Summertime is great for fresh dinner salads and a cool glass of wine out on the patio. Learn how to pair these two items for a delicious, light meal.
By: Gretchen Roberts
October 23, 2012
1 of 5Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Which wines go best with main-dish summer salads?
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.
2 of 5Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Salad Topped with Spicy Meat
A low-alcohol wine, such as slightly sweet riesling or fruity red Beaujolais, will complement a complex salad without fanning the heat.
3 of 5Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Niçoise Salad with Tuna
Rosé is a natural match for the tangy, salty flavors. Choose either still or sparkling—both are dry, refreshing, and evocative of the South of France, where this dish originated.
4 of 5Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Salad with Curried Chicken
Enhance sweet-tart curried chicken salad with an aromatic white wine like viognier, a full-bodied white, or torrontés, a dry floral white from Argentina.
5 of 5Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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