A well reared piece of ham tickles the taste buds with the right notes, sweet and salty. For some (me) it takes pride of place on the festive table, match it well with wine and you are in for real treat.
Below are some tips on matching your ham whether it is being served up with turkey and stuffing or being served as the main event.
Of course it can cured in many ways, but to keep it simple we are going to focus on with the two styles you are most likely to find on the Christmas dinner table.
Keeping it Simple
So straight up we are going to go for a non-glazed, no added frills, melt in the mouth just like my Nan used to make. You know the one! It usually involves finding the biggest pot that will fit onto your tiny hob, squeezing the rear end of that beautiful animal into it, adding some stock vegetables and a couple of cooking apples. It doesn’t take long for the pot to become surrounded by young children, teenagers, grown men…
Pikes “Hills and Valleys” Riesling 2014, Australia
Bottle Price: £11.75 / €17.50 Case: £10.58 / €15.75
This Clare Valley Riesling razor sharp clean lines, and intense lime and green apple fruit (perfect for cutting through the ham). Will please all palates, even those who maintain that they only drink Sauv Blanc!
Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourverdre)
Normal Bottle Price: £15.95 / €27.79 Offer price until 31st December 2015 £13.64 / €23.95
What a winery! What a wine! A combination of the Holy Trinity of grapes; this wine is ripe and dense without being too heavy. The bright fruit will pair with the ham beautifully. A JN Christmas star.
Go All Out
If you like a glaze, how far are you willing to go? A few cloves, honey and mustard… to cope with this myriad of flavours we need to go all out…baubles, tinsel the lot!
Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2014, South Africa
Bottle Price: £15.95 / €22.99 Case Bottle Price: £15.95 / €22.99
This savoury, spicy with a slick of citrus white from our biodynamic grower in the Stellenbosch is a glazed ham’s dream date.
Negly La Falaise Red 2013, Languedoc
Bottle Price: £18.95 / €26.50 Case Bottle Price: £17.06 / €23.85
Spicy, plummy and intense this wine just keeps giving and giving. Just what is needed this time of year.
Finally as a little taste inspiration check out the recipe below. Not only do you get to pair wine but you can include in your preparation.
Pedro Ximenez Sherry at the ready…
Hildago Pedro Ximenez Triana 50cl
Bottle Price: £15.95 / €22.75 Case Bottle Price: £14.36 / €20.48
The concentrated flavours of figs and molasses from the sundried grapes works wonderfully as a glaze. But don’t miss out trying it poured over ice cream or in a glass as a digestif.