Imagine a table adorned with the vibrant hues of spring, the air rich with the aroma of spices and the joyous laughter of family; center stage is the glistening Easter ham, the star of your feast.

As the carefully selected wine is poured, each sip harmonizes with the succulent flavors of the ham, elevating the meal from mere tradition to an unforgettable culinary ballet.

In this chorus of flavors, the choice of wine accompaniment for holiday meals like Easter is crucial. I’ve spent a good part of my life dancing through kitchens, juggling pots and pans, and unlocking the secrets of perfect pairings.

With my 15 years of culinary exploits guiding your journey, together we’ll uncover which best wine pairing for ham beckons at your table.

You’ll navigate the wine flavor profiles for ham, learning to match the dry wine with glazed ham or the sweet wines with smoked ham. I’ll provide a holiday meal wine guide that assures your pour is met with cheers.

By the end of this read, the confident choice of a Riesling and Easter meal pairing or the bold union of Zinfandel for ham dishes won’t just be possible—it’ll be second nature.

What Wine Goes With Easter Ham

Wine Type Characteristic Why It Pairs Well Serving Temperature Example(s)
Riesling Off-dry, Fruity, High Acidity The sweetness and acidity complement the salty-sweet flavor of the ham. 45-55°F (7-13°C) Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett
Pinot Noir Light-bodied, Fruity, Low Tannins Its fruitiness goes well with the glaze, while low tannins allow the ham to shine. 55-60°F (13-16°C) La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Chardonnay Full-bodied, Buttery, Oaky Buttery notes pair nicely with the rich flavors of the ham. 48-58°F (9-14°C) Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay
Gewürztraminer Aromatic, Spicy, Off-dry The wine’s spice and sweetness complement the ham’s flavors. 45-50°F (7-10°C) Trimbach Gewürztraminer
Zinfandel Medium to Full-bodied, Berry Flavors, Spicy Robust flavors stand up to a flavorful ham without overpowering it. 60-65°F (16-18°C) Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel

Understanding the Nature of Ham

The Flavor Profile of Ham

Ham is all about flavor, and it’s a chameleon in the food world.

Savory, sometimes sweet, and often smoked, ham is a complex dish with a rich profile. It’s versatile, blending beautifully with a range of wines.

Different Types of Ham and Their Characteristics

From the rich, smoky flavor of a good Black Forest ham to the saltiness of country ham, there’s a world of difference between ham types.

Each brings its own unique taste to the table. And each one needs a partner in crime – the right wine.

The Art of Wine Pairing

Basic Principles of Wine Pairing

Wine pairing is not a science; it’s an art. But it’s an art with some basic principles.

Sweet goes with spicy, acidic with fatty, and rich with bold. And of course, your palate is the ultimate judge.

Factors to Consider in Wine Pairing

When you’re thinking about wine pairing, consider the dish’s flavor profile. Is it sweet, savory, or spicy?

Think about the wine’s body and acidity. Light-bodied or full-bodied? High in acidity or low? Matching these aspects is the secret to unlocking the art of wine pairing.

These are the first steps to cracking the code on what wine goes with Easter ham.

There’s a beautiful world of flavors waiting to be explored. So grab your wine glass and your favorite cut of ham, and let’s dive into this tasty journey together.

White Wines That Pair with Ham

Alright, it’s time to introduce the main stars of the show – the white wines that make our ham dishes go from plain Jane to red carpet ready!

Riesling with Ham

Riesling, a white wine with high acidity and often floral and fruity notes, is like the life of the party. You can find them from bone dry to super sweet.

Now, why does Riesling love ham so much?

Ham, with its sweet-salty-smoky character, pairs perfectly with a Riesling’s bright acidity and sweet undertones. It’s like taking a bite of ham and a sip of apple cider at the same time. Magic, right?

Gewürztraminer with Ham

On to Gewürztraminer – a hard name to pronounce but an easy wine to love. It’s known for its aromatics. Think lychee, roses, and exotic spices.

