This post may contain affiliate links. If buy from a link, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. Please see our disclosure policyfor more details.
How to Pair Wine with Ham: 6 Best BC Wines
Welcome to your Best Ever Guide to Pairing Wine With Ham!Ham is a delicious and popular centrepiece for many holiday feasts, from Easter to Christmas. However, choosing the perfect wine to accompany a bone-in glazed ham can be a daunting task. The sweetness and saltiness of the ham can clash with some wines, while others can enhance its flavours.
While there are many different types of ham, this guide will focus specifically on how to pair wine with bone-in glazed ham. We will cover everything from white to red, sweet to dry, and even a sparkling wine. So, whether you are a novice or a connoisseur, you will find some valuable tips on how to elevate your ham feast with the perfect ham wine pairing.
Best Ever Guide to Pairing Wine With Ham
Pairing Wine with Ham: Factors to Consider
When it comes to pairing wine with ham, there are several factors to consider. The first factor is the sweetness of the ham. The glaze on the ham can range from mildly sweet to very sweet, depending on the recipe. The sweetness of the ham should be balanced by the acidity of the wine.
The recipe we share below for our Glazed Bone In Ham lands on the upper end of the sweetness scale as the glaze includes orange marmalade, maple syrup, honey and brown sugar.
The second factor is the saltiness of the ham. Ham is typically cured and smoked, which adds saltiness to the meat. Saltiness can make a wine taste harsh, so it’s important to choose a wine with enough acidity to balance the saltiness of the ham.
We bought a bone-in ham from T-Bones in Kelowna that was sourced locally and of exceptional quality. The ham was double smoked, super tender, and had a very low salt content. Everyone at our Easter dinner said it was the Best Ever Ham they have had. This might be our new go-to family celebration meal!
The third factor is the texture of the ham. The texture of the ham can vary depending on the cut of meat and the cooking method used.
For instance, a super tender bone-in ham that has been slow-cooked or smoked will have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, which was the case for the recipe we share below. On the other hand, a bone-in ham that has been cooked quickly or at a high temperature may have a chewier texture.
The texture of the ham is an important factor to consider when selecting a wine to pair with it. The body and tannins of the wine should complement the texture of the ham to create a harmonious flavor profile.
For a super tender bone-in ham, a light to medium-bodied red wine such as a Pinot Noir or a Merlot can work well. These wines have enough body to stand up to the rich flavors of the ham without overpowering its delicate texture.
If you’re pairing a bone-in ham with a chewier texture, you might want to opt for a full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah. These wines have more tannins and can help to cut through the chewiness of the ham, creating a balanced and enjoyable taste experience.
What Wine Goes With Ham?
Living in the Okanagan region of British Columbia provides us with access to a plethora of wineries, making it easy to find the perfect wine to pair with ham. The region is home to several well-known wine-producing areas, including Kelowna, Lake Country, Osoyoos & Oliver, Summerland, Naramata, and West Kelowna.
Each of these areas has its own unique microclimate and soil composition, resulting in a wide variety of grape varieties and flavour profiles. This makes it easy to find a wine that complements the specific flavours and textures of a bone-in ham, whether it’s a light and fruity Pinot Noir or some beautiful bubbles!
Additionally, many of the wineries in the Okanagan region offer tastings and tours, allowing visitors to sample a wide range of wines and learn about the winemaking process. Check out the story we did on Quails’ Gate Winery, for example. This can be a fun and educational experience, as well as a great opportunity to discover new wines to pair with your favourite foods.
BC Wine Pairing With Ham Options
Pinot Noir Wine with Ham
Pinot Noir is a light to medium-bodied red wine that pairs well with bone-in glazed ham. Its fruity and earthy flavours complement the sweetness and saltiness of the ham. Pinot Noir is also a good choice if you prefer a lighter red wine.
“A dark cherry, strawberry beat finding harmony with forest floor and tobacco. A lighter, juicy, approachable wine in its youth, but with the complexity to keep you coming back. The wine will work beautifully on warmer summer days with a light chill to really amplify its drinkability!”
Gamay Wine with Ham
Gamay is a versatile wine that pairs exceptionally well with bone-in glazed ham. Its light to medium body, low tannins, and bright acidity complement the richness and sweetness of the ham, while also cutting through the fattiness. The wine’s fruity and floral notes add a pleasant freshness and enhance the overall flavor profile of the meal.
“100% Gamay fermented in small open-top tanks with twice daily punch downs for four weeks. 75% whole cluster for increased mid-palate weight. Deep rich berry fruit intertwines with a delectable herbaceousness and a silky finish that only Okanagan Gamay can deliver.”
Sparkling Wine with Ham
Pairing a sparkling wine with bone-in glazed ham and scalloped potatoes creates a delightful contrast of flavours and textures. The effervescence and acidity of the sparkling wine cut through the richness of the ham and potatoes, while the wine’s fruity and floral notes complement the sweetness of the glaze. The bubbles also act as a palate cleanser, refreshing the mouth between bites and enhancing the overall dining experience.
“Both varietals were hand-sorted then whole bunch pressed. This wine is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. The varietals were fermented separately with some lees stirring on the Chardonnay. Blended for complexity and finished in the cuvée close method.”
