Ham is a sweet, salty, and rich cured meat that goes well with lively white wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The fruity flavours of the wine are complemented by the saltiness of the Ham, while a tropical citrus tang refreshes your taste buds against the meat. Acidic, lighter reds like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, and Zinfandel also make for magnificent Ham and wine pairings as they offer a lot of refreshing fruitiness against the saltiness of the Ham while complementing the smokiness of a Baked Ham.

There are dozens of types of Ham, however, in this blog, I mostly focus on Ham you would serve at a banquet or holiday dinner like Christmas or Easter.  For more specific pairings for Serrano, Bayonne, or Jamón Ibérico, check out our Ham and Food Pairing table below, or our main Food and Wine Pairing Database.

TypeVarietalFoodRating
Red WineBeaujolais CruHam
Red WinePinot NoirHam
White WineRieslingHam
RoséRoséHam
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséHam
BeerIrish StoutHam
BeerIrish StoutSerrano
BeerSchwarzbierSerrano
OtherMeadHam
RoséRoséBlack Forest Ham
Red WineZinfandelBlack Forest Ham
PopBeezlenut SplashGreen Eggs and Ham
White WineRieslingHoney Baked Ham
White WineChenin BlancHoney Baked Ham
RoséWhite ZinfandelHoney Baked Ham
White WineRieslingSplit Pea & Ham Soup
BeerPilsnerSerrano Ham with Melted Brie
BeerPilsnerFrench Grilled Gruyere & Ham
White WineBouzeronHam with Parsley
BeerOatmeal StoutHickory Smoked Ham
Red WineChiroubles - Beaujolais CruHam
Red WineChiroubles - Beaujolais CruHam Sandwich
Red WineCôtes du Rhône, RedOmelette with Ham & Mushroom
White WinePinot GrisOmelette with Ham & Mushroom
Red WineBurgundy, RedHam
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedHam
White WineGewürztraminerHam
White WinePinot GrigioHam
SherrySherry, FinoHam
Red WineZinfandelHam
SherrySherry, FinoSerrano
SherrySherry, ManzanillaSerrano
Red WineBeaujolaisHam and Cheese Sandwich (Gruyere)
Red WineCôtes du Rhône, RedHam and Cheese Sandwich (Gruyere)
White WineGrüner VeltlinerHam
BeerPilsnerHam
BeerDortmunder ExportHam
BeerHellesHam
BeerPorterSerrano
BeerHellesbockSerrano
BeerDoppelbockHam
BeerKentucky CommonHam Sandwich
Red WineTempranilloHam
Red WineZweigeltBlack Forest Ham
Red WineDornfelderBlack Forest Ham
Red WineTempranillo ReservaBlack Forest Ham
Red WineNebbioloBlack Forest Ham
Red WineSangioveseBlack Forest Ham
Red WineLambrusco Secco (dry)Black Forest Ham
Dessert WineMoscato d'AstiHoney Baked Ham
Dessert WineBrachetto d'AcquiHoney Baked Ham
Dessert WineVin SantoHoney Baked Ham
Red WineShirazHoney Baked Ham
Red WinePinotage, South AfricaHoney Baked Ham
Red WinePetite SirahHoney Baked Ham
Red WineAnjou-GamayGrilled Ham
BeerVienna LagerHam
Red WineFronsacBayonne Ham
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedBayonne Ham
Red WineLuberon AOP - RedBayonne Ham
Red WineCôtes du Rhône Villages Puyméras - AOPBayonne Ham
RoséBordeaux ClairetBayonne Ham
Red WineCôtes de Bourg, RedBayonne Ham
Red WineCorbières, Red (AOC)Bayonne Ham
Red WineCôtes du Rhône Villages, RedBayonne Ham
Red WineBlaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOP)Bayonne Ham
White WineCôtes de Bourg, WhiteBayonne Ham with Melon
White WineCôtes de Provence, White AOCBayonne Ham with Melon
White WineCoteaux du Lyonnais White (AOP)Bayonne Ham with Melon
Fortified WineFloc de Gascogne - AOPBayonne Ham with Melon
Dessert WineLoupiac - AOPBayonne Ham with Melon
White WineGrignan-Les Adhemar - WhiteBayonne Ham with Melon
White WineBordeaux AOC WhiteBayonne Ham with Melon
White WineVézelayHam with Parsley
White WineGarnacha BlancaHam
OtherPear CiderGrilled Ham
White WineChardonnayHam
Fortified WineMadeira, VerdelhoHam
Sparkling WineSektSerrano
White WinePinot Blanc AlsaceBayonne Ham with Melon
Dessert WineLate Harvest GewürztraminerDiced Ham with Crystal Sugar
Red WineChénas - Beaujolais CruBayonne Ham
Red WineBrouilly - Beaujolais CruBayonne Ham
Red WineBrouilly - Beaujolais CruHam
Red WineBeaujolaisHam and Haddie (Haddock)
Red WineChinon, Red (AOC)Ham and Haddie (Haddock)
Red WineValpolicella Classico / RossoHam and Haddie (Haddock)
Red WineBardolino SuperioreHam and Haddie (Haddock)
Red WineValpolicella Classico / RossoHam
White WineSoave ClassicoSplit Pea & Ham Soup
Red WinePinot NoirOmelette with Ham & Mushroom
White WineRieslingOmelette with Ham & Mushroom
BeerAleHam
BeerLagerHam
BeerSmoked BeerHam
White WineChablisHam
Sparkling WineChampagneHam
Red WineChinon, Red (AOC)Ham
OtherHard CiderHam
LiquorBourbon and Bourbon CocktailsHam
PopColaHam
PopGingeraleHam
Red WineLambruscoHam
Red WineMacon, RedHam
Red WineMalbecHam
Red WineMerlotHam
JuicePineapple JuiceHam
SherrySherry, OlorosoHam
Red WineTempranillo CrianzaHam
White WineChardonnayHam with Pineapple
RoséRoséHam with Pineapple
White WineRioja, WhiteSerrano
Sparkling WineCavaSerrano
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSerrano
Red WineTempranilloSerrano
BeerBeerHam and Cheese Sandwich (Gruyere)
Red WineMerlotHam and Cheese Sandwich (Gruyere)
RoséRoséHam and Cheese Sandwich (Gruyere)
BeerOktoberfest MärzenHam
BeerBelgian AleHam
BeerEnglish Brown AleHam
BeerDoppelbockSerrano
BeerDortmunder ExportSerrano
BeerWeissbockSerrano
Red WineVinsobresBayonne Ham
White WineOrvieto (DOC)Ham

New World Pinot Noir & Black Forest Ham Pairing


With the sweetness and saltiness of Ham, a medium-bodied and fruity wine like Pinot Noir is a must. Full-bodied and tannic red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz will not complement the ham’s sweetness, nor will they be as refreshing, due to a lack of acidity when paired with Ham.

Pinot Noir is a sassy red wine featuring juicy notes of cherries, strawberries and raspberries that offer a refreshing contrast against the saltiness of your Ham.  While it sounds simple, Pinot Noir is also complex and delivers subtle flavours of dark chocolate, leather, smoke, truffles and tobacco.  It’s these subtle earthy notes that drive wine enthusiasts wild, as they are always fleeting and teasing.  When Pinot Noir is made well, it knows just how to give you a taste of how elegant it is while remaining flirty, silky and smooth.

When paired up with Ham, California, and New Zealand Pinot Noir will be a bigger crowd-pleaser as the wines often taste more fruity and less earthy than old-world Pinot Noir.  The crowd-pleasing friendliness of a new world Pinot Noir is perfect for buffets, banquets or family dinners where Ham is served as many of the attendees might not be familiar with wine.  Thus, serving an expensive Pinot Noir, like Burgundy, will go right over their head.

If you want good Pinot Noir, it is costly as it is a difficult wine to grow and a finicky wine to create.  Expect to pay $40 and up for good quality Pinot Noir, which does not make it ideal for larger events.  If budget is an issue, you could buy an inexpensive bottle and risk getting something more in common with a laboratory than a vineyard.  Or, I would suggest picking one of the many red wines off our Ham and Wine Pairing Table above.

Riesling and Honey Glazed Ham


A sweeter variety of Ham, such as a Honey Glazed Ham or Glazed Baked Ham, pairs well with an off-dry Riesling. Riesling is full of apple, peach and citrus flavours, making it a good match for Ham, as pineapple is typically associated with this meat. Riesling’s subtle sweetness and notes of honey match the Ham’s sweetness, plus, there is a minerality to Riesling that complements the earthier flavours of Ham. Meanwhile, the bright acidity and citrus flavours contrast nicely with the saltiness of the meat.

