What Wine Pairs Well With Ham

As someone who adores both wine and exquisite dishes, I must confess that I am quite knowledgeable when it comes to pairing wine with ham. I have dedicated numerous evenings to exploring various combinations in …

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As someone who adores both wine and exquisite dishes, I must confess that I am quite knowledgeable when it comes to pairing wine with ham. I have dedicated numerous evenings to exploring various combinations in order to discover the ideal match. And I can attest that the outcomes have been nothing but delightful.

Why Pairing Matters

Before delving into the specifics of which wines pair well with ham, let’s take a moment to understand why pairing matters in the first place. The right wine can enhance the flavors of a dish, bringing out its best qualities and creating a harmonious culinary experience.

Ham, with its savory and slightly salty flavors, requires a wine that can complement and balance its taste profile. The right wine should be able to cut through the fattiness of the ham while enhancing its natural sweetness.

Pinot Noir: A Classic Choice

When it comes to ham, one of my personal favorite wine pairings is a smooth and elegant Pinot Noir. This red wine varietal exhibits delicate flavors of red berries, earthiness, and a hint of spice. Its medium-bodied nature and moderate tannins make it an excellent choice to accompany ham.

The fruity undertones of Pinot Noir beautifully complement the sweetness of the ham, while its acidity helps cut through the richness. The result is a delightful contrast of flavors that leaves your taste buds wanting more.

Riesling: A Surprising Delight

For those who prefer white wine, I highly recommend trying a Riesling with your ham. This aromatic white wine often carries flavors of ripe stone fruits, such as peaches and apricots, along with a refreshing acidity.

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While the sweetness of the ham might seem like an odd match for a sweet wine, the acidity of Riesling helps balance the flavors. The combination creates a unique taste sensation that is both surprising and utterly delicious.

Rosé: A Versatile Option

If you’re unsure whether to go for a red or white wine, why not consider a versatile rosé? Rosé wines can vary in style and flavor, but they generally offer a refreshing acidity and a range of fruit flavors.

A dry or off-dry rosé can provide a lovely contrast to the saltiness of the ham, while a slightly sweeter version can enhance its natural sweetness. Experimenting with different rosé styles can be a fun way to discover your personal favorite pairing.

Conclusion

Pairing wine with ham is all about finding that perfect balance of flavors. Whether you opt for a classic Pinot Noir, a surprising Riesling, or a versatile rosé, the key is to select a wine that complements and enhances the taste of the ham. So next time you have a ham dish on the menu, don’t forget to uncork a bottle of your favorite wine and savor the delightful combination.

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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