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Sweet-Spicy Ham & Beaujolais

The mix of sweet, hot and sharp tastes in the glaze on this holiday ham calls for a light-bodied red with lots of juicy fruit.

Perfect Wine Match

Rosés or light reds like Beaujolais are a natural with ham: These wines have the fruit to balance the ham's saltiness and the tannins to cut its richness; plus, because they're lighter in body, they won't overwhelm the meat's relatively mild flavor. Beaujolais can also handle the flamboyant mix of sweet, hot and sharp tastes of the ham glaze here. Look for a bottling (preferably not a Nouveau) with the juiciness and substance to stand up to the jalapeño and mustard. I'd recommend the 2002 Duboeuf Beaujolais Fleurie ($12), which is a straightforward wine with pure red-berry fruit. The 2002 Louis Jadot Château de Bellevue Morgon ($16) is a deeper-flavored, more concentrated alternative to the Fleurie, with wild-cherry aromas that are a lovely contrast to the spicy mustard.

—Richard Nalley

Published December 2003
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