Edit ModuleShow Tags

Ham and Wine Pairing


Published:

If you celebrate Easter, chances are good there will be ham on the dinner table this weekend. A springtime celebration often wouldn’t be complete without this salty sweet staple. And fortunately, either red or white wines complement this favorite fare. 

For wine suggestions to help savor the flavor of ham even more, I asked some folks who wrote the book on pairing wine with food, literally—Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, James Beard Award-winning husband-and-wife coauthors of What to Drink with What You Eat and The Flavor Bible.

“We love ham—especially paired with the right wine,” they noted. The slightly sweet yet savory flavor of ham pairs well with fruity, light- to medium-bodied whites, sparkling wine, and fruity reds or dry or off-dry rosé.

In general, here are some to try:

  • Red: Beaujolais, Burgundy, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and young Zinfandel
  • White: Chablis, Champagne, unoaked Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Grigio

When your ham has either a sweet glaze or is served with a mustard sauce or glaze, Page and Dornenburg offer these thoughts on pairings:

Mustard: “For white, we’d turn to an unoaked Chardonnay or a dry-style Riesling, which would pair well with the bitter notes of the mustard. For red, a fruity Pinot Noir would be a nice counterpoint to the same flavors.”

Glazed Ham: “You’ll want a wine with a hint or more of residual sugar to stand up to the sweetness of the glaze,” say the pair. “Our choice would be an off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling. However, if the occasion is a celebration, you might opt for a Champagne or other sparkling wine with some residual sugar—even a demi-sec (slightly sweet) style.”

The traditional Polish Easter dish my family serves, which combines ham with Polish sausage, pork, and hard-boiled eggs, has a mustard/horseradish sauce (I know, it may sound “different,” but it’s tasty)—so I think a Riesling is in order. Cheers! Or, rather, Na zdrowie—to your health!

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins

My Name Is Jason and I Used to Hate Brunch

Brunch has undergone a renaissance in the Twin Cities. Food critic Jason DeRusha picks his top spots for brunch this year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags