Ham is a popular food choice for many people, especially during special occasions like Easter and Christmas. It is a versatile meat that can be paired with a variety of wines, but finding the perfect match can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, we will explore the different types of ham and recommend the best wine to pair with each one.

everyone! Today, we’re going to be discussing what type of wine pairs best with ham. Ham is a popular dish that is often served on special occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. It can be served as the main course or as a component of a dish. There are several types of ham available, including smoked, cured, and glazed, and each type of ham has a unique flavor that will pair differently with different wines. Choosing the right wine can enhance the flavor of the ham and bring out the best in both the wine and the dish. Let’s explore some options and find the perfect pairing for your next ham dinner!

Understanding the Different Types of Ham

Before we dive into the wine pairings, it’s essential to understand the different types of ham available in the market.


Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham that originated from Italy. It is typically served raw and sliced thinly, making it perfect for antipasti or served as a starter. Prosciutto has a delicate, sweet, and nutty flavor, making it best paired with light-bodied white wines like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.


Serrano ham is a type of dry-cured ham that comes from Spain. It is made from the hind leg of a pig and has a deep, rich flavor. Serrano ham is best paired with medium-bodied red wines like Tempranillo or Rioja.

Black Forest Ham

Black Forest ham is a smoked ham that comes from Germany. It has a distinct smoky flavor that pairs well with full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Honey-Glazed Ham

Honey-glazed ham is a popular choice for holiday dinners. It has a sweet and savory flavor that pairs well with medium-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.

Wine Pairings for Ham

Now that we have a better understanding of the different types of ham let’s explore the best wine pairings for each one.

One key takeaway from this article is that pairing wine with ham can be overwhelming, but understanding the different types of ham and the best wine pairings for each can help create the perfect match. It’s important to consider the cooking method, saltiness, and other dishes being served when selecting a wine. Experimenting with different pairings can also help find the ideal match. A medium-bodied wine is a safe choice when unsure, and serving a variety of wines can cater to different wine preferences.

Tips for Pairing Wine with Ham

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when pairing wine with ham:

  • When in doubt, choose a medium-bodied wine as it pairs well with most types of ham.
  • Consider the cooking method of the ham. Smoked hams pair well with full-bodied red wines, while sweet and glazed hams pair well with medium-bodied wines.
  • Consider the saltiness of the ham. Saltiness can be balanced out with a wine that has a crisp acidity or a fruity sweetness.
  • Experiment with different wine pairings to find your perfect match.

Key takeaway: Understanding the different types of ham and their flavor profiles is important for finding the perfect wine pairing. Medium-bodied wines are a safe bet, but it’s important to consider the cooking method and saltiness of the ham. Experimenting with different pairings and considering other dishes being served and guests’ preferences can help create a well-rounded wine selection for a meal featuring ham.

Other Considerations

When selecting a wine to pair with ham, it is essential to consider the other dishes you will be serving. If you are serving a variety of dishes, choose a wine that pairs well with most of them. A light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or a medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay are excellent options.

It is also essential to consider the preferences of your guests. If you are serving a group of people with different wine preferences, consider serving a variety of wines to cater to everyone’s taste.

FAQs for What Wine with Ham

What type of wine pairs well with ham?

Ham is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways and the type of wine that pairs well with it will often depend on the preparation method. Generally, a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay pairs well with baked ham, while a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir is a good choice for a grilled or smoked ham. Sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco, is also a great option as the bubbles help cut through the richness of the ham.

Can I pair any red wine with ham?

While some red wines pair well with ham, not all red wines are suitable. Full-bodied, tannic red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah can overpower the flavors of ham, so it’s best to choose a lighter-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. These wines have a lower tannin content and pair well with the savory and salty flavors of ham.

Is it essential to pair wine with ham?

Wine pairing with ham is not necessary, but it can enhance the overall dining experience. The right wine pairing can complement the flavors of the ham and add an extra layer of enjoyment to the meal. Additionally, the acidity in wine can help balance out the richness of the ham and aid in digestion.

Can I drink sweet wine with ham?

Sweet wines can be paired with ham, but it’s important to choose the right type of wine. A sweet Riesling or Gew├╝rztraminer can pair well with glazed ham, as the sweetness can complement the sweetness of the glaze. However, be cautious not to choose a wine that is too sweet, as it may overpower the flavors of the ham.

What else should I consider when choosing a wine to pair with ham?

In addition to the type of wine, consider the occasion and your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a wine to pair with a casual ham dish on a weeknight, you may choose a less expensive bottle of wine. If you’re hosting a formal dinner party, you may want to choose a higher quality bottle of wine that pairs well with the ham and complements the other dishes on the menu. Ultimately, the wine should be enjoyable and enhance the flavors of the ham.