White wines and everyday leafy green salad

August 12, 2010

Most people can confidently pair wines with seafood, meat or pasta – but pairing wines with salads can put even an avid wine drinker in a quandary.

If you are stumped about what wine to serve with your salad, you’ll be pleased to know that many wines lend themselves beautifully to this more-often-than-not underappreciated course.

To me salads are an essential part of a daily diet. I cannot let a day go by without devouring a huge bowl of fresh greens, and you can be certain that I always pour a lovely wine to sip between voracious mouthfuls.

The salad that I serve most often, if not every day, is a leafy-green salad that’s always exciting because I make it with a wide array of seasonal greens. I serve it with either a classic aged balsamic vinaigrette or a more spunky mustard vinaigrette.

Recipe: Everyday Leafy Green Salad

As for the wine, both vinaigrettes have a good amount of acidity. Therefore, I recommend a crisp white wine with balanced acidity, forward citrus notes, round stone fruit flavors and a hint of minerality.

The citrus notes harmonize with the acidity of the dressing without accentuating it. The stone fruits, on the other hand, offer a counterpoint and keep the acidity of the vinaigrette in check.These two elements become the perfect frame for your salad.

Wines with these qualities include: Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay (Chablis), Vermentino, Pinot Gris, Albariño, Robola and Grüner Veltliner.

Bouké Wines, 2008 White Table Wine, the North Fork of Long Island, New York. $19.

This lovely and impossibly easy to drink white wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. Stainless-steel-aged, it exudes tropical fruits, orange blossom, bergamot notes and a hint of honey. All of which pair marvelously with our leafy green salad.

Here are two more delicious salad and wine pairings:

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Bocconcini and Basil
Served with Donny Boon Vineyard, 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare, Santa Cruz. $15.

Niçoise Salad  with Grilled Vegetables and Basil-Mustard Vinaigrette
Served with Heron Wines, 2008 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County. $15.

© 2010 Viviane Bauquet FarreFood & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

5thj0y August 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

Now I know why the Chardonnays my husband usually pours stays in my glass til the salad’s gone – the salad calls for something with more acidity & minerality. Thank you Vivienne!


foodieinberlin August 14, 2010 at 5:01 am

I eat a “salad” every day in the summer. I just love them! I am to insecure to figure out what wine would match so I find your posts very helpful!


El August 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

What an incredibly good explanation of how to pair wine with a salad. I never considered the acidity issue but it does make sense. Beautiful photos too!


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