You’re about to have a fabulous ham dinner and you’re thinking, “what wine goes with ham?” I mean, ham’s not just your everyday meat, right? So the wine can’t be run-of-the-mill either. It’s not just about swilling any vino with your meal. Nope. It’s about finding the perfect combo that gets your taste buds dancing.
But why does pairing wine with ham even matter? Well, the magic lies in the match. When you get it right, your ham tastes even better, the wine goes down smoother, and your meal turns into an event.
Understanding the Ham
Alright, before we pop the cork, we’ve gotta get to know our ham. Because ham isn’t just ham, you know? There are different types to consider.
Glazed Ham: A crowd favorite. That sweet, sticky glaze…mmmm.
Smoked Ham: All about that flavor. It’s got a distinct, robust taste that comes from being smoked over wood.
Cured Ham: A classic. It’s prepared by curing with salt and sometimes spices, giving it a unique, savory flavor.
What’s cool is, how your ham’s made can impact what wine you’ll want to pour. Crazy, huh?
Wine Pairing Principles
Ok, we’re going to get a little wine-geeky here. Bear with me. So, there are three big things in wine that play a role when we’re deciding what wine goes with ham dinner – sweetness, acidity, and tannins.
Sweetness: Sweet wines can balance out the salty, savory flavors of ham. Think of it like a high-five between flavors.
Acidity: Wines with good acidity act like a citrus squeeze on your ham, brightening up the flavors.
Tannins: These are what make your mouth feel like it’s full of cotton after a sip of red wine. They’re not best buds with ham, so we’ll stick to low-tannin wines here.
And the glaze on your ham? Well, that’s a whole other ball game. A sweet glaze will want a wine that’s equally sweet, else your wine could end up tasting as bland as water. We don’t want that, do we?
Wine Pairings for Different Types of Ham
Alright, so now we’re getting into the fun part. We’ve got our ham, and now we’re going to find the best buddies for it from the world of wines. We’re going to answer the million-dollar question, “What wine goes with ham dinner?” based on the type of ham you’ve got.
Wine Pairings for Glazed Ham
Glazed ham is like that sweet and friendly person everyone loves to hang out with. So, we need a wine that’s going to keep up with that sweetness and not shy away.
Riesling comes first to mind. It’s got a fruity sweetness that makes it a champ at pairing with glazed ham. It balances out the saltiness of the ham and compliments the sweetness of the glaze. It’s like a fruity, sweet symphony for your taste buds.
Next, we have Gewurztraminer. It’s a bit of a tongue-twister, yeah? But trust me, it’s worth every syllable. It’s aromatic, it’s sweet, and it’s just going to make your glazed ham taste all the more delightful.
Last, but not the least, we have Australian Shiraz. You might think, “A red with ham?” But hey, who said reds can’t be sweet? Australian Shiraz brings a delightful burst of fruitiness that’s going to be like a high-five for the sweet glaze on your ham.
Wine Pairings for Smoked Ham
If you’ve got smoked ham on the menu, then we’ve got a different set of wines to consider. Smoked ham has a rich, robust flavor, so we need wines that won’t be overwhelmed.
First up, Red Zinfandel. It’s bold, it’s jammy, and it’s going to go toe-to-toe with your smoked ham. The smokiness of the ham and the bold flavors of Red Zinfandel are like two peas in a pod.
Then there’s Tempranillo. It’s a Spanish red that’s got a combination of fruitiness and earthiness. It can handle the strong, smoky flavors of your ham. Plus, it’s just fun to say.
And let’s not forget about Rosé wines. They’re like the middle ground between red and white wines, bringing in the best of both worlds. A good, dry Rosé can balance out the smokiness of the ham, making your meal all the more enjoyable.
Wine Pairings for Cured Ham
Last but not least, we have cured ham. It’s salty, it’s savory, and it needs a wine that can stand up to its boldness.
Enter Cava. It’s a Spanish sparkling wine that’s crisp and refreshing. It can cut through the saltiness of the ham and bring a delightful contrast to your palate.
Then we have Fino Sherry. It’s dry, it’s crisp, and it’s going to balance out the flavors of your cured ham, turning your dinner into a feast.
Versatile Wine Pairings for Any Ham
Okay, so what if you’re not sure what type of ham you’re having? Or maybe you just want to be ready with a wine that’ll rock with any ham. Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. Here are some versatile wine pairings for any ham, answering the ever important question, “what wine goes with ham dinner?”
Beaujolais Cru or village Burgundy: Let’s start with this French beauty. It’s fruity, it’s light, and it’s ready to party with any type of ham you’ve got.
GSM Blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre): A mix of three different grapes, this blend brings in a variety of flavors that can keep up with the different tastes of ham. It’s like a crowd of flavors in your mouth having a good time.
Riesling: Yes, our friend Riesling again! Remember how it rocked with glazed ham? Well, guess what? It’s flexible enough to go with other types of ham as well. It’s like that friend who gets along with everyone in the group.
White Wine Pairings with Ham
Now, let’s talk about some white wines that’ll be great with your ham. If you’re a fan of whites or just want to try something different, here are a few picks for “what wine goes with ham dinner?”
