The pairing of Serrano ham refers to the classification of the drinks that best accompany this delicious Spanish cuisine. To do this,experts use a combination of art and science, leading to a particular practice which is generating growing interest among lovers of good food. Therefore, events based around 'maridaje,' or pairing, of good Spanish ham with fine wines and other foods are occurring more often in Spain and around the world.
By pairing, Spanish people mean finding a balance between two elements. For example, in the pairing of Serrano ham you'll find drinks complementing the taste of ham or accompanying it, allowing a smooth tasting of this delicacy. For example, in the Spanish culture there is a historical relationship between wine and Serrano ham, since both are key elements in all the regional cuisines.
In fact, in Spain we enjoy a wide variety of wines thanks to the significant presence of wine production in disparate rural areas, so experts have many possible combinations to offer a unique dining experience for lovers of Serrano ham.
Wine and Serrano Ham, Friends Forever
However, it should be noted that the most common pairing in the culinary culture of a country, or the one that is based on a historical relationship between two foods, is not always the best option. That's why experts in pairing Serrano ham seek to discover what drinks are ideal for each of the types of ham.
The aim is that both products accentuate each other's flavors, resulting in a harmonious taste experience, or that they respect each other, ie, that one does not overshadow the other's presence on the palate of the diner. The increased interest in the practice of pairing results in the progressive specialization and optimization of rules and parameters, so that today it is possible to classify the appropriate companions for Serrano ham in terms of these parameters.
If we choose just the right kind of wine to go with our Serrano ham, the pairing will be successful. But this is not easy, since there is a wide variety of both types of ham and wine.
For example, young red wines are an excellent choice for the pairing of Serrano ham from the Grand Reserve group, since the lightness of the wine gives prominence to the intense flavor of this type of Spanish ham, while offering new shades and nuances of taste.
On the other hand, there is a unanimous opinion among experts regarding fortified wines, such as manzanilla, which are considered one of the best choices for pairing with Serrano ham. This type of pairing offers a pungent flavor that accentuates the delicious nuances of Serrano ham, and is probably the most acclaimed choice among experts.
If you want to experiment with a more unusual pairing, try accompanying your Serrano ham with a glass of chilled champagne. It is a wonderful choice for summer days because the power and nuances of Serrano ham works so well with the freshness of the champagne, bringing contrast to the combination. Both elements of this unusual pairing retain their own identity in a harmonious relationship, a unique taste experience.
For red wines, aging and reserve must be carefully considered, because some of them may have a personality too strong for pairing with Serrano ham. But a Serrano ham with a strong presence, such as a Gran Reserva Trévelez, can be found to work well with an aged red wine. The high presence of tannins in well-aged Grand Reserve wines may result in an envelope of flavor that exalts certain nuances of the Serrano ham.
Finally, it is essential to refute the popular belief that sweet wines, sparkling whether or not they are a good choice to pair the Serrano ham. Currently experts consider this type of wine as the worst candidates for the pairing of Serrano ham, because of the high concentration of sugar, which dull the flavor intensity of the ham.
Something similar occurs with rosé wine or many young whites, especially those that are fruity and aromatic, as they often impose their presence, relegating the flavor of the Serrano ham to the background and resulting in a disappointing pairing.