Ham and Gewürztraminer are like best friends from different backgrounds. The spiciness of the Gewürztraminer complements the smokiness of the ham, creating an exotic flavor party in your mouth.

Pinot Gris with Ham

Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio, is all about subtlety. It’s like a whisper of pear, apple, and citrus.

So, why does it go well with ham?

Pinot Gris’s light and refreshing profile cuts through the richness of ham, creating a beautiful balance. It’s like a light, refreshing breeze on a warm day.

Sauvignon Blanc with Ham

Sauvignon Blanc, often crisp with notes of green apple, lime, and a touch of herbs, loves ham. It’s like that person who gets along with everybody.


Ham, with its savory richness, is beautifully offset by the crispness and vibrancy of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s like a refreshing salad next to a hearty main course.

Viognier with Ham

Viognier, full-bodied with stone fruit character and hints of spice, is a wine that commands attention.

And when you pair it with ham?

The wine’s aromatic, fruity profile is a perfect match for the saltiness of ham. It’s like pairing a peach cobbler with a salty caramel drizzle.

Prosecco with Ham

Last but not least, we have Prosecco, the bubbly superstar from Italy. Think apple, pear, and a hint of creaminess.

Paired with ham, it’s a whole new level of delicious.

The bubbles and crispness of Prosecco cut through the richness of the ham, making every bite and sip a celebration. So, if you’ve ever wondered what wine goes with Easter ham, Prosecco might be your answer.

In the world of wine pairing, there’s always an adventure waiting. So, the next time you’re serving up some delicious ham, don’t forget to invite one of these white wines to the party. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Red Wines That Pair with Ham

Who says only white wines can be friends with ham? There are some red wines out there that bring out the best in our beloved ham.

Pinot Noir with Ham

Let’s kick it off with Pinot Noir. This red wine is light-bodied, often with flavors of red fruit, mushroom, and spice.

And when paired with ham?

Pinot Noir’s low tannins and bright acidity balance out the savory and slightly sweet profile of ham. It’s like a dance where both partners move in harmony.

Gamay with Ham

Next up is Gamay. It’s all about high acidity and low tannins, with flavors of red fruit and a touch of earthiness.

Why does it pair well with ham?

Gamay’s fruity profile complements the salty-savory taste of ham. It’s like a pleasant surprise that makes you go, “Wow, these two really do get along!”

Tempranillo with Ham

On to Tempranillo, a medium-bodied red wine with flavors of plum, cherry, and a hint of leather. Yes, you read that right, leather.

Why does it pair well with ham?

Tempranillo’s fruity and earthy profile works beautifully with the savory and sometimes smoky flavors of ham. It’s a match that brings out the best in each other.

Grenache with Ham

Lastly, we’ve got Grenache. Think red fruit, spice, and medium tannins.

Paired with ham, it’s a delight.

Grenache’s spiciness and medium body balance the rich and savory ham. It’s like a spicy sweet dip for a savory snack.

So, if you ever wondered, “what wine goes with Easter ham?”, remember these red wines. They are ready to step up and make your ham dish shine. It’s all about balance, complementing flavors, and of course, your personal taste. So, experiment, explore, and find your perfect ham and wine match.

Pairing Wine with Different Ham Preparations

Life never comes at you straight. Neither should your ham and wine pairings. Let’s dive into some unique ham preparations and their perfect wine partners.

Wine Pairing for Honey Glazed Ham

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Honey glazed ham is sweet, salty, and oh-so-delicious. A white wine like Gewürztraminer or Riesling, with their fruity and slightly sweet profiles, complements this beautifully. They’ll make each other sing in perfect harmony.

Wine Pairing for Smoked Ham

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Smoked ham has that deep, rich, smoky flavor that just takes over your taste buds. It calls for a wine that can stand its ground. Tempranillo, with its earthy undertones, is just the partner for this dance.

Wine Pairing for Ham with a Spicy Glaze

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A spicy glazed ham adds that kick. It spices up the party. A wine like Grenache, with its hints of spice and medium tannins, can take the heat and come out on top.

