Summer is a special time of year because all of the food is so fresh! I love to take advantage of this and make yummy recipes. And a delicious recipe is not complete without wine, of course! I also go through the dilemma of wanting to indulge in the summertime but still be somewhat healthy… anyone else feel me on this?! I believe you can be super healthy while enjoying a delicious salad and wine pairing. It’s all about balance! Scroll through this article to see some of my favorite, easy recipes!
The main component to pairing wine with a salad is focusing on the dressing. Dressing often overpowers the salad, so if you go heavy on the dressing – make sure your wine tastes good with it! Pairing with other components of the salad is important too, especially when it’s not your traditional ‘lettuce’