The secrets of pairing pata negra ham

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Spain is famous for its ham and its wine. The importance of these two customs is intertwined, spills over the national borders to the whole Iberian peninsula, and can be seen by just a glance at the national culture. But what is the best companion for a good pata negra ham? What wine will go best with a ham that has been carefully cured over a long period of time, derived from only the finest pigs?The answer to this question seems obvious.

Many will say, following obvious simple logic, that pata negra ham of the finest quality should be accompanied by a reserve or grand reserve wine, aged in an oak barrel for years. The reasoning is flawed, though: today, there are many alternatives, and this isn't necessarily the best. Being guided by tradition is fine, but there are other ways, just as good, to achieve a perfect pairing between pata negra ham and wine.

In Spanish, the art of pairing food and wine is called "maridaje," meaning marriage. But before you go looking for the perfect suitors, ask yourself this question: is the same pairing right for both sliced ham and diced ham? Generally speaking, the answer is yes, but keep in mind that the slices offer a much more delicate taste experience, so you can "marry well" with other drinks than red wine, though this certainly works perfectly as a companion for diced ham.

Most sommeliers and experts agree that the best pairing between ham and wine is with fortified wines, like Fino and Manzanilla. These wines are recognizable by great body and subtle flavor that complements, rather than overwhelms, the ham. A drink of Fino or Manzanilla after tasting good pata negra ham makes a combination of subtle flavors that is even better then either on its own, perfectly blending and bringing out the best in pata negra ham.

We must put aside the generous sweet wines and those that are stronger in flavor, because they are too powerful, overwhelming the flavor of the ham. Ham has a strong presence but the flavors are subtle, nuanced; the right pairing would bring out those flavors, not cover them up. The same goes for fruity, sparkling wines. Dry and Brut champagne are also popular options, and both have become fashionable pairings with pata negra ham. The reality is that they are suited to perfection, with their strong yet subtle flavors combining while leaving each space to be experienced. Rose wines are usually to weak in flavor, being overwhelmed by the ham.

The same thing happens with most white wines. Sweet white wines especially are too cloying, weakly flavored and unstructured to stand up to pata negra ham. Reserve and grand reserve red wines seem the obvious choice but their big personalities can be a little too boisterous, their strong flavors a little overpowering. The reaction can be less like complementing each other, more like canceling each other out. The red wines that work best with pata negra are the young, light reds that are more playful and bring out the lighter side of pata negra too. 
Finally, older red wines that have been aged in wood, but not for too long, can be fantastic partners for pata negra. It's good to make sure that they're not too acidic or too alcoholic, though. Find an older red with ow acidity and you're in for a treat as the full body of the wine and the delicate flavor of the ham create a true treat for the palate.


  1. Types of Iberico Ham
  2. How to Consume Iberico Ham
  3. How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
  4. How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
  5. Pairing of Iberico Ham
  6. Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
  7. The Dehesa | The Meadow
  8. DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
  9. Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
  10. Recipes with Spanish Ham
  11. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
  12. Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
  13. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
  14. Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
  15. Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
  16. Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
  17. Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
  18. Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut
  19. Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
  20. Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
  21. Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
  22. Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
  23. The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
  24. History of Iberico Sausages
  25. VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
  26. Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
  27. Curiosities of Iberico ham
  28. How to Store Your Serrano Ham
  29. Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
  30. Preparation of Serrano Ham
  31. Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
  32. Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
  33. Recipes With Serrano Ham
  34. Types of Serrano Ham
  35. Pairing of Serrano Ham
  36. How to Consume Serrano Ham
  37. How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
  38. All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
  39. Choosing a Good Ham Holder
  40. Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
  41. The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
  42. What is the best para negra ham?
  43. Is the term pata negra correct?
  44. How can you know which ham to buy?
  45. Why is good ham so expensive?
  46. How to buy ham from online stores
  47. Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
  48. Is Iberian ham fattening?
  49. What to do with the ham bone?
  50. Why do we usually hang ham?
  51. Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women’s diets?
  52. The Role of Ham in a Child’s Growth and Develeopment
  53. Tips for Preserving Ham
  54. What is ham shaping and why is it done?
  55. New Technologies and Ham – MRI in Ham Tasting – Spectral Images
  56. The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
  57. Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
  58. Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
  59. Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
  60. Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats

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