Many people assume Riesling is a sweet wine, however, Off-dry Riesling means that the wine has a kiss of sugar.  The slight sweetness makes Riesling a wonderful match for buffets or brunches where Ham is served as many of the other fixings (maple-glazed carrots, pancakes, squash mixed with brown sugar, turnip and sweet potato mash) will be slightly sweet as well.  Thus, I often suggest bringing Riesling to Easter or Christmas dinners where Ham is served.  However, as since so many people have preconceived notions of Riesling being sweet, it might be a hard sell.  Thus, if you want to play it safe, move on to Pinot Grigio, which I talk about below.

Pinot Grigio & Easter Ham


Pinot Grigio is a huge crowd-pleaser.  Light and neutral in flavour, people seem to love the dry flavours of apple, pear, smoke and mineral that Pinot Grigio delivers.   While there are dozens of other white wines I would recommend before Pinot Grigio, nobody is going to complain if you bring this to an Easter dinner as Pinot Grigio is inoffensive.   Pinot Grigio won’t overpower the Ham, plus it’s got enough weight to hold up to many of the other dishes served at Easter like Turkey, Pasta Salad, Coleslaw, Mixed Veggies and Dinner rolls.  With Prime Rib, Pinot Grigio will be crushed and taste like water, but very few white wines will hold up to beef anyway.

With Ham, the acidity of Pinot Grigio keeps you refreshed against the salty flavours of the Pork while charming you with its crisp flavours of green apple, lemon, pear and melon.

Rosé & Ham Brunch


While Ham might be the star of an Easter Brunch, you also have to think about the many other side dishes that might be served.  Mimosas (which are a blend of Orange Juice and Sparkling Wine) are often served at brunch as they are bubbly, sweet and acidic.  Plus, they are fun to drink as they are in a long-stemmed flute.  The acidity ensures the Mimosa is food-friendly, as acidity highlights all the individual flavours of the foods.  Meanwhile, the sweetness of a Mimosa complements the sweetness of the Ham and many of the other side dishes at brunch, such as Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, light salads and Pasta Salads.

But Mimosas can get old after one glass.  It’s enjoyable at first but soon comes off as too sweet as it’s not a subtle drink.  This is where Rosé comes in as it’s often crisp and acidic like a Mimosa but far less sweet.  Sure, Rosé looks like it’s going to taste like candy due to its pink colour, however, the wine is remarkably dry (assuming you buy a dry Rosé).

Crisp with delicious flavours of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and watermelon, Rosé has a perceived sweetness as it tastes fruity, but it remains dry, meaning it won’t overpower any lighter dishes on your plate.  You’ll also get interesting notes of herbs, mineral, peach and white pepper that add further interest and excitement to this underrated wine.

In North American, most men are too macho to drink Rosé (and Mimosas), thus, if you’re looking for a red wine to appease their masculinity, serve a Beaujolais Villages at your Easter Brunch, which I discuss below.

Beaujolais-Villages Wine and Ham Sandwiches Pairing


Beaujolais Villages is the perfect red wine to serve with Easter Ham at a buffet. Still, it’s also undoubtedly delicious with Ham leftovers such as Western Sandwiches, Split Pea and Ham Soup, and Ham Sandwiches.  Light, fruity and inexpensive, Beaujolais Villages is charming with its juicy notes of cherries, raspberry and strawberry, making it perfect with any Ham leftovers as it’s an incredibly versatile red wine.

Because a Ham Sandwich isn’t a filling meal, a Beaujolais makes for a great paring partner as it won’t fill you up either. Low in alcohol, Beaujolais comes off as refreshing and won’t make you feel tired or tipsy after drinking it.  This is perfect, as Ham Sandwiches are often served at lunch, so the low alcohol nature of Beaujolais allows you to go about the rest of your day without feeling like you need a nap.

Beaujolais-Villages also offers enough depth to impress a wine enthusiast (it is a French wine, after all), as you’ll find interesting notes of mineral, herbs, earth and black pepper that are subtle, and often only noticed if you are looking for them.  Meanwhile, the high acidity of Beaujolais easily washes away any ham, mustard, cheese, or mayonnaise flavours that are gumming up your taste buds, which ensures each bite tastes as fresh as the first.

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