What Wine Goes With Ham

Finding the right wine pairing can elevate the dining experience to a whole new level when enjoying a delicious meal. Whether it’s a holiday ham or the main dish for a special occasion, the perfect …

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Finding the right wine pairing can elevate the dining experience to a whole new level when enjoying a delicious meal. Whether it’s a holiday ham or the main dish for a special occasion, the perfect wine can enhance the flavors and complement the richness of the meat. As a wine enthusiast and passionate food lover, I’ve tried different wines to discover the ideal match for this beloved dish. Come with me as I explore the world of wine and uncover which varieties are the ultimate accompaniments for a succulent ham.

Pinot Noir: The Classic Choice

As I sat down to savor a juicy slice of honey-glazed ham, I couldn’t resist reaching for a glass of Pinot Noir. This medium-bodied red wine with its smooth texture and vibrant acidity is truly a classic choice for pairing with ham. Its fruity aromas of cherry and raspberry, along with its subtle earthy notes, beautifully complement the sweet and salty flavors of the ham. The light tannins in Pinot Noir also help to cleanse the palate, making each bite of ham more enjoyable.

Chardonnay: A Perfect White

If you prefer a white wine to accompany your ham, look no further than a well-chilled Chardonnay. This versatile wine offers a range of styles, from crisp and light to rich and buttery. For a ham with a slightly smoky or savory glaze, I opt for a full-bodied, oaky Chardonnay. The wine’s creamy texture and notes of vanilla and tropical fruits provide a delightful contrast to the saltiness of the ham. It’s a match made in culinary heaven.

Rosé: A Refreshing Twist

For those seeking a lighter and more refreshing option, a glass of chilled rosé can be a fantastic choice. With its delicate pink hue and vibrant acidity, rosé brings a touch of elegance to any meal. The crisp and fruity flavors of strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon in a dry rosé beautifully balance the richness of the ham. This pairing is ideal for a sunny afternoon gathering or a casual holiday feast.

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Sparkling Wine: Festive Bubbles

No celebration is complete without a bottle of sparkling wine, and its effervescence adds a festive touch to any meal. Whether you opt for Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava, the crisp acidity and lively bubbles of sparkling wine create a refreshing contrast to the richness of the ham. The toasty and yeasty flavors in Champagne can even complement the smokiness of a glazed ham, making it a truly indulgent pairing.


Pairing wine with ham is a delightful adventure that allows you to explore the world of flavors and find the perfect match for your taste buds. From the classic elegance of Pinot Noir to the refreshing twist of a chilled rosé, there are plenty of options to elevate your ham dining experience. Remember, the key is to experiment and find the wine that brings out the best in the flavors of the ham. So, next time you indulge in a succulent slice of ham, don’t forget to raise a glass of your favorite wine and savor the magic of this delicious pairing.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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