Picture this: A table adorned with the glistening star of the show, honey-baked ham, and there’s a hush of wonder—what wine shall grace our glasses, marrying the meal into a symphony of flavors?

A conundrum, indeed, for any culinary enthusiast to ponder. Yet, fear not, for the path to the perfect pour is but a read away.

With a decade and a half of whisking and dishing under my belt, I’ve come to understand that the harmony between food pairing and the right wine can elevate a simple meal to an occasion.

Step into my kitchen where we’ll uncork the mystery of which wine, with its unique tasting notes and wine characteristics, compliments that savory sweetness of a honey glazed ham recipe, making any holiday meal unforgettable.

By article’s end, you’ll not just grasp the hows but also the whys; from the acidic touch that balances the sweet, to a full-bodied red’s embrace of rich umami flavors.

Anticipate insights into wine bodyacidity, and even a nod to holiday meals necessitating special wine recommendations for pork. Prepare, for you shall soon be the beacon of pairing wisdom at your next sumptuous spread.

What Wine Goes With Honey-Baked Ham

Wine Type Flavor Profile Why It Pairs Well Serving Temp Example
Riesling Sweet, fruity, floral The sweetness complements the glaze on the ham; acidity cuts through the richness 45-50°F (7-10°C) Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett
Chardonnay (lightly-oaked) Fruity, buttery, with a hint of vanilla The buttery notes match the richness of the ham without overwhelming it 50-58°F (10-14°C) Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé
Zinfandel Fruity, spicy, with a hint of smokiness Spicy and fruity flavors enhance the sweetness and smokiness of the ham 65-70°F (18-21°C) Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel
Pinot Noir Light, with red fruit and earthy notes Light body with fruitiness balances the ham’s sweetness and saltiness 55-60°F (13-16°C) Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas
Gewürztraminer Floral, spicy, with lychee notes Aromatic qualities and slight sweetness harmonize with the ham’s flavor 45-50°F (7-10°C) Hugel & Fils Gewürztraminer Classic

Understanding Ham

Different types of ham

Okay, peeps, let’s chat ham. No, not all hams are born equal. There’s a whole wide world of ham types out there.

First off, you’ve got your fresh ham which is basically uncooked and needs some love before it hits your plate.

Then there’s cured ham that’s been all seasoned and preserved with salts and stuff. Dive a bit deeper and you’ll find country ham (super salty) and city ham (a bit sweeter).

And don’t even get me started on those mouthwatering honey baked hams. Heaven on a plate, I tell ya!

Common ways of preparing ham

So you’ve picked your ham, now what? You cook it, of course! Some like it roasted, others swear by grilling it. Want a sweet outer layer? Glazing is your friend.

For a smokier flavor, maybe throw it in a smoker. And if you’re wondering about that honey baked ham – that’s a special combo of sugar, honey, and a blowtorch to get that amazing caramelized crust. No kidding!

Flavor profiles of ham

Let’s talk flavors.

Fresh ham? Pretty mild and lets other flavors shine. Cured ham? A salty-savory affair. Country ham? Imagine saltiness intensified.

City ham? Sweet meets salty. Now, for the pièce de résistance – honey baked ham. Sweet, salty, and smoky, it’s a dance of flavors.

So when you’re thinking about what wine goes with honey baked ham, remember, you need something that can tango with this medley.

Understanding Wine

Different types of wine

Alright, dive into the wild and wonderful world of wine with me. Now, just as hams are a diverse bunch, wines have their own squad too.

  • Reds – Like that moody and romantic song that reminds you of rain and a fireplace. Deep, rich, and full of drama.
  • Whites – The pop track of the wine world. Light, crisp, and so refreshing. Ideal for sunny days and beach vibes.
  • Rosé – Ever listened to a mashup that just works? That’s rosé. Not exactly red, not quite white, but oh-so-delicious.
  • Sparkling – Think of those peppy dance numbers. Bubbly, bright, and all about the celebration!

