Pairing Wine With Salads
The very essence of the word salad makes me think of crisp, lively whites, to go with the freshness and lightness of the dishes. However, whilst big, bold reds are never going to work, it’s all about finding the main ingredient of the dish, and working from that basis.
Fresh, green, and vegetable salads, with beans, peas and asparagus - work best with zesty, fresh whites, such as Picpoul de Pinet, Verdejo, and lighter styles of Sauvignon blanc.
Goats cheese and feta cheese salads - with their salty tang, cry out for a zingy Sauvignon blanc, or a vibrant Mediterranean white, such as the lively whites from southern Italy ( Puglia and Sicily), or experiment with some of the new wave Greek whites that are hitting the shelves.
Tomato, basil and mozzarella – look no further than fresh, lemony dry whites such as crisp Verdicchio, Puglian whites, and Verdejo from northern Spain, as well as Vermentino from southern France and Sardinia.
Seafood salads/ nicoise salad – fresh, southern French whites, and fruity, chilled Mediterranean dry Rose.
Caesar salad – mildly aromatic whites, with some weight, such as Fiano, Vermentino and unoaked Chardonnay.
Roasted vegetable salads – either full flavoured dry whites from southern Italy and France, or light, juicy reds, with lots of fruit and low tannins – Grenache blends, and juicy Merlot from the New World.
Egg salad – a difficult one, but generally works with unoaked Chardonnay , or a lightly chilled Pinot Noir.
Salads with ham, meat or chicken livers – go for light, juicy reds – Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and Grenache blends, including some of the lighter Australian styles.
Asian salads – these call for fruity, aromatic whites, such as Riesling, Sauvignon blanc and Gruner Veltliner.