14 Best Wine With Ham Pairings | Red, White, and Sparkling Wines

wine with ham

There is nothing quite as delicious as ham and wine together.

Ham comes in three (3) different varieties: smoked, cured, and roasted. Ham is a versatile meat that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It’s typically sweet, salty and textured with some rich flavors too!

Each type of ham pairs well with a different wine. The salty, smoky flavor of the ham pairs perfectly with the sweetness and acidity of wine.

In this post, we will explore 15 different wine with ham pairings that are perfect for a holiday dinner table (Thanksgiving or Christmas ham or and holiday ham) or any other gathering where serving ham is on the menu.

For a wine beginner to a wine enthusiast, we have red wines, white wines, and sparkling wines to cover all of your needs! 

What are the Best White Wine Pairings With Ham?

pinot noir general nutrition advice lower calorie wines sweet white wine

Below are a few ham pairing options with white wines:

1) Riesling

This wine has high acidity and a touch of sweetness that makes it a perfect wine pairing for ham. The acidity helps to cut through the fat in the ham while the sweetness complements the salty flavors. 

Not just with ham, Riesling is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with many different types of food.

Pairing it with ham is a great way to bring out the best in both the wine and the meat.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Glazed Baked Hams
  • Canadian Bacon

2) Pinot Grigio

pinot gris vs pinot grigio

Ham is the perfect food to match with Pinot Grigio because it counters its sweetness while still charming you with refreshing acidity, crisp flavors green apple and lemon.

Pinot Grigio is bone dry with a delicate fruitiness, aromas of herbs, and occasionally a hint of mineral salt. As a result, it complements the ham since there are no overpowering tastes to divert attention from the meat.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Serrano Ham
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Spam

3) Gewürztraminer

Gewurztraminer may be quite fragrant and spicy, which I enjoy with any spice-rubbed ham. These spice flavors pair well with the fatty flavors of ham. And help to balance out the saltiness of the meat.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Smoked Ham
  • Spiced Rubbed Ham
  • Baked Ham

4) Chardonnay

best chardonnay

Find a light, crisp, and dry Chardonnay with a green apple flavors and this will greatly complement both smoked and baked hams and their glazes.

Chardonnay is a great wine that pairs well with ham because it also has the ability to stand up to the salty, fatty flavors of the meat. The wine’s creamy texture and oakiness help to balance out the richness of the ham.  

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Ham with a Mustard Glaze
  • HoneyBaked Ham
  • Cured Ham

5) Viognier

Viognier is a french wine with fragrant peach, orange, and honey scents. It can also be oak-aged for a richer creamy flavor with undertones of vanilla.

This wine has a touch of sweetness and a rich, creamy texture that pairs well with the salty ham. The wine’s aromas of apricot and peach also complement the sweetness of many glazes used on ham.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Apricot Coated Ham
  • Peach Coated Ham
  • Honey Coated Ham

6) Rosé

pinot noir of rose pinot noir

Rosé wine is made from red grapes, but the skins are removed before they have a chance to impart their color to the wine. This results in a wine that is pink or salmon-colored. And just like white wines they can make a good wine pairing with ham.

The light fruitiness and acidity of Rosé make it a perfect ham pairing wine. The wine’s delicate flavor does not overpower the saltiness of the meat, and the acidity helps to cut through the fat.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

    • Ham with a Sweet Glaze
    • HoneyBaked Ham
    • Cured Ham
    • Spam

What are the Best Red Wine Pairings With Ham?

And for those that prefer red wine, we have ham pairing wine options below:

7) Zinfandel

Sweet and salty Hams are best matched with wines that have a little sweetness, plenty of acidity, and strong fruit characteristics.

Therefore, Zinfandel is a versatile red wine that would pair well with many different types of ham. The wine’s high acidity helps to cut through the fat in ham, and the wine’s fruitiness complements the sweet and salty richness of the meat.

And the peppery and spice notes of the Zinfandel can accentuate the flavors of a traditional baked ham.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Honey Glazed Ham
  • Spam
  • Traditional Ham
  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico

8) Primitivo

Primitivo (aka Italian Zinfandel) is a red grape that is native to Italy. The wine made from this grape is typically high in alcohol and has strong flavors of blackberry, plum, and spice.

This wine’s bold flavors can stand up to the rich flavors of ham. The saltiness of ham, which is rich and fatty, goes well with the acidity and fruitiness of the wine.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Smoked or Baked Ham
  • Spiced Ham

9) Dornfelder

Dornfelder is a German red wine grape that produces wines with strong flavors of blackberry and spice. The wine is typically medium-bodied with soft tannins. And can be dry or sweet wine.

This wine’s bold fruit flavors can stand up to the rich, salty flavors of ham. The wine’s acidity helps to cut through the fat in ham, and the soft tannins help to balance out the saltiness of the meat.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Speck (Type of fat found in pork cuts in Germany. It may be eaten raw or cured and smoked.)

10) Sangiovese

pinot noir cabernet sauvignon

Sangiovese is an Italian red grape that produces wines with flavors of cherry, strawberry, and spice. The wine is typically medium to full-bodied with firm tannins.

The acidity in Sangiovese helps to cut through the fat in ham, and the wine’s fruit flavors complement the salty flavor of the meat. The wine’s firm tannins also help to balance out the saltiness of the ham.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Cured Ham
  • Smoked Ham
  • Traditional Ham

11) Nebbiolo (Barolo and Barbaresco)

Nebbiolo is an Italian red wine grape that produces wines with flavors of cherry, rose, and tar. Nebbiolo has an intense flavor and is full-bodied, with tannins. It’s truly one of the best red wines in the world (ex. Barolo).

It pair well with ham because the wine’s intense flavor can stand up to the saltiness of the meat, and the tannins help to balance out the flavors. 

Type of Ham To Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Cured Ham
  • Smoked Ham

12) Petite Sirah

Petite Sirah is a red wine grape that produces wines with flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and spice.

Full-bodied red wines like Petite Sirah have a lot of tannin, so you’ll want to combine them with richer, meatier dishes to achieve balance.

Type of Ham To Pair With:

  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Cured Ham
  • Spiced Ham
  • Baked Ham

What are the Best Sparkling Wine Pairings With Ham?

13) Moscato d'Asti

best moscato wine

Moscato d’Asti is a wine made from the Moscato Bianco grape. It’s a sparkling wine that is low in alcohol and has flavors of peach, apricot, and honeysuckle.

The sweetness and bubbles of this wine will lift the salt and fat, while Moscato’s off-dry character would go well with any sweet glazed hams.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Fruit Coated Ham or Sweet Ham
  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico
  • Spam

14) Prosecco

sparkling wine champagne vs prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian semi-sparkling made from the Glera grape. It’s a dry wine with fruity flavors of citrus, apple, and floral.

Prosecco’s acidity helps balance the fat in ham, and the wine’s bubbles help to accentuate the saltiness of the meat. The wine’s dry character also helps to balance out the sweetness of any ham.

Type of Ham to Pair With:

  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Fruit Coated Ham
  • Prosciutto
  • Jamon Iberico

What Wines Goes With Ham?

pinot noir pinot noir

 It really depends on the type of ham. For prosciutto, jamon Iberico, or smoked ham, a red wine like Zinfandel or Dornfelder works well. If you’re having a spiced ham or traditional ham, then Sangiovese is a good choice. And for honeybaked ham or glazed ham, a sparkling wine like Moscato d’Asti or Prosecco is a great option.

Do You Serve Red Or White Wine With Ham?

Yes, both red and white wine can pair well with ham. Rose and Sparkling wines are also good options to pair wine with ham. For more targeted wine and ham combinations, see above.

Summary and Hashtags

There are many wine and ham combinations that can work well together, so experiment and find the ones that you like the best!

Happy wine and ham pairing! 🙂 #winepairing #ham #redwine #whitewine #sparklingwine #wineandham

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