What Wine Pairs Best With Ham

When it comes to enjoying a delicious meal, finding the perfect wine pairing can elevate the dining experience. As a wine enthusiast, I have had the pleasure of exploring various wine and food combinations, and …

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When it comes to enjoying a delicious meal, finding the perfect wine pairing can elevate the dining experience. As a wine enthusiast, I have had the pleasure of exploring various wine and food combinations, and one question that often arises is: what wine pairs best with ham? Let’s delve into the wonderful world of wine and discover the ideal pairing for this savory meat.

The Versatile Pairing: Riesling

In my experience, I have found that a crisp and slightly sweet Riesling complements ham beautifully. The slight sweetness of the Riesling balances the saltiness of the ham, creating a harmonious blend of flavors on the palate. Additionally, the wine’s acidity cuts through the richness of the meat, cleansing the palate with each sip. Whether it’s a honey-glazed ham or a smoked ham, a quality Riesling is a versatile choice that never fails to impress.

Exploring Red Options: Pinot Noir

While white wines are often the go-to choice for ham pairings, a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir can also be a delightful match. The soft tannins and red berry flavors of a Pinot Noir complement the savory notes of the ham, making for an unexpectedly delightful pairing. I particularly enjoy this combination with a glazed ham, as the wine’s fruitiness adds an extra layer of complexity to the dining experience.

An Elegant Affair: Rosé Champagne

For those special occasions or celebratory meals featuring ham, a glass of rosé champagne brings a touch of elegance to the table. The delicate bubbles and refreshing acidity of the champagne cleanse the palate and amplify the flavors of the ham, creating a truly luxurious sensation with each sip. Whether it’s a bone-in ham or a spiral-cut ham, the effervescence of rosé champagne elevates the dining experience to a new level of sophistication.

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Additional Considerations

It’s important to consider the preparation and accompanying flavors of the ham when selecting the perfect wine pairing. For example, a smoky ham may pair wonderfully with a smoky, oaked Chardonnay, adding depth to the overall flavor profile. On the other hand, a fruity and glazed ham may call for a more vibrant and fruit-forward wine selection.

Ultimately, the best wine pairing is one that brings you joy and enhances your dining experience. I encourage fellow wine enthusiasts to experiment with different wine varietals and ham preparations to discover their own perfect pairing. Cheers to the delightful journey of exploring wine and food harmonies!


Finding the perfect wine to pair with ham is a delightful adventure that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to any meal. Whether it’s a sweet Riesling, a light-bodied Pinot Noir, or a luxurious rosé champagne, the world of wine offers a myriad of options to elevate the flavors of this beloved meat. So, next time you’re savoring a succulent ham dish, don’t hesitate to uncork a bottle and explore the magic of wine and food 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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