The Type Of Wine You Should Be Pairing With Ham

One easy way to figure out how to pair wine with meat is to go by color, but this wine pairing rule is not universal. If you've whipped up a ham for dinner, for example, it becomes necessary to bend this rule. Although ham is technically considered red meat, it actually pairs best with white wines.

When pairing meat, choose a wine that treads the fine balance between complementing and countering. If you think about the flavor characteristics of ham, the word that comes to mind is likely "salty." "Sweet" and "mild" may also crop up, particularly if the meat has been glazed with honey or maple. This saltiness is why red wines don't generally pair well with ham — red wine's typically high tannins leave an odd, spicy taste when combined with salt.

While you don't want to mask the ham's saltiness completely, an acidic wine like a sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc will help balance the salt, allowing you to notice and appreciate your dish's other flavors. In turn, the salt will mollify the wine's acidity.

If you really want to maximize that effect, or if you want the salt more or less eliminated, you can pick an even more acidic wine like a riesling. It's easy to turn your nose up at the non-French option alongside French greats, but this natively German grape is not to be overlooked. As well as its sharpness, a young riesling tends to carry a fruity aroma that adds a delightful sweetness.

Use apple notes to add new dimensions to your ham

We all know pork and apple go together like, well, pork and apple. In fact, they likely work so well together for the same reason an acidic wine complements ham. The slight acidity of the apple balances the pork's saltiness, and the subtle sweetness present in both is doubly enhanced.

Wines with green apple flavors, best in this context because green apples are more acidic, pair beautifully with pork. They add an aromatic crispness to each sip, exacerbated by the apple scent that will wash over your senses whether you're the type of person who smells their wine or not. Luckily, each of the wines listed above, as well as other acidic options like grüner veltliner and pinot grigio, tend to come with aromas of green apple. Be sure to check the tasting notes when choosing a bottle, as they will often tell you whether or not a particular wine comes with a kick of green apple.