Pairing wine with salad is tricky business: Some lettuces intensify bitterness in wines. Crisp, raw vegetables demand a wine with texture. And acidic dressings tone down tartness in wines. But main-dish salads, full of ingredients with a natural affinity to wine, such as cheese, nuts, and meat, taste better with a glass of vino. As a general rule, match rosés, tart whites, and lighter reds like pinot noir with salads. And when in doubt, reach for a sparkling wine, because like salad itself, bubbly is light, refreshing, and infinitely satisfying on a summer evening.
With smoky bacon, creamy avocado, tangy blue cheese, and juicy tomatoes, Cobb salad pairs well with a variety of wines. A bottle of fragrant gewürztraminer contrasts with salty, creamy notes, while an earthy pinot noir enhances the meaty bacon.
Natura Gewürztraminer 2009 (Chile, $11) Organic grapes; notes of spicy peach and honeysuckle