Flavor profiles of wine

Wines have personalities, you know. Just like us, they’re complex with moods and characteristics. Some wines are fruity, think apple, berry, or tropical fruit vibes.

Others are dry – not sweet, but not like desert-dry, you get me? Then you’ve got tannic wines, kinda astringent like when you drink strong tea.

And the bodied ones, think of them as the bass in a song, full and robust or light and delicate. Now, if you’re wondering about what wine goes with honey baked ham, you gotta keep these flavors in mind.

How wine complements food

You know when you hear a song, and you just gotta dance? That’s how wine feels about food. It just wants to complement it.

Wine can contrast with the food, meaning it can be the opposite in flavor. Or it can mirror it, enhancing similar tastes.

Like, if you’ve got a spicy dish, a sweet wine can be its chill partner. But back to the main event, figuring out what wine goes with honey baked ham – it’s all about syncing those flavors up for a killer combo.

The Art of Pairing

The role of flavors in pairing

Okay, pairing wine with food is pretty much like setting up your playlist for a party. You gotta match the vibe. Flavors play the DJ here.

When they jive well, the whole room (or in this case, your mouth) is lit. Remember, it’s all about balance.

If your food’s salty, like ham, a wine with a bit of sweetness might just make the party pop. It’s a give and take, a back and forth, a real jam session.

The impact of ham preparation on wine pairing

Imagine playing a rock song at a lullaby night. Doesn’t fit, right? Same goes for wine and the way you prep your ham.

Roasted ham might crave a different wine compared to, let’s say, a honey baked one. The method amplifies certain flavors. Smoky ham?

Maybe go for a wine with earthy tones. And for the golden question of what wine goes with honey baked ham? Look for something that can groove with both the sweetness and saltiness.

The effect of wine characteristics on ham pairing

Ever tried playing a sad song at a hype party? Doesn’t mesh well, right? The wine’s characteristics can either make or break the pairing.

A full-bodied wine might overshadow a delicate ham, and a too light wine might get drowned by a robust ham flavor.

So, for the many who wonder what wine goes with honey baked ham, consider wines that balance out its richness. The dance between wine and ham is real, and when they groove in sync, it’s pure bliss.

Pairing Ham with White Wine

Alright, so you’ve got this gorgeous plate of ham and you’re eyeing that shelf of white wines. Let’s break it down, track by track, and see which white wine will make that ham sing.

Riesling with Ham

Riesling is like that indie track you can’t stop playing on repeat. It’s aromatic, it’s got that fruity vibe, and a sweet-to-dry range. Now, pop that with some salty ham? Chef’s kiss. Especially if you’re pondering on what wine goes with honey baked ham. That touch of sweetness in Riesling is just the partner-in-crime honey baked ham is looking for.

Gewürztraminer with Ham

Ever had a song stuck in your head ‘cause it’s so different yet so catchy? That’s Gewürztraminer for you. Floral, spicy, and kinda tropical, this wine’s got a bold character. Ham, with its robust flavor, especially the ones with a spicy edge, finds a friend in Gewürztraminer. It’s a duo that’s gonna make your taste buds groove!

Pinot Gris with Ham

Pinot Gris, or as some folks call it, Pinot Grigio, is that chart-topping number everyone loves. Crisp, light, and kinda citrusy, it’s everyone’s go-to. And guess what? It’s versatile. Whether it’s a grilled piece of ham or that oh-so-loved honey baked, asking what wine goes with honey baked ham? Pinot Gris might just be your answer.

Sauvignon Blanc with Ham

Ever found a song that’s so zesty and alive, it’s like an instant mood lifter? Enter Sauvignon Blanc. With its grassy and green apple notes, it’s the pop of freshness your ham might be craving. It’s especially dope if your ham has some herby marinade going on. The dance of flavors here? Nothing short of electric.

Viognier with Ham

Think of a track with deep lyrics but a smooth melody. That’s Viognier. Peachy, creamy, and sometimes a bit floral – it’s like a warm hug in a glass. So, for those smoky hams or even the rich flavor of honey baked, Viognier’s got the depth to roll with it.

