If you’re a wine enthusiast and food lover like us, you know how fascinating the art of wine pairing is. Pairing the right wine with your meal can truly elevate your dining experience to the next level. And when it comes to ham dishes, the right wine pairing can make all the difference.
In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on how to pair wine with ham, as well as some perfect wine pairings for different types of ham and ham dishes. If you want to know what wine goes with ham, keep on reading and become an expert in ham and wine pairing.
Different Types of Ham and Their Flavors
Before we dive into wine pairings, it’s important to understand the different types of ham and their flavor profiles. There are many types of ham, but some of the most popular ones include smoked ham, salty ham, sweet ham, baked ham, grilled ham, and cherry-glazed ham.
Smoked ham has a smoky flavor that comes from being smoked over wood chips. Salty ham, on the other hand, features a salty flavor that comes from being cured with salt. Sweet ham has a significantly sweet flavor thanks to being glazed with honey or brown sugar. Baked ham is simply ham that has been baked in the oven, while grilled ham has a slightly charred flavor from being cooked on a grill. Cherry glazed ham features a sweet and tangy flavor as a result of being glazed with a cherry sauce.
Wine Pairing Basics: How to Pair Wine with Food
When it comes to pairing wine with food, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. First, you want to pair wines with similar flavor profiles. For example, a smoky ham pairs well with a wine that has a smoky flavor, like Pinot Noir.
Second, you want to pair wines with similar levels of acidity. High-acid wines pair well with salty dishes, while low-acid wines pair well with sweet dishes.
Finally, you want to pair wines with similar body types. Full-bodied wines pair well with bold flavors, while lighter-bodied wines pair well with more delicate flavors.
Wine Pairings for Smoked Ham
Smoked ham pairs well with medium-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or Australian Shiraz. These wines have a smoky flavor that complements the smokiness of the ham. The smoky flavors also pair well with wines that have a hint of dark fruit, like blackberry or black cherry.
A delectable Zinfandel is also worth a try with smoked ham. Its bright acidity, along with berry and spicy notes, will contrast with the smoky and salty flavors of the ham, creating an interesting and complex pairing.
For white wine lovers, a Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc can also work well with smoked ham. These wines have a high acidity that cuts through the richness of the ham and complements its salty flavor.
Wine Pairings for Salty Ham
Salty ham pairs well with high-acid white wines like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. These wines have a crisp, refreshing taste with a hint of green apple that balances out the saltiness of the ham. Chardonnay will also make a perfect pairing with salty ham, as its buttery and oaky notes will complement the salty flavor of the ham, and its acidity will help to balance out the salt.
If you prefer red wine, light-bodied Beaujolais or Pinot Noir will make a perfect pair with salty ham. These wines have a fruity flavor that complements the salty flavor of the ham.
Wine Pairings for Sweet Ham
Sweet ham makes a great combination with full-bodied red wines like Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines have a bold flavor that can stand up to the sweetness of the ham.
If you’re a sparkling wine enthusiast, Champagne or Prosecco are your best bets – they will also create a delectable pairing with sweet ham. The bubbles in the wine will help to cleanse the palate between bites of the sweet ham offering your taste buds a truly remarkable eating experience.
Wine Pairings for Baked Ham
Baked ham pairs well with medium-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or a Grenache. These wines have a fruity flavor that complements the sweetness of the ham. You can also have a go with Shiraz – its bold blackberry and spice flavors will pair nicely with the sweet, salty, and savory flavors of baked ham. The bold tannins will help to cut through the richness of the ham.
A Chardonnay or a Chenin Blanc can also work well with baked ham if you’re looking for a great white wine pairing. These wines have a medium body and a slight sweetness that pairs well with the ham.
Wine Pairings for Grilled Ham
Grilled ham pairs well with medium-bodied red wines like a Merlot or a Cabernet Franc. These wines have a fruity flavor that complements the charred flavor of the ham.
When it comes to white wines, Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc will also work well with grilled ham. These wines have a high acidity that cuts through the richness of the ham.
A bottle of dry rosé, such as the delectable French wine Pinot Noir Rosé, can also make an excellent pairing for a grilled ham dish, like a grilled ham sandwich. With flavors of red fruit and crisp acidity, the wine will cut through the fat of the ham and refresh the palate.
Wine Pairings for Cherry Glazed Ham
Cherry glazed ham pairs well with medium-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or a Grenache. These wines have a fruity flavor that complements the sweet and tangy flavor of the fruit glaze.
If you prefer white wines, you can opt for dry Riesling or a Gewürztraminer that will make a perfect match with cherry-glazed baked ham. These wines have a floral note that pairs well with the sweet and tangy flavor of the ham.
Tips for Being a Wine Enthusiast: How to Develop Your Palate
If you’re interested in becoming a wine enthusiast, there are a few tips that can help you develop your palate. First, taste as many different types of wine as possible. This will help you identify different flavors and aromas. What’s more, pay attention to the region and grape variety of each wine you taste. This will help you understand the different flavor profiles of different wines. Finally, experiment with wine pairings. Try pairing different wines with different types of food to see what works best for you.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, pairing wine with ham can truly elevate your dining experience. Understanding the different types of ham and their flavors is key to finding the perfect wine pairing. Remember to pair wines with similar flavor profiles, levels of acidity, and body types. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different wine pairings to find your perfect match. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a wine and food pairing expert.