Sémillon: This white wine is usually on the sweeter side, making it a good match for ham. It’ll balance out the salty-savory ham and bring a refreshing change.
Viognier: It’s got a fuller body and brings a combination of floral and fruit notes. It’s like a bouquet of flowers with a fruity surprise, ready to add an extra layer of flavors to your ham dinner.
Old Vine Chenin Blanc: This wine can range from dry to sweet, with a good bit of acidity. So, it’s ready to roll with your ham, whether it’s sweet glazed or salty cured.
Grand Cru Gewürztraminer: Last but not least, this aromatic, sweet white wine is not just a good match with glazed ham, but it can also play well with other types of ham.
Pairing Wine with Ham and Other Foods
Alright, now let’s mix things up a bit. What if you’re not just having ham? What if there’s turkey or a sandwich involved? Well, we’ve got some ideas for that as well.
Pairing wine with ham and turkey: If you’re serving ham and turkey, you’re going to want a versatile wine that can keep up with both. A bottle of Beaujolais Cru or a GSM blend can do the trick here. They’ve got enough flavors to compliment both the ham and the turkey, turning your meal into a feast.
Pairing wine with ham and cheese sandwich: Got a ham and cheese sandwich? A crisp white like Sémillon or an aromatic Gewürztraminer can bring out the flavors of the ham and cheese, and add a refreshing touch.
FAQ about what wine goes with ham dinner
What’s the best wine for a honey-glazed ham?
Dude, a honey-glazed ham is on the sweeter side, so I’d totally recommend a Riesling. It’s slightly sweet and can balance out the flavors like a champ.
If you’re more into reds, maybe go for a light-bodied Pinot Noir. Both work wonders!
Do white wines go well with ham?
Absolutely! When you’ve got a ham dinner on your plate, Chardonnay is a safe bet. It has this rich texture and the slight buttery taste can compliment the saltiness of ham.
Remember, it’s all about creating harmony on your palate.
What if I love sparkling wines?
Well, aren’t you in for a treat! Sparkling wines like Champagne or Prosecco can be the life of the party. They bring out this refreshing, bubbly feel which can be an amazing contrast with the rich flavors of ham. Cheers to bubbles!
Does rosé work with ham?
Oh, heck yes! Especially if it’s a warm day out. A chilled rosé is crisp and can play well with the saltiness of ham. Just think about those summer vibes and imagine pairing it with a lovely slice of ham. Pure magic!
I’ve heard something about Zinfandel and ham. True?
Bingo! Zinfandel, particularly from California, is fruity and has a spicy kick. It’s like the fun cousin that lights up the family gathering. So, if you’re thinking of shaking things up a bit, Zinfandel and ham can be a fiery duo.
Any non-alcoholic pairings?
Totally get it. Sometimes, it’s about keeping it mellow. How about sparkling apple cider? It’s got that sweet tangy vibe and can hold its own against a flavorful ham dinner.
Also, there are some pretty rad non-alcoholic wines out there nowadays. Explore a bit!
What about dessert wines?
Ahh, sweet endings, right? If you’re indulging in a ham dinner and looking for something sweet afterwards, Port can be your pal. It’s rich and sweet. But remember, balance it out. You don’t want a sugar overload.
Are there any absolute no-nos?
Honestly, super heavy and tannic reds like Cabernet Sauvignon might be a bit overpowering. But hey, wine and food pairing is super personal. If it tickles your fancy, who am I to say no?
I’m on a budget. Any affordable suggestions?
For sure! Look, wine doesn’t have to break the bank. There are some amazing Grenache or Tempranillo wines that are super budget-friendly. They’re fruity, spicy, and won’t leave your wallet crying.
Does the type of ham matter?
Well, kinda. I mean, a smoked ham has a different flavor profile than a honey-glazed one. Adjust accordingly. But if you stick to the basics and trust your taste buds, you’ll be good to go! Wine and dine, my friend!
Recap of the main points
So, we’ve been on quite a journey together, haven’t we? Navigated the complexities of ham and explored the wide world of wine. All in a quest to answer that burning question: “what wine goes with ham dinner?” We’ve learned about the different types of ham – glazed, smoked, cured – and how each type calls for a different kind of wine. Remember the sweet and fruity Riesling and Gewurztraminer for that glazed ham, and the robust Red Zinfandel or Tempranillo for smoked ham? And let’s not forget about our versatile friends like Beaujolais Cru and Riesling, ready to rock with any type of ham.
And what if you’re having more than just ham, like maybe turkey or a ham and cheese sandwich? We got you covered there as well with some versatile wines like Beaujolais Cru and a GSM blend or refreshing whites like Sémillon and Gewürztraminer.
Encouragement for readers to experiment with their own pairings
But you know what? This isn’t a rulebook. It’s more like a guide to get you started on this ham-wine pairing adventure. The real fun begins when you start experimenting on your own. Maybe you’ll find a wine that’s not on this list but rocks your ham dinner. Or perhaps you’ll discover a completely unexpected pairing that blows your mind. So go ahead, mix it up, have fun, and keep exploring. After all, there’s a whole world of wine out there just waiting to be paired with your next ham dinner.