November 23, 2023

Best wine with ham

You’re hosting a dinner party and the ham’s in the oven. But oh, the wine! You’ve got a cellar full, but don’t know your Pinot Noir from your Sauvignon Blanc. Don’t fret! We’re here to help you navigate those tricky wine waters.

We’ll guide you through the best white, red, and even sparkling wines to pair with your ham. So, sit back, relax, and let’s embark on this wine pairing adventure together. After all, wine not?

Understanding Wine and Ham Pairings

Let’s dive into the art of pairing wine with ham, where you’ll learn how the right choice can enhance your dining experience. Now, don’t fret, this isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. You’re not just throwing darts at a wine rack, hoping for a bullseye.

Consider the ham’s preparation. Smoked ham? A bold red’s your buddy. Honey-glazed? A sweet white’s your wingman. The wine should complement the ham, not compete with it. Think of it as a harmonious duet rather than a head-to-head battle.

Top White Wines for Ham

Continuing from our earlier discussion on pairing, when it comes to selecting a white wine for your ham, you’ll find that certain types shine brighter than others. These aren’t just any ordinary whites, they’re the life of the party, the ones that make your ham dance with joy on your palate.

  1. Riesling: This is your ham’s best friend. It’s sweet, it’s acidic, it’s everything your ham has ever dreamed of.
  2. Chardonnay: Creamy, buttery, and just a tad bit oaky, Chardonnay is the perfect partner for a honey-glazed ham. It’s like a warm hug for your taste buds.
  3. Gewürztraminer: If your ham could talk, it would say ‘Gewürztraminer, where have you been all my life?’ This white is spicy, aromatic and makes your ham taste like heaven on a fork.

Best Red Wines With Ham

Now, in terms of red wines, you’re not without fantastic options for pairing with your ham.

Picture this: your ham, glistening with a honey glaze, just begging for a delicious red counterpart. Enter Pinot Noir, a light-bodied red that’ll dance with your ham instead of stepping on its toes.

Or, if you’re feeling a bit more rebellious, a Zinfandel might tickle your fancy. It’s bold, it’s spicy, it’s like that adventurous friend who convinces you to go skydiving on a Sunday.

If you’re a traditionalist, though, a well-aged Bordeaux could be your ham’s soulmate. Each sip is like a cozy hug, perfect for a family dinner.

See? You’ve got options. Ham and red wine: a love story for the ages.

Sparkling Wines for Festive Occasions

Having explored red wines, you’re probably wondering about bubbly options for those special occasions, right? Well, let’s pop the cork on that topic now, shall we?

  1. Champagne: This classic French bubbly is like a party in your mouth. It’s the Beyoncé of sparkling wines – always in style and never disappoints.
  2. Prosecco: This Italian superstar is more than just a pretty face. It’s a budget-friendly, refreshing choice that’ll make your wallet and your taste buds do a little happy dance.
  3. Cava: Straight from Spain, this sparkling wine is vivacious and versatile. It’s like the life of the party that gets along with everyone, even that honey-glazed ham!

Exploring Unconventional Wine Pairings

You might be one to stick with the classics, but why not take a leap and explore some unconventional wine pairings with your ham? It’s like a culinary adventure, but you don’t even have to leave your dining room.

Ever thought about pairing your ham with a fruity Riesling? It’s a match made in heaven, the wine’s sweetness balancing the salty ham.

Or maybe consider a Grenache. It’s lighter, but its spicy notes play well with the savory ham.

And if you’re feeling really brave, why not try a zesty Zinfandel? Its bold flavors can hold their own against a hearty ham.

So, go ahead, make your taste buds do a little happy dance with these unexpected pairings.

Cheers to breaking the rules!


So, there you have it, folks! Whether you’re opting for a zesty white, a robust red, or a bubbly for your next ham feast, your wine game is now stronger than Hercules. Or should we say Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine?

Now, go forth, clink glasses, and create memories. Remember, the best wine isn’t the most expensive, but the one you enjoy the most.

Cheers to your culinary adventures!

About the author 

Karina Kahale

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. After years of travel, exploration, and education, I founded Underground Wine Merchants in 2019.

Currently, I work as a sommelier at a fine dining restaurant here in Hawaii. I pursued my education at the prestigious ICE Sommelier Institute in Los Angeles, which has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to excel in my profession.

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