Think of an air-dried ham such as serrano and you probably think of tapas and therefore fino or manzanilla sherry. But I’ve experienced two recent wine matches which opened my eyes to another option that even those on a diet could enjoy!
One was the other day in a local Bristol wine bar (Coulters) which has about 20 wines by the glass together with some simple plates of cold meats and cheese. We stopped by for a pit-stop towards the end of a long walk and ordered a couple of glasses of Prosecco and a plate of serrano ham and were struck by just how good the combination was.
Then last night I was at the London launch for the new season’s Joselito gran reserva ham and they were rather strangely pouring Ruinart champagne - presumably to underline what a great delicacy it was. It reminded me that I have in fact experienced this combination before: the indefatigable Richard Geoffroy of Dom Perignon decided that Iberico ham was the perfect match for his wine. Italian Culatello too. The yeastiness of champagne picks up on the umami savouriness of the ham and the bubbles play beautifully against the creamy fat.
What’s most interesting though is that in both cases we were eating the ham without any accompanying bread which accentuated its flavours and the texture of the wine. And of course makes it the perfect elegant, low-carb snack!