The Expert-Recommended Wine Pairings For Different Ham Glazes

carving glazed ham
carving glazed ham - Gmvozd/Getty Images

As the Easter holiday approaches, there's perhaps no meal more on every host's mind than the Easter dinner. Will you opt for a sweeter, fruit-forward glaze to brighten up the juicy ham, or choose an herb-forward rub to round out the ham's savory flavor? Either way, you'll need some wine to serve your hungry Easter guests on the side. And while you may be familiar with wine pairings for red meat or fish, pork is a different story. Luckily, wine expert Doreen Winkler, owner of Orange Glou in NYC, has a few tips to elevate your Easter ham with some delectable wine pairings.

Firstly, Winkler emphasizes how a wine pairing for your ham can fluctuate based on the ham itself. "It's like a blank canvas before seasoning it ... From white to red to orange to rosé, the best pairing mostly depends on how the ham is prepared," Winkler shares with Daily Meal. Similarly, wine is a drink that pairs best with a pork chop, but exactly what type of wine will differ for your ham since they are different cuts of pork. Start with how you're glazing or cooking your ham, or if you're purchasing a ready-made ham, pay attention to how it's been seasoned and glazed already, and work from there.

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The Best Wines For Sweet Ham Glazes

white wine, corkscrew and glass
white wine, corkscrew and glass - Chursina Viktoriia/Shutterstock

Many Easter hams are traditionally prepared baked instead of dry-cured or smoked, making them a perfect balance of sweet and salty. But often, the glaze is where the sweetness comes into play. When it comes to a sweeter ham glaze, Winkler believes a contrasting dry wine is best. "A dry Riesling from Germany is fantastic with a pineapple ham," Winkler says. A dry Riesling is already one of the best wines to drink at your Easter feast, as this crisp, slightly sweet wine will perfectly complement the syrupy-sweet glaze.

A rich glaze -- whether it's fruit-forward or honey-based -- benefits from any kind of dry wine. The acidity of a dry wine helps to balance out the sugary-rich sweetness of the glaze. However, if you prefer to load up on the sweetness, feel free to also try out a fruit-noted white wine or even a rosé. Fruit-forward glazes will intermingle deliciously with these kinds of lighter, sweeter wines.

The Best Wines For More Savory Hams

ham with slices on plate
ham with slices on plate - Mphillips007/Getty Images

If you're roasting a ham with an herb marinade or purchasing a savory ham, however, Winkler recommends turning towards a red wine. "A more savory preparation, like a Dijon mustard and herb-crusted ham, would work best with a low tannin, high acidity red like a Gamay from France, which offers some nice fruity notes to complement the ham," Winkler says. Low tannins mean a lighter-bodied wine, which makes sense to leave room for enjoying the taste of your savory main course: the ham. Apologies to any full-bodied red wine lovers, but it looks like it's best to save those heavier reds for another meal.

Overall, wines with a higher acidity are the way to go, which makes sense to cut through the saltiness of a savory baked ham. But, no matter the type of ham you choose, pair it according to your personal preferences and Winkler's recommendations, and you won't go wrong with Easter dinner.

Read the original article on Daily Meal