Gewürztraminer Wine with Ham
Gewürztraminer is a white wine that pairs exceptionally well with bone-in glazed ham and scalloped potatoes. Its aromatic and spicy profile complements the sweetness and richness of the ham and potatoes. The wine’s high acidity balances the dish’s flavours and helps cut through the fattiness of the ham and creaminess of the potatoes.
“Anticipate notes of lychee and rosewater on the nose, layered with pear, white peach, sweet mint and a hint of savoury ginger. The wine is off-dry on the palate with lychee and grapefruit flavours, balanced with just the right amount of acidity.”
Rosé Wine with Ham
Rosé wine is a versatile wine that pairs well with bone-in glazed ham and scalloped potatoes. Its light to medium body and fruity notes complement the sweetness and richness of the ham and potatoes. The wine’s acidity helps cut through the dish’s creaminess and adds a refreshing and crisp contrast. The pink hue of the wine also adds a touch of elegance to the meal, making it a perfect pairing for a special occasion or a spring / summertime gathering.
“Our Quails’ Gate Rosé pairs perfectly with sunshine-filled days and memorable moments with your favourite people. Made in a versatile dry style, this classic, easy-drinking wine is fresh and fruit-forward, with enough balance and depth to intrigue a true connoisseur.”
Riesling Wine with Ham
Riesling is a white wine that pairs beautifully with bone-in glazed ham and scalloped potatoes. Its floral and fruity aroma complements the sweetness of the ham and potatoes, while its high acidity cuts through the dish’s richness and adds a refreshing contrast. Riesling’s versatility also allows it to pair well with different styles of ham and potatoes, from sweet glazes to savoury seasonings. Its ability to balance sweet and savoury flavours makes it an excellent choice for pairing with this classic comfort food dish.
“Purity and precision, large acid structure with rounded edges, Asian pear, mango pit, dried ginger and apricot. Lengthy dry but textured finish.”
What’s Your Favourite Wine Pairing with Ham?
We hope this guide has helped you find some great new BC wines to pair with ham for your Easter, Christmas or holiday entertainment. The wines we covered each offer unique flavour characteristics to match your preference.
But we know there are 100’s of amazing options when it comes to pairing wine with ham, especially when it comes to Okanagan Wines! (If you are looking for another great Okanagan Wine Pairing, check out our Blackened Sablefish Recipe with White Wine Sauce!)
Best Bone-In Glazed Ham Recipe
As mentioned, here is our Red Seal Chef’s recipe for the Best Ever Bone-In Glazed Ham. The glaze is brushed over the ham several times during the cooking process, resulting in a beautifully caramelized and flavourful crust. This recipe is perfect for holiday dinners or special occasions, and pairs well with a variety of wines from the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Remember, finding a fresh locally sourced, bone-in, double smoked ham makes all the difference to this recipe. Enjoy!
Disclosure: The products featured in this pairing guide were chosen based on unbiased, editorial consideration. However, some of the products may have been provided for tasting and potential pairing purposes.
Bone-in Glazed Ham Recipe
Looking for a delicious and flavourful glazed ham recipe? Try our bone-in glazed ham recipe with a delightful combination of orange marmalade, maple syrup, honey, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar. Impress your guests with this sweet and savory dish perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours30 minutes
8-10 lb bone-in fully cooked ham
20-30 whole cloves (to stud ham) optional
1 cup water
2 bay leaf
1 orange quartered
½ cup orange marmalade
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Remove ham from refrigerator allowing it to rest and come close to room temperature for approximately 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325F on bake. Adjust the oven rack on the bottom third of the oven to position the ham roughly in the center of the oven.
Place the ham on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to score through the rind around the shank. Use your knife to score down each side of the ham rind starting from the shank cut moving toward the front of the ham. Starting at the front rim section of the ham, run the knife between the rind and the fat to start separating and lifting the rind. Use your fingers to slide under and gently ease the rind away, and peeling it back from the remainder of the ham leaving the fat intact.
Use a sharp knife to cut a diamond pattern into the fat. Cut 1 to 1 ½ inch parallel lines across the ham from front to shank that are about ½ to ¾ inch deep. Do not cut into meat. Make new parallel cuts 90 degrees from original cuts running from front to shank creating a diamond pattern.
Stud the ham with cloves. Insert cloves into the center or intersection of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan fat side up.
In a small pan, add the marmalade, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk the ingredients to combine over medium heat. Bring to a simmer mixing until sugar has dissolved for about 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Squeeze the juice from orange wedges evenly across the top of ham, and place wedges in the bottom of roasting pan. Brush ½ the glaze evenly across the top and sides of the ham. Pour 1 cup of water into bottom of pan, add the bay leaves, and cover with foil.
Place ham in oven for 1 hour basting after 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 1 ½ to 2 hours. As a general guideline, the ham will take approximately 15 minutes /per pound to reach 140F. Remove ham from oven every 20-30 minutes basting with remaining glaze and pan drippings. Cook until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F at the thickest part with a temperature thermometer. Re-cover with foil if ham starts to get too dark in color.
Remove ham from oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes before serving. Continue to baste the ham several times throughout the resting process with pan drippings and glaze to develop a dark golden-brown crust that is dripping with flavor.
Best Ever Lifestyle Guide Inc. is an independent lifestyle guide for British Columbia based in Kelowna, BC.
We recognize and acknowledge that we live, learn, play and work on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan people.