Prosecco with Ham

Last but not the least, bring out the Prosecco! You know those tracks that make you wanna throw a party? Prosecco is that, in liquid form. Bubbly, a tad sweet, and just the right amount of fruity. It’s like a celebration in your mouth, especially when paired with ham. And if you’re still wondering what wine goes with honey baked ham for a festive occasion, pop open a Prosecco. The fizz and the ham? A match that’s poppin’!

Pairing Ham with Red Wine

Alright, so we tackled white wines. But the party ain’t over, folks. Let’s dive into the mysterious and sultry world of reds. What’s it like pairing these rich notes with ham? And of course, the age-old question: what wine goes with honey baked ham when we’re talking reds? Let’s unravel this playlist.

Pinot Noir with Ham

Starting off with the Pinot Noir. Think of it as that soulful, acoustic song that goes deep but is smooth at the same time. Its berry flavors, soft tannins, and slight earthiness harmonize with ham like two perfect chords in a song. And when the ham has a touch of sweetness? Pure magic.

Gamay with Ham

Gamay, oh boy! If Pinot Noir is an acoustic jam, Gamay is like its younger, funkier cousin. Vibrant, fruity, and with a lil’ bit of spice, it dances with ham – especially if there’s a hint of char on the ham. It’s lively, it’s bouncy, and it’s gonna make you wonder why you never paired it with ham before.

Tempranillo with Ham

Alright, switching up the beats with some Tempranillo. This one’s got that spicy, leathery vibe, kinda like a rock anthem from the ’80s. It’s got enough character to stand up to the saltiness of the ham. And when you ponder the riddle of what wine goes with honey baked ham in the red wine lane? Tempranillo says, “Why not me?”

Grenache with Ham

Finishing the reds with Grenache. It’s like a chilled-out beach tune. Strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of white pepper. Paired with ham, it’s like a summer jam session that you don’t want to end. Perfect for those outdoor BBQ hams or even your classic honey baked.

Special Ham and Wine Pairings

Okay, team, let’s talk specifics. We’ve got some hams that are not just any hams. They’re the hams. And they need special attention.

Honey Glazed Ham and Wine Pairing

Ding, ding! The big one. What wine goes with honey baked ham? Honey glazed ham is sweet, it’s salty, and it’s everything in between. For this superstar, you need a wine that complements its sweetness but doesn’t shy away. Off-dry Rieslings? Brilliant. A bold Tempranillo? Heck, yes. Or even a fruity Grenache. Experiment a little and find your jam.

Black Forest Smoked Ham and Wine Pairing

Here’s the curveball – the Black Forest Smoked Ham. It’s smoky, it’s rich, and it’s a flavor bomb. Here, you need wines that won’t be overshadowed. Think a robust Syrah with its smoky undertones or even a Zinfandel, with its berry-driven profile. This pairing is like a powerful duet – it’ll leave an impression!

Tips for Successful Pairing

You’ve got the wine, you’ve got the ham, but how do you make them dance together? Like, really groove?

Well, that’s a blend of understanding the occasion, knowing what gets your taste buds tingling, and daring to go off the beaten path. Here’s the low-down.

Considering the occasion

Imagine hosting a summer BBQ. Hot sun, cool vibes. Now, what wine goes with honey baked ham when the grill’s sizzling and the playlist’s popping?

Maybe something chilled, sparkly, a little effervescent? Or picture a winter evening. Cozy, snowflakes outside, fireplace crackling.

Suddenly, a warm, bold red with your smoked ham sounds kinda perfect, right? The occasion sets the scene.

Taking into account personal preferences

Let’s keep it real; while I might be vibing with a zesty Prosecco, you might be totally into a deep, full-bodied Chardonnay. And guess what? That’s perfectly cool. The whole game of what wine goes with honey baked ham, or any food, is super personal. Own your preferences. Rock them.

