Having Christmas Ham is my favorite meal of the year. Every Christmas growing up, Mom would create the best ham dishes while I was busy unwrapping all of my presents that I really didn’t deserve (hard to believe from an angel like me, isn’t it?!) Now that I am an adult and in the point of growing a family with my fiancée, it’s time for me to take the Christmas ham of my you to another level with a new present to myself: bargain wine!
Even though the holidays are special, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on wine. In social media land, we sommeliers and other wine lovers tend to post bottles that only we get to try once and then boost them up like they’re the most popular people in their high school. We are talking spending hundreds of dollars on a group tasting or even just one bottle! Personally, I typically reach for wines that are around $10 per bottle. Why? At that price, it’s an approachable number that doesn’t hurt my wallet and it’s comfortable for my friends and family to buy for themselves, too.
Here are five of my favorite ham recipes and bargain wine suggestions to pair with them – the perfect combo to serve your loved ones this holiday season!
Holiday Ham with Pineapple
Adding fruit before baking will help caramelize the ham and increase the overall richness of the dish. To create the wine pairing, you need a white wine that offers a tremendous amount of fruit, a fuller feel, and without any intense oak and/or dryness that will take away from the meal’s salty-sweet pineapple flavor. Enjoy a glass of Gewurztraminer! It has grapefruit, lime, pineapple, rose, and lychee aromas with a round, fruit finish that will make your Christmas dinner that much more amazing!
Recipe: Holiday Ham with Pineapple
Paula Deen’s Christmas Ham with Marmalade and Pastry
Whenever I look up recipes, I tend to look up the best option to fit both the guest list and the occasion and then take some time to explore some more extreme options. Look no further than Paula Deen. This Southern chef designed a pastry-crusted ham with marmalade! For the wine pairing, you have to pair with the ham’s salt, the marmalade, the pastry, and of course the rich finish. The answer: Prosecco! The wine’s acid cuts into the pastry and ham’s salt and the ripe stone fruit of Prosecco matches the marmalade. Come to think of it, I may need one or two bottles just for myself.
Wine: Bellafina Prosecco NV
Recipe: Paula Deen’s Christmas Ham
Christmas Ham with Creamy BBQ Sauce
Another outside-the-box recipe, this time for my family members from Houston, Texas. I actually already make a version of this awesome sauce for when my fiancée and I make oven fries. Serving the ham with the sauce made me reach for a wine pairing that matches the creamy, zesty, and smoky qualities of the sauce since it’s even more prominent than the flavor of the baked ham. The rosé below is the perfect answer.
Recipe: Ham with Creamy BBQ Sauce
A classic that I would happily stand in line to buy pre-made from any one of the Honey-Baked Ham locations across the United States. If you are in a pinch for time and looking for a fast and delicious option, then make an extra trip to the store to grab a soft, raspberry, cherries, smoky Californian Pinot Noir. Delicious dinner, ready-made and on the table in minutes!
Recipe: Honey-Baked Ham
Leftover Ham and Potato Chowder
Ham sandwiches are the go-to way to use up extra ham after Christmas, but if you’re craving something different I’ve got you covered. This soup recipe will help you clean out the fridge and ward off the winter chill at the same time. To find the correct pairing, you need a wine that can tackle the saltiness, the creamy broth, and the starchy sugars from the potato. All you need is Riesling, with its sweet fruit, citrus, and slate flavor as well as the high acidity that cuts through the soup perfectly!
Recipe: Leftover Ham and Potato Chowder
Enjoy and happy holidays!