Grapes and greens: How to pair wine with salads

With summer coming up, you may find a refreshing salad on the menu a little more often. The Ideal Wine Company has written plenty of posts on pairing wine with different types of food. This week we enlighten you on which wines to pair with salad for the ultimate dining experience this summer.

Match key components

The Telegraph writes that there is one key rule to pairing wine with salad. By nature, a salad possesses herbaceous or vegetal components. Therefore, you may want to opt for wines that work well with herbaceous or vegetal flavours. For instance, herbaceous ingredients such as cooked fennel, fresh parsley or cut bell peppers, often taste wonderful with a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.

Consider acidity levels

Acidity levels are a vital consideration. As a rule of thumb, you should opt for a wine with an acidity levels which meets or surpasses those of the salad’s dressing. Matching acid levels wash each other out, cleansing your palate so you can enjoy the more immediate flavours of the salad. The Drinks Serious Eats blog argues that high acid wines from Italy can make tremendous salad pairings. Ideal Wine Company features a selection of Italian red wines that may be appropriate here.

Look at the dressing

It isn’t just your dressing’s acidity levels you need to take into account. Also match the weight in your dressing to the weight of the wine, so you ensure that you strike the right textures required for a winning combination. Let’s say that you’ve used a creamy dressing; go for a wine which has benefitted from the creaminess that comes from oak treatment to ensure you hit the right weighting balance.

Try the sweeter approach

Most people believe that you should only pair salads with dry vintages. However, if your salad contains sweeter elements e.g. fresh fruit or a honey vinaigrette, then you could develop a great flavour profile by teaming it with a dessert wine. Tokaji wines, which are famous white dessert varietals produced in Hungary, can work really well with salads which possess sweeter components.

Experiment

You have to find what works for you. Prepare for the summer by whipping up a few of your favourite salads and taste testing them with a variety of fine wines. By adopting this approach, you’ll be able to find a wine and salad combination that’s sure to prove a massive hit for summer 2016!

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