lighter reds like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, and Zinfandel bring a lot of fruitiness to the table while complementing the smokiness often found within a Baked Ham.
New World Pinot Noir and Black Forest Ham
With the sweetness and saltiness of Ham, you typically want a wine that is medium-bodied and fruity. A new world Pinot Noir from New Zealand or California fits this profile. More substantial wines like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz won’t complement the sweetness of the wine due to their high tannin, nor will they be as refreshing when matched against the Ham’s saltiness.
A new world Pinot Noir is higher in acidity than tannin, and a little bit jammy, so each sip will be refreshing.
Riesling and Honey Glazed Ham
An off-dry Riesling works well with sweeter styles of Ham like a Honey Glazed Ham or Glazed Baked Ham. Riesling is bursting with apple and citrus flavour, which makes it go well with ham as you often see Pineapple going well with this meat. Again the sweetness of the wine complements the sweetness of the ham. Meanwhile the bright acidity and fruit flavours are refreshing against the salty backdrop of the meat.
Pinot Grigio & Easter Ham
Pinot Grigio is a light and neutral white wine that is food-friendly in that it will not overpower lighter dishes. While there are dozens of other white wines I would recommend before Pinot Grigio, this white wine is a smart choice for Easter as it is a crowd pleaser. If you’re bringing a wine to an Easter dinner, nobody is going to turn their nose up at a Pinot Grigio as it’s a crisp wine with light fruity flavours. The acidity works well with Ham, as it keeps your palate clean, and the light fruity flavours are refreshing against the saltiness of the Ham.
Rosé and Ham Dinner
Not only is Ham sweet and salty, when you include the rest of the side dishes, you have a lot to contend with. Rosé with its acidity and slight sweetness will do wonders. Again this wine will complement any sweetness in the Ham or side dishes, plus it will come off as refreshing.
If it’s a brunch, Rosé will stand up just fine against any other side dishes that might include Eggs Benedict, Salmon, Pancakes, Hash Browns and French Toast. If you’re dining at night, you’ll find Rosé going well with Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Light Salads, and Lamb. This makes Rosé perfect for any special occasions you might be having like Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Irish Stout and Baked Ham
An Irish Stout is a beautiful match with Ham. The dry finish of the beer draws out the saltiness of the meat and elevates the juicy flavours you love. The more intense the Ham flavours, the better the pairing!
Beaujolais-Villages Wine and Ham Sandwiches Pairing
If you’ve cooked up a Ham, you’ve undoubtedly have leftovers remaining for the next week. Western Sandwiches, Split Pea and Ham Soup, and Ham Sandwiches are some delicious meals you have to look forward to.
With a Ham Sandwich, you’re not having a heavy meal, so a Beaujolais makes an excellent pairing partner. Beaujolais are not high in alcohol. The dark cherries and strawberries flavours, along with a lovely spice undertone, add some depth to the sandwich. Meanwhile, the acidity in the wine washes away any ham, mustard and mayo components with ease.
Other Wine Pairings with Ham
Other red wines worth considering for Ham pairings are Corbières, Minervois, Languedoc AC, as well as new world wines like Merlot, Zinfandel, Shiraz and Grenache. Bordeaux that is Merlot driven and aged Rioja make excellent dance partners for baked ham.
Brachetto d’Acqui – which is a sweet Italian dessert wine (don’t worry, it’s not cloyingly sweet), is outstanding with Honey Baked Ham, as the sweetness of the wine complements the sweet notes of the meat, while the acidity and light fruity flavours of Brachetto are refreshing against the saltiness of the ham.
With white wine, you have a lot of options as well. Pinot Gris (a richer style of Pinot Grigio), Viognier (which has honey and nutty flavours), Chardonnay (a toasty white with notes of vanilla and tropical fruit) and Gewurztraminer (a spicy but citrusy white wine) will all enhance the flavours of Ham when paired with this delicious meat.