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A Simple Wine Pairing Guide For Easter Dinner

Anyway You Slice It, These Wines Will Complement Your Ham

Easter is a time for celebration, and what better way to elevate your feast than with perfectly paired wines? At Rosemary & Rye, we believe that the right wine can turn a meal cooked by the most ham-handed chefs among us into an extraordinary culinary experience… and not just if your guests finish the bottle… Each sip of a perfectly paired wine compliments the bite it is taken with to form a match made in heaven. So, let’s delve into the world of wine and discover the ideal pairings for your Easter ham.

Savory and Smoky Ham

Black Forest Ham, Mortadella, Non-glazed ham varieties

Why It Works

Smokey and savory hams, with their rich flavors, provide an ideal canvas for medium-bodied red wines to shine. The fruit-forward characteristics of Zinfandel add a layer of complexity, balancing the savory notes of the ham with its ripe berry flavors. Alternatively, the earthy and nuanced tones of Pinot Noir offer a sophisticated pairing, accentuating the smokiness of the ham while providing a velvety texture on the palate.

For those seeking to venture into lesser-known yet remarkable selections, wines like Sangiovese and Nebbiolo present an opportunity to surprise and delight guests with a more refined and intricate wine profile. These wines, though not always as readily available in local stores, elevate the dining experience, allowing for a celebration that resonates with both familiarity and discovery.

Sommelier Suggestions

  • Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Turley Wine Cellars “Old Vines” Zinfandel
  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • Zweigelt “Graf” Muster – 2018
  • Château d’Esclans “Garrus” Rosé
  • Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
  • Bodegas Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva
  • Salice Salentino Riserva 2019
Bottle of La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Aged Ham That’s Dry-Cured

Prosciutto, Serrano Ham, Jamón Ibérico, Speck, Bayonne Ham

Why It Works

Dry-cured ham, renowned for its bold flavors and distinctive chewy texture, demands a wine that can stand up to its robust profile. Enter sparkling wines, which offer a delightful contrast to the ham’s intensity. A crisp Prosecco, with its lively bubbles and refreshing acidity, serves as a palate-cleansing interlude, cutting through the richness of the ham with finesse. Similarly, a fruity Rosé presents a harmonious balance, its bright and fruity notes complementing the savory depth of the ham.

For those seeking a more traditional route, mineral white wines provide a sophisticated yet generally widely appreciated choice. Their crispness and minerality enhance the flavors of the ham. Additionally, dry Sherry stands out as a versatile option, offering a complex array of flavors from nutty to briny that create a fascinating interplay with the savory, salty notes of the ham. Whether you opt for the sparkling effervescence of Prosecco, the fruity allure of Rosé, the mineral elegance of white wine, or the intricate layers of Sherry, each selection promises a memorable and well-balanced pairing that elevates the dining experience.

Sommelier Suggestions

Dry-Cured Ham Typically Calls For Sweeter Wines To Balance:

  • Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve Champagne
  • Schramsberg Brut Rosé
  • Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui
  • Soter Vineyards North Valley Rosé
  • Ramey Wine Cellars Chardonnay
  • Osborne Manzanilla Sherry
  • Blandy’s 10 Year Old Sercial Madeira

Sweet and Salty Ham

Honey Baked Ham, Glazed Baked Ham Varieties, Mortadella, Char Siu, Canadian Bacon

Why It Works

Sweet and salty hams find their perfect counterpart in wines with a hint of sweetness, creating a delectable harmony of flavors on the palate. Imagine the succulent ham’s caramelized edges meeting the crisp acidity and subtle sweetness of a Riesling. This classic pairing brings out the ham’s sweet undertones while the wine’s acidity cuts through its richness, resulting in a delightful balance. Similarly, a fruity Moscato, with its floral aromas and peachy notes, enhances the sweetness of the ham without overpowering it.

The effervescence of these wines adds a refreshing touch, cleansing the palate like a sorbet and preparing it for the next savory bite. So whether you’re savoring a slice of honey-glazed ham or indulging in the savory-sweet layers of Canadian bacon, a glass of Riesling or Moscato promises to elevate the experience to new heights of culinary delight.

Sommelier Suggestions

  • Château Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling
  • Clos Chapon Vouvray Sec Dry Chenin Blanc
  • Beringer White Zinfandel
  • Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti
  • Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto
  • Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano
Bottle of Château Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling Wine

Still undecided on which wine to pair with your Easter feast?


Whether you’re torn between a few of the different wine options or planning on serving ham multiple ways, with a wide variety of sides (see our previous guide for wines that pair with side dishes) we encourage you to “pig out” if you will.

Get a couple of different bottles to try and figure out which you like best. Wine lasts a long time and is often versatile enough to pair with any future meals if you don’t end up opening it at Easter. While this list was curated by our wine-experts to enhance the flavor of your Easter ham, a good wine goes with just about anything.

Cheers to good food and better wine… unless you go with a Rosemary & Rye Easter pick-up meal and get the best food to go with the best wines.

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