Wine and Salad is a glorious combination...
Pairing Wine with Salads
Salads don’t have to be boring with the same old things dished up day after day. Creating delicious salads is all about making use of the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. You can enjoy a simple salad with just a few quality ingredients or add layers of flavours and textures to make your salad even more interesting.
From beetroot to mango, here’s a crowd-pleasing selection of salad recipes for entertaining that are not only tasty and easy to prepare, but also full of healthy ingredients. Plus, we have suggested a wine varietal/style and an example that matches with each delicious salad.
A note for vegetarians, simply substitute any meats in these salads with tofu, lentils, chickpea, tempeh or other planted-based alternatives.
Featuring smoked trout, olives, tomatoes, caper berries and red onion, this salad requires a wine that won’t compete with its distinctive savoury flavours. A dry modern Rosé is the perfect match.
With the combination of beautiful crisp asparagus, creamy avocado, sweet ripe figs and tangy goat’s curd, this salad is just waiting to be paired with a crisp and fruity, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.
Filled with fragrant coriander and mint, crunchy carrots and cucumber, sweet fresh prawns, salty peanuts and fish sauce, this is can be quite a challenging salad to match with wines. White wines with similar aromatics, like Pinot Gris, are a tasty choice.
The tropical and creamy flavours of the mango and macadamia are sensational partners to the barramundi. Add in the zing of the lime, aromatics of the coriander and spice of the chilli and you have a delicious summer salad that’s bursting with flavour. A Verdelho with its supple natural acidity, tropical fruit and lemon zest works perfectly with the fried fish and fresh flavours.
Perfectly rich peaches, savoury squeaky Haloumi, salty crisp Prosciutto, zesty lime and rich hazelnut – what a stunning flavour combination. Add a bottle of fabulously fresh Fiano and you have a salad celebration.
Enjoy the earthy richness of beetroot, crunch of walnuts, punchy pepper of rocket, creamy yet zesty goat’s cheese, freshness of olive oil and Balsamic. These Mediterranean-style flavours are calling out for a food-friendly, light to medium-bodied red like Grenache.
Juicy poached free-range chicken with delicious French flavours of orange, fennel, bay leaves, Dijon mustard, rocket and almonds. Pair with a plump, richer Pinot Grigio and you have a match made in foody heaven. Bon appetit!
Middle Eastern aromas and flavours simply spring from the plate – cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cloves, blood oranges, dates and pecans with perfectly prepared chicken. A white wine with a vibrant and fresh palate with a juicy texture like an Albariño is a wonderful match.
Go from a humble Salad lover to a verified Salad connoisseur.
Considerations for Salads & Wine pairings
Light and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Vermentino and Semillon are perfect with very light seafood-based salads, salads featuring green vegetables and aromatic Thai and Vietnamese-style salads.
Textural whites like Fiano, Pinot Gris, Arneis and Marsanne are great matches with antipasto-style salad selections, chicken salads, Italian or Mediterranean-inspired salads.
Whites such as Verdelho, Chardonnay, Viognier and Roussanne are best served with richer main course salads, salads with creamy dressings and Caesar salad.
Rosé is a style of wine rather than a varietal and can be made from many different red grapes. When a Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, the typical characters are plums, spice and a variety of savoury fruits. Sangiovese Rosé is typified by savoury fruits, while Cabernet Rosé is bright with berry flavours, sometimes with notes of leaf and herbs. When it’s a Grenache Rosé expect a wine full of raspberry, cranberry and spice. So, Rosé is extremely versatile to serve with all kinds of fresh salads including those featuring seafood or beef, antipasto and tapas-style salads, and Italian and Mediterranean inspired salads.
Savoury reds including Pinot Noir, Grenache & GSM Blends, Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese and Tempranillo are a great choice with salads containing charcuterie, game or mushrooms, richer warm salads especially with char-grilled ingredients, and salads with some spice.
Salads can be both an entree main dish, a starter, or a mid or end meal course. A favourite pairing is salad and Prosecco. Bubbly has the gusto to stand up to both rich creamy dressings such as Green Goddess, as well as you’re more complex vinaigrettes. When you’re pairing salad and Champagne, you need to have a few basic flavour components in the salad to make the pairing work. Utilize dry roasted or dry pan-toasted nuts such as walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, or hazelnuts. The nuts pairing with Prosecco will help bring forth the toasty flavours and a bit of tannin for mouthfeel and structure. Peppery greens such as rocket (arugula), cress, and even mustard greens or tender baby kales work best when intermixed with more tender lettuces such as butter lettuce, or spring mixes.
Prosecco and fruit always go hand in hand for pairings. Make sure that you’re using fruit that is higher in acid, or even a bit under ripe. This isn’t the time to reach for those berries that are in the back of the fridge that is about to turn to mush. Apples, Pears, Pluots, Oranges, are always a great choice. For a unique twist on the pairing as well, try a creamy basil pesto dressing that’s made from a tablespoon of basil pesto and ranch.
Reach for a drier style of Prosecco when pairing with salads for best flavour results. Add some fruit & dried nuts to your salad for balance of sweet & savoury. Dry or Brut style Proseccos are the best for pairing with salads, especially with creamier dressings.