Experimenting with pairings

So here’s a wild idea. Next time, don’t just stick to the tried and tested. Venture out. Maybe that obscure wine from that tiny vineyard you visited last summer? Try it with your Easter ham. Who knows? You might just stumble upon the next big pairing sensation!

FAQ On What Wine Goes With Honey Baked Ham

Which wine pairs best with honey baked ham?

Swirl your glass and watch as the clear answer emerges: Riesling. This wine, with its perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, dances harmoniously alongside the ham’s rich sweetness. Imagine a sip after a bite, the flavors intermingling like guests at a splendid dinner gala.

Can I serve red wine with honey baked ham?

Indeed, embrace the bold! A Pinot Noir is your red crusader, championing a lighter body with a fruit-forward profile. It respects the ham’s flavor without overpowering—it’s like finding the ideal dance partner that doesn’t step on your toes.

Is white wine a good match for honey baked ham?

As good as a secret recipe passed down through generations. A chilled glass of Chardonnay, especially one that’s oaked, brings out a buttery feel that vibes with the ham’s honeyed exterior. It’s the yin to your meat’s yang, a delightful duo if there ever was one.

What if I prefer a dry wine?

Dry wine, when chosen wisely, is a hidden melody that can elevate your meat’s tune. Opt for a dry, yet aromatic Viognier. Its subtle floral notes and stone fruit flavors create a symphony where no note is too overpowering, complementing the ham’s sweetness just right.

Should the wine be served chilled?

Yes, the wine serving temperature matters. Most white wines, including that harmonious Riesling, should be served chilled to enhance their refreshingly crisp character.

Reds, like Pinot Noir, prefer slightly cooler than room temperature. It’s about setting the stage for the wine to perform at its best.

What about sparkling wine or champagne?

Ah, the bubbles! A Brut Champagne or a dry Prosecco, with their uplifting effervescence, cut through the richness of the ham like a friendly banter cuts through silence. It’s that pop of festivity that makes every bite even more joyous.

Any budget-friendly wine suggestions?

Absolutely, quality doesn’t always wear a hefty price tag. Scout for a Spanish Tempranillo or an Argentinian Malbec for reds; their lush berry profiles don’t require you to break the bank. For whites, seek a South African Chenin Blanc—fruity, with a touch of sweetness.

Can a rosé work with honey baked ham?

Rosé stands in the middle ground, waving at both reds and whites. Its crispness, with hints of red fruit, can be quite the surprise package with your ham. It’s the wildcard your taste buds might just thank you for playing.

Any wine serving tips for large gatherings?

To keep things flowing, consider opening multiple bottles, including whitesreds, and maybe even a rosé. This way, your guests can dabble in their own taste experiments.

Keep wines labeled and perhaps add a note about each’s delightful qualities—a real conversation starter.

What non-alcoholic alternatives complement honey baked ham?

For those skipping the alcohol, look toward sparkling ciders or grape juices, specifically ones with a balance of tart and sweet.

These can mimic the refreshing qualities of wine while keeping the meal inclusive for all guests. Think of it as the friendly handshake between the dish and your palate.


Wrapping up, finding what wine goes with honey baked ham is not just about taste—it’s an art. With each suggestion, from the lush Pinot Noir to the vibrant Riesling, you’re uncovering more than just a drink; you’re layering flavors, setting moods, and crafting experiences.

  • The food and wine combination is a dialogue, with each bringing something to the table, quite literally. Think of the sweetness level of the ham and the wine’s acidity as two friends who balance each other out.
  • Going for a red wine with ham? Remember it’s all about lightness in the body.
  • Leaning towards white wine? Let it be one that can sing with glaze.

Every sip and bite is a step in a dance—a joyful celebration of textures and tastes. Choose your partner well, and when your guests ask who the maestro behind the meal is, just smile. You’ve got this; the perfect match is in your hands, or rather, in your glasses. Cheers to a match made in culinary heaven.

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