Ham: A Delicious Sin
A typical question among wine enthusiasts and food lovers is what food goes with ham? Likewise, what is the best white wine with ham and what is the best red wine with ham are some other popular questions. Usually, ham is a sweet cured meat, a bit salty, and rich in texture. However, there is not a universal ham type. On the contrary, there is variation in ham. For this reason, many different wines pair well with it!
History of Ham
The origin of ham can be traced back to the time of Gaul. In fact, during the 18th Century, ham was a major element of the diet of sailors. The cured meat has diverse tastes, from smoking in a Westphalian style to thick-sliced glazed with honey ham to the Spanish Jamón ibérico, a variety of world-class quality ham produced by the cured leg of pork.
Ham, as mentioned above, is produced in multiple ways. The 3 major production methods are salting (dry-curing), smoking, and wet-curing. But since lots of producers combine these, creating a universal ham and wine pairing guide seems impossible. Nevertheless, you can opt for specific wine types, such as aromatic Gewürztraminer, sweet Riesling, luscious Pinot Grigio, bold Zinfandel, and spicy Pinotage. The most classic example of dry-cured ham is the Italian Prosciutto. Served in thin sheets as a mouthwatering appetizer, Prosciutto or Jamón ibérico, for that matter, pair excellently with refreshing, highly acidic wines.
What Wines Pair Well With Ham?
Smoky ham shows a bold but not overly sweet flavor and goes well with new-world style Zinfandel, dynamic Pinotage, and aged Tempranillo. This ham category includes Mortadella and the American-classic Spam. For salty and sweet ham, such as Canadian bacon, complement the sweetness with equally sweet wines. A Spätlese Riesling, an off-dry Pinot Grigio, or a Vin Santo are solid choices and make a perfect wine match.
Best White Wines With Ham
Lucien Albrecht Gewürztraminer Réserve
- Winery — Lucien Albrecht
- Country/Region — France, Alsace
- Type — Alsace Gewürztraminer
- Aroma — Pineapple, Guava, Apricot, Nectarine, Almond, Soil, Stone
- Grapes — Gewürztraminer
- Taste — Cherry, Fig, White Pepper, Peach, Passion Fruit, Cinnamon Spice, Nutmeg, Honeysuckle
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Medium-Sweet
- Pairing — Ham, Halibut, Mahi-mahi, Pan-seared Salmon, Roast Chicken, Pork Chops, Gruyère
Earthy elements join suggestions of tropicals and stone fruit on the nose, forming a welcoming bouquet. Medium-sweet on the palate, the wine shows freshness and rich flavors of peaches in the mouth with hints of baking spices. Fragrances of pineapples, guavas, apricots, and nectarines surface on the nose, framed by the elements of almond, soil, and stone.
The palate exhibits tastes of peaches and passion fruit. At the same time, notes of zesty citrus mingle with touches of cherry, fig, and white pepper, contributing depth. A dash of cinnamon spice leads to the nutmeg-driven finish. Faint essences of rose petals and honeysuckle provide a last-minute aromatic immersion.
One of France’s Leading Wine Estates
Lucien Albrecht is one of the most renowned and well-respected producers of white wines in Alsace. The winery was founded in 1698 when Balthazar Albrecht settled in Orschwihr, a tiny village known for its rolling hills, ideally situated for grape cultivation. Today, the winery has made a name for itself for producing unique aromatic wines with finesse and freshness.
Furthermore, Lucien Albrecht wines are made with fruit sourced from the Grand Cru Pfingstberg and Grand Cru Spiegel. A true leader in the production of Brut and Rosé Crémants, Lucien Albrecht played a major role in securing AOC Crémant d’Alsace designation in 1976.
Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese Erdener Treppchen
- Winery — Dr. Loosen
- Country/Region — Germany, Mosel
- Type — German Riesling
- Aroma — Peach, Apricot, Pear, Apple, Strawberry, Raspberry
- Grapes — Riesling
- Taste — Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Plum, Rhubarb, Flint, Campfire, Honey, Butter
- Alcohol Content — 7.5%
- Sugar — Sweet
- Pairing — Ham, Roast Pork Loin, Red Snapper, Asian, Bacon Pizza
This is a dynamic Spätlese, expressive of the red slate soils of Mosel. Tantalizing scents of peaches, apples, and red berries and a hint of earthiness shape the bouquet, while the luscious palate displays flavors of plums, rhubarb, and minerals.
A vibrant Riesling packed with intriguing aromas of peaches, apricots, pears, and apples and delicate touches of strawberries and raspberries on the nose, as well as notes of soil. The bright palate highlights an opulent core of passion fruit, pineapple, plum, and rhubarb flavors. In addition, a smoky minerality is balanced by the high acidity. A long and resonant aftertaste concludes the tasting profile. Drinking window: 2021 to 2033.
German Winemaking Excellence
Belonging to the same family for 200 years, the Dr. Loosen Estate has vineyards with un-grafted vines averaging 50 years of age. In fact, these are some of the best vineyard sites in Germany, as 4 have been awarded a Grand Cru status and 2 a Premium Cru status by the 1868 German classification. The Dr. Loosen winery showcases wines of world-class quality, produced only with organic fertilizers and traditional cellar techniques.
