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Wine Pairing for a Ham Dinner

Looking for opinions on what variety of red wine to serve with a lightly smoked country ham. Side dishes will include a potato and Gruyere gratine, and streamed vegetables.

I'm at a loss here.

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  1. My first reaction was Alsace white (i.e. Riesling, Pinot Gris, etc) or a rose'. . If it must be red however I'd choose a Beaujolais (Village) or lighter style Pinot Noir.

    1. I'd go with a Fino Sherry if you wanted something "white" but probably suggest a Rose or a lighter red like a Barbara as a better choice. You could also try a Cotes du Rhone if you liked.

      1. I, too, would go white rather than red. But other red options are Cotes du Rhone or Spanish garnacha.

        1. I like Riesling with ham, ChefDilletante I am.

          1. I like a lighter zinfandel. Nothing with tannin and no over-the-top alcohol monster. Riesling is also good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SteveTimko

              I too am partial to the lower ABV Zins and prefer spice over the jammy or highly extracted ones. Care to share any of your favorites Steve? TIA



            2. Riesling from Germany or Alsace.

              Failing that, you could attempt a Pinot noir from those two regions as they would have vinified in relation to the cuisine.

              2 Replies
              1. re: wattacetti

                ". . vinified in relation to the cuisine."

                Could you elaborate?

                1. re: Chinon00

                  The German PNs I've had are lighter in weight and extraction than other regions and somewhat more acidic. While fruitier than their Bourgogne counterparts, they're not massively so like a lot of California and the New World. That combination to me at least would seem to work better with a smoked ham (smoked pork products being prominent in German and Alsatian cooking), though in all honestly I'd be popping open the Riesling first.

              2. I prefer rose with ham. NO, not white zin. Rose. actually, a rose of Syrah is really good with ham.

                1. It seems that the group consensus is that riesling is the way to go here. So I am thinking that a couple bottles of Chateau ste. Michelle riesling and a couple bottles of Louis Jadot Beaujolais are in order.

                  Sound good?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jpc8015

                    Fine but I might consider a Riesling from Alsace.

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Or Germany.

                      Michelle Loosen might be a compromise if you want to do Germanic-American.

                      1. re: wattacetti

                        I'm just trying to keep it affordable really. CSM riesling runs no more than $10 per bottle around here.

                        1. re: jpc8015

                          Alsace Riesling can be had for under $14.

                  2. I like brut Champagne with ham, myself. Cribbed the idea from James Beard. Cuts the richness.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: buttertart

                      several years ago, I saw Champagne recommended for things that are salty, spicy, and/or greasy -- which has led to some amazingly fun pairings over the years.

                      One of my favorites (blue jeans and pearls that it is) is Champagne with Cajun potato chips (Zapp's Crawtaters, to be exact).

                      Ham would certainly fit under the salty-spicy-greasy umbrella.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I don't like flavored potato chips of any kind, but the plain ones (or preferably Ripples), definitely. And the marriage made in heaven - blanched, salted, roasted almonds with.