Wine Pairing for Ham with a Fruit Glaze

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A fruit glazed ham is a play on sweet and savory. A wine that can match this playfulness is Pinot Noir. Its bright acidity and fruity flavors complement the sweet and savory elements wonderfully.

Wine Pairing for Ham in Different Occasions

Every ham occasion deserves the right wine.

Wine Pairing for Easter Ham

When you’re thinking about what wine goes with Easter ham, consider a Viognier or a Prosecco. They have just the right balance of fruitiness and acidity to make your Easter ham shine.

Wine Pairing for Christmas Ham

For Christmas ham, try a Pinot Gris or a Gamay. These wines, with their fruity and earthy profiles, can stand up to a rich, festive ham.

Wine Pairing for Casual Ham Sandwiches

Let’s not forget the humble ham sandwich. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Pinot Noir can turn your everyday sandwich into a special treat.

Finding the perfect wine for your ham isn’t rocket science. It’s about exploring, experimenting, and discovering what works best for your taste buds. So, get out there, try different pairings, and find the ones that make your palate sing.

FAQ On What Wine Goes With Easter Ham

Which Wine Pairs Best with a Traditional Easter Ham?

Think of your ham’s sweet glaze as a dance partner for wine. A Riesling, with its crisp persona, steps up to the challenge, complementing the sweet with a zesty twist.

Can I Serve Red Wine with Easter Ham?

Absolutely, go ahead and uncork that bottle. A light-bodied Pinot Noir won’t overwhelm your ham—it’ll bring out the best in both, like a gentle embrace for your palate.

Is White Wine a Good Choice for Glazed Ham?

Indeed, it shines! Chardonnay, with a touch of oak, harmonizes with the honey notes in your glaze, swirling together in a delightful culinary waltz.

How Does Wine Acidity Affect Ham Pairing?

Acidity in wine cuts through the richness of ham, clearing the stage for every new bite. It’s like a refreshing interlude between the acts of a grand feast.

What’s the Ideal Wine for a Smoked Easter Ham?

A smoked ham calls for a touch with character. Enter Zinfandel; its boldness is the melody that smoked ham’s robustness dances to.

Should the Wine Be Sweeter than the Ham?

Balance is key. If your glaze is particularly sweet, aim for a wine that plays a slightly softer, supportive tune, like a semi-sweet Riesling.

Does the Type of Ham Affect the Wine Choice?

Of course! Take note of whether you’re serving smoked or honey-glazed. Each type changes the rhythm and you’ll want a wine that keeps up.

Are There Any Festive Wines Specifically for Easter?

Wine is a personal touch to Easter traditions. A flourish of a seasonal Rosé adds a touch of spring to your table, a toast to new beginnings.

How Do I Choose a Wine for a Diverse Group of Guests?

Consider a versatile conductor like Pinot Noir for red or Sauvignon Blanc for white—crowd-pleasers that ensure the harmony of the dining ensemble.

Can Sparkling Wine Work with Easter Ham?

Yes, its effervescent charm is a lively prelude that readies the stage for the main act, offering a palate-cleansing sparkle between encores of ham.


So there you have it, a journey through flavors, a side-by-side stroll with ham and wine. Choosing what wine goes with Easter ham isn’t just about tradition; it’s about moments and the joy woven into every bite and sip we share.

With the curtains drawing to a close on our festive feast’s stage, remember:

  • Best wine pairing for ham isn’t a single note; it’s an entire symphony.
  • Whether it’s the light-hearted Pinot Noir or the vivacious Riesling, harmony is your guideline.
  • If the meal is a canvas, then the Easter dinner wine suggestions are your palette—paint boldly, yet thoughtfully.

As our tables clear and the laughter fades into cherished memories, take pride in the masterpiece you’ve cultivated—a blend of wine and ham, a confluence of family and flavors. Here’s to hoping your Easter is as splendid as the wine palate you’ve explored today. Cheers to the feast, the family, and the perfect pour!

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