As Ernst Loosen, founder of the Dr. Loosen Estate, puts it, “The great winemakers I have met invariably possess a clear concept in their mind of what their wine should be. It’s a vision that places terroir over technology, and grape quality over quantity. This is the level of winemaking we pursue at Dr. Loosen. Our goal is to produce wines that are luscious, complex, and true to their roots.”
Ziobaffa Pinot Grigio
- Winery — Ziobaffa
- Country/Region — Italy, Terre Siciliane
- Type — Italian Pinot Grigio
- Aroma — Honey, Ginger, Lime, Green Apples, Petunia
- Grapes — Pinot Grigio
- Taste — Honey-crisp Apple, Meyer Lemon, Ginger, White Stone
- Alcohol Content — 12%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Ham, Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Light Cheeses, Cream Sauce Pasta
Fermented at low temperature in stainless steel tanks to maintain pure varietal character, this Ziobaffa Pinot Grigio shows juicy and tangy apples, ginger, stone fruit, and Meyer lemons. Whiffs of vibrant apple, pear, grapefruit, and pineapple dominate the nose, alongside hints of vanilla, wet grass, and honey.
Medium-bodied, in the mouth, flavors of apples, peaches, and apricots are present, accented by subtle touches of ginger, cinnamon, and Meyer lemons. Creamy layers combine with notes of honeysuckle, cherry, and mint, driving into a lengthy finish. The acidity is sharp but crispy, counterbalancing the oiliness.
Sustainable and Zero-Waste Wine Production
Ziobaffa wine is crafted in a zero-waste facility in the heart of Tuscany. They aim to bring to the world affordable yet high-quality Italian wines produced with an eco-minded awareness. In other words, they try a modern twist on old winemaking traditions. On top of this, they ensure that their products are made with sustainability and an ethos of quality. The energy used in manufacturing comes from renewable energy resources, such as purifying polluted water and recycling waste. The labels are printed with non-toxic ink, using bio-friendly, non-toxic glue.
Best Red Wines With Ham
The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel
- Winery — The Prisoner
- Country/Region — United States, California
- Type — Californian Zinfandel
- Aroma — Licorice, Fig, Cherry, Cranberry, Cinnamon Spice, Clove
- Grapes — Zinfandel
- Taste — Raspberry, Plum, Raisin, Chocolate, Smoke, Forest Floor
- Alcohol Content — 15.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Ham, Lamb Chops With Thai Peanut Sauce, Beef Burger, Grilled Chicken, Feta
Produced From Fine Grapes
The wine has a dark ruby color, just like ripe plums, and displays dynamism from the get-go. As you uncork it, aromas of cherry, sweet spices, and licorice emerge, offering delightful sensations on the nose. On the palate, the boldness continues as hints of chocolate combine with raspberry, plum, and raisin culminating in a fruity feast. The acidity is zippy, while the finish is creamy and nut-driven. Finally, the tannins are soft and smooth, adding to the experience.
Winemaking Inspired by Francisco Goya
The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel is produced by the Prisoner Wine Company. It was inspired by Francisco Goya’s 19th Century sketch “Le Petit Prisoner”, and became a symbol against racism during the Spanish War of Independence in 1808. With its social conscience, the Prisoner Wine Company doesn’t only stand for great winemaking but also against the systematic oppression of minorities.
Groot Constantia Pinotage
- Winery — Groot Constantia
- Country/Region — South Africa, Western Cape, Coastal Region, Cape Town, Constantia
- Type — South African Pinotage
- Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon Spice, Cocoa, Cloves
- Grapes — Pinotage
- Taste — Plum, Bramble, Blackberry, Leather, Barnyard, Forest Floor, Coffee
- Alcohol Content — 14.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Ham, Venison, Lamb Rack, Beef Burger, Pork Chops, Camembert
Pronounced scents of cherries and raspberries define the bouquet of this Pinotage, as hints of baking spices and vanilla commence a dance in the background. Fine tannins contribute depth to the weighty mouthfeel, while notes of earth and brambles drive into the moderate finish.
The wine begins with intense ruby-red color. Juicy red fruits, such as cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, mingle with vanilla bean and cinnamon spice on the nose to form the aromatic bouquet. Hints of cocoa and cloves are discernible, too, from the use of new oak. The palate is rounded and smooth, as bold, ripe flavors of plums, brambles, and blackberries combine with the fine-grained tannin structure to ensure an elegant, albeit moderate, finish.
The Oldest Wine Estate in South Africa
Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine farm in South Africa. It was established by Simon van der Stel to teach local farmers how to cultivate wine. By 1709, there were at least 70,000 grapevines on the farm, with Constantia becoming a renowned wine region. To begin to understand the popularity and high quality of Groot Constantia’s wines, you need to know that even Napoleon was a fan! These vines grow in rich African soil and are crafted to perfection. Their heritage stands for growth, beauty, and life.
That is the end of our list. With these white and red wines, you can have the best ham wine pairing and lots of delicious moments. Whatever wine you pick, it would be a safe choice and guarantees a perfect ham wine match. Don’t think twice, just grab your ham & try one!