You’ve got the ham, perfectly glazed and glistening on the table, a centerpiece that’s a feast for the eyes. But wait, there’s a partner it yearns for – the right wine. What wine goes with ham? Let’s dive in.

This isn’t just about tossing any bottle on the table; it’s a meticulous match-up, bringing out those smoky and savory flavors you worked so hard to perfect.

Prayerfully seared and sweetly adorned, ham transforms under the wing of a well-chosen wine. Your palette deserves this harmony.

We’re unwrapping a holiday-ready guide to silky reds and zesty whites pairing as graciously with that ham as guests to their seats.

A splash of Riesling, a dash of Pinot Noir — we’re discovering it all, from wine serving temperatures to understanding wine flavors and profiles.

As you navigate this journey, you’ll understand the essence of classic pairings with the sophistication of a holiday menu connoisseur. By the last period, wine and ham pairings will be your new party trick. Let’s raise a glass to that.

What Wine Goes with Ham Dinner

Wine Type Wine Varietal Flavor Profile Pairing Reason Food Examples
Red Wine Pinot Noir Fruity, Light Complements slightly sweet glazes, not overpowering Honey glazed ham, smoked ham
Red Wine Beaujolais Nouveau Berry, Fresh Matches the sweetness of ham without overwhelming Pineapple glazed ham
Red Wine Zinfandel Bold, Jammy Stands up to richer, spiced hams Spiced ham, barbecue glazed ham
White Wine Riesling (Off-dry) Fruity, Honeyed Balances the salty ham with a touch of sweetness Classic baked ham
White Wine Gewürztraminer Spicy, Floral Accentuates the ham’s sweet-savory flavor profile Ham with a sweet-spicy crust
Rosé Wine Dry Rosé Crisp, Berry-like Provides a refreshing contrast to the savory ham Ham salad, light ham dishes
Sparkling Champagne or Cava (Brut) Bright, Effervescent Cleanses the palate with its acidity and bubbles Ham canapés, appetizer ham dishes

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

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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 On What Wine Goes With Ham

What’s the Best Wine to Pair with Ham?

Ah, the classic conundrum. Look, you want a wine that complements the sweetness and saltiness. A Riesling or a Gewürztraminer? Spot on. They’ve got the right balance of sweet and acid to jazz up the ham’s flavors without overpowering them.

Can I Serve Red Wine with Ham?

Sure, red’s not out of the question. Aim for something with low tannins. A Pinot Noir is a champion – fruity enough to hang with the ham’s richness without starting a palate brawl.

What White Wine Works Well with Ham?

You’d want a white that stands up to the saltiness. A Chardonnay, especially one that’s not oaked to high heaven, brings a lovely, full-bodied counterpoint to a salty ham.

Is Sparkling Wine a Good Match for Ham?

Absolutely, it’s like a flavor fiesta. Sparkling wine, think Champagne or Prosecco, adds a zippy contrast to ham, especially if it’s glazed with something sweet. The bubbles are like a palate reset button.

Should the Wine Be Sweet or Dry When Paired with Ham?

Depends on your ham. Got a honey glaze? A semi-sweet wine like a Riesling stands up to it. If we’re talking more savory or smoked, a dry yet fruity wine will do the trick.

How Should I Factor in the Ham’s Preparation When Choosing a Wine?

The prep is your blueprint. A smoked ham’s BFF is a wine with smoky undertones, maybe a Syrah. For a sweet-glazed number, pick a wine that’s got some sweetness.

Does the Cut of the Ham Affect the Wine Pairing?

For real, it does. Thicker cuts demand a wine with more presence – think a Viognier or a richer Chardonnay. Thinner slices are in cahoots with lighter-bodied wines.

Could I Pair Rosé Wine with Ham?

Rosé isn’t just for Instagram. It’s pretty versatile. A dry Rosé with a hit of berry goodness will tango nicely with almost any type of ham.

How Important is the Serving Temperature of the Wine?

Super important. Too warm and your reds get flabby. Too cold and your whites become too shy. Keep whites chilled, reds just below room temp – they’ll express themselves best that way.

Are There Any Non-Traditional Wines That Pair Well with Ham?

Branch out, explore. An Albariño or even a Grüner Veltliner could be a delightful curveball – refreshing with a bit of spice to stand up to the mighty ham.


So, we’ve uncorked the secrets, marinated in the wisdom—what wine goes with ham is no longer just a whisper at dinner parties, but a bold statement. You’re now equipped with the know-how, whether you’re cozying up to a savory smoked ham or diving fork-first into a honey-glazed masterpiece.

Think about it—all those nuances in flavors, the wine varietals that we’ve paraded past your senses, they’re not just names and labels. They’re your arsenal, the toolkit for your next culinary adventure.

  • Riesling
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir

These aren’t mere wines; they’re a cast of characters ready to elevate that humble ham to star status. And always remember, whether it’s a festive holiday meal or an impromptu soirée, the right wine turns a simple dish into a symphony.

Here’s to the next toast, the next bite, the next cheer. Here’s to ham, and the wine that loves it. Cheers!

If you liked this article about what wine goes with ham, you should check out this article about what wine goes with salmon.

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