Best Wine Pairings with Holiday Ham

The upcoming holidays are typically the busiest time of the year as families begin planning festive dinner parties for friends and relatives. So, chances are high that at least one holiday celebration will feature a spiral ham.

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The variety and versatility of ham makes it a perfect entree, and Hickory Farms has a few suggestions for the best wine pairings with ham to make your holiday dinner a great success.

  • The last you want to do is overwhelm the juicy flavors of a well-cooked ham, so keep that in mind and select something lighter or medium-bodied, like a sparkling Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
  • The inherent sweetness of ham and the holiday’s traditional sweet side dishes blend best when your wine has a touch of fruity flavor. A type of wine to serve with Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham stands up well next to a fruity Pinot Grigio with a hint of honey.
  • Ham dishes featuring sweet pineapple and brown sugar glazes are a delicious holiday treat that should be paired with a sweet wine. Drier wines can taste too acidic with these foods, so now is the time to serve a sweet drink, like Reisling or Moscato.

wine gift basket

  • It’s a good idea to select a wine with moderate alcohol levels when pairing with a salty ham. A heavy red with lots of tannins can clash with the strong flavors of a salt-cured ham. Wine pairings of this type of ham works well with the smooth and refined flavors of Kendall-Jackson Vitner’s Reserve Chardonnay.

wine gift basket

  • Some holiday hams are of the spicy variety, making Rosé the perfect choice. Other acceptable options include a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Gewürztraminer.

No matter which wine is served with a ham dinner, you’ll be a real hit when you enter a holiday gathering with one of Hickory Farms wine gifts like our Hickory Holiday Celebration Gift Basket. Packed in its own reusable gift basket is an assortment of sweet and savory treats, from dark chocolate-dipped almonds and shortbread cookies to summer sausage and cheddar cheese. This elegant holiday gift also comes with two bottles of wine, a Chardonnay from Kendall Jackson and a Cabernet from Murphy.

Place your orders early in time for the holidays by ordering online or calling 800.753.8558.

 

6 Basic Elements of Food and Wine Pairings

Many people love enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. However, they might not know how to successfully pair their meals with the perfect drink. Here are a couple tips you can follow for a fabulous (and doubly delicious!) wining and dining experience.

gourmet wine basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

In general, there are six separate food elements that interplay with wine.

1. Fat Element

There’s fat in dairy products as well as in meats and sausages. Because wine is produced without fat, a balance must be found with the wine’s acidity. The tannins in a robust red will cut the fat’s heaviness, or you can complement its essential richness with the wine.

2. Acid Element

Wines have acidity, as do foods like fruit, particularly citrus. The right level of acid gives a wine its signature zing. Select wines with enough acidity to stand up to a specific dish to amp up your wine’s unique verve.

3. Salt Element

If you’re serving salty snacks, like nuts or an array of cheeses, you might be surprised that the best wine choice is a sweet Sauternes. Sparkling wines are also perfect palate cleansers with salty foods.

4. Sweetness Element

Some people might think that sweet wines pair well with sweet foods, but that’s not necessarily the case. While cured ham with a hint of sweetness can be paired seamlessly with a Chardonnay, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing these flavors. A Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Truffle would never blend with a dry red, so try a semisweet red like a harvest zinfandel instead.

5. Bitterness Element

The bitter notes in wine are produced from tannins and can be tempered by fatty foods. Mustard and collard greens may have a bitter taste, but they can be paired with a Zinfandel or a Pinot Blanc. Foods and wines with bitter notes don’t do well together.

6. Texture Element

Texture in food and wines is measured by lightness and heaviness. Consider how pleasant a glass of white wine can be with some sliced fruit as an appetizer, or on its own. When you plan a big meal, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would be most appropriate.

gourmet wine basket

Hickory Farms wine gifts are already expertly paired so you don’t have to guess at a good match — it’s already made! You can place your order online today for a quick home delivery.

A Guide to Red and White Wine Pairings

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Source: Food and Wine

Planning a party can be a fun experience. From selecting menu options and decorating your home to compiling the perfect playlist, the list of things to do goes on and on. But even experienced party planners can become stymied when trying to choose which wines go best with which foods. 

However, Hickory Farms can make your choice a little easier when you’re planning your next soirée. Keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules, merely suggestions for the optimum taste experience.

Some wine pairings work because of their similarities to the dish; others succeed because they make an interesting contrast. Other factors to consider are whether you’re serving lighter fare, which generally calls for a light white wine as opposed to a heavy-bodied red.

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Source: Food and Wine

The most basic wine rule has always been serve reds with red meats and whites with chicken and pork. This is because the fats and proteins in red meat mellow the tannins inherent in red wine.

One interesting contrast you might consider recreating is the heat of a chili-infused or spicy Cajun main course offset by a sweet Reisling or Italian Moscato. Below are a few other suggestions that stand the test of time.

hickory farms

Source: Food and Wine

  • Champagne tends to go best with salty foods, which is the reason you’ll often see the bubbly served alongside caviar at elegant affairs.
  • A white wine like Sauvignon Blanc does well with foods that are slightly tart or tangy. Think Orange Chicken or seafood-based dishes like Scallops with Grapefruit Onion Salad.
  • You can never go wrong pairing a thick, sizzling steak off the grill with a robust, red Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Consider all the dairy ingredients in a Chicken Alfredo and select something with a buttery component like an oaky Chardonnay.
  • Spring is an excellent time to serve roasted lamb with a light, fruity Beaujolais.
  • A Greek salad loaded with olives and feta cheese is delicious with a cold Pinot Grigio.

hickory farms wine gifts

Hickory Farms extravagant wine gifts have been carefully selected and paired with numerous delicious offerings to make your next party a huge hit! You can view our wine collection on our website, or contact us at 800.753.8558 for more information.