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An Expert Weighs In On The Perfect Wines To Pair With Ham

Person cutting oven-baked ham
Person cutting oven-baked ham - Gmvozd/Getty Images

Planning a meal with ham that you also intend to serve with wine? If so, you should select a wine that best complements the flavor profile of your meat. Daily Meal spoke with natural wine sommelier and orange wine expert Doreen Winkler to offer some tips when choosing your wine. Winkler is the owner of Orange Glou in New York City, the world's first and only wine store dedicated exclusively to orange wines, and she has over ten years of experience in the wine industry.

The most important thing Winkler says to do when choosing your wine is to make your selection based on how you'll cook your ham. Winkler explained to Daily Meal, "The way the ham is prepared definitely impacts the wine pairing. An oven-baked ham is usually juicer and sometimes sweeter than, say, a smoked ham." So whether you're making a double-smoked Easter ham or roasting a sweeter rum-glazed ham, Winkler advises that "it's important to understand how the ham is being made when you go wine shopping."

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Pair These Wines With Smoked Ham And Sweet Ham

Ham with glass of wine
Ham with glass of wine - Mphillips007/Getty Images

Doreen Winkler recommends choosing a lighter red wine to pair with smoked ham because it "will stand up to that strong smoky flavor." Light red wines typically have less than 12.5% alcohol content, fewer tannins than medium or full-bodied wines, and a moderate-high acidity. Winkler shared some light red wines perfect for smoked ham: "A Gamay like a Terres Dorées L'Ancien Beaujolais from Jean-Paul Brun is a great option, and so is the Lo Triolet Valle d'Aosta from Italy."

If you'll be serving a sweet ham, Winkler suggests a few orange wines. These wines are made from white wine grapes that remain in contact with their skins for varying lengths of time, and the hue of orange wine determines their flavor profile. Winkler shared with Daily Meal, "Chenin Blanc orange wines, like a 2022 Mother Rock from South Africa or a 2021 Margins Skin from California are great options for something sweeter, like a pineapple or maple-glazed ham. A dry Reisling, like a Weingut Dönnhoff or Eva Fricke Kiedricher from Germany, are great options for sweeter hams, too." Now that you know what wines to pair with smoky ham and sweet ham, you may wonder what wines to pair with a ham whose flavor is in between sweet and savory.

Serve Rosé With Mildly-Flavored Hams

Glasses of rosé
Glasses of rosé - Nataliia Sirobaba/Shutterstock

If you plan to cook a ham whose flavor will cut right down the middle between sweet and savory, you won't be out of luck when it comes to pairing your meat with a complementary wine. Doreen Winkler told Daily Meal the perfect wine to serve with a ham that's been cooked to have mildly-flavored deliciousness, "For a baked ham that's not too sweet or too savory, a richer rosé is the way to go."

If you're wondering what kind of wine is rosé, these pink wines are actually made with red wine grapes that are crushed with their skins on and submerged in water for between two and twenty hours. This creates their pink color and a much subtler flavor compared to red wine, which helps make a richer rosé a suitable match for a mild-flavored ham. Winkler shared a few rosés with Daily Meal that will perfectly complement the flavor of your milder ham, "Try the Jolie-Laide Rosé from California or the Chateau St. Anne Bandol Rosé from Provence, France."

Read the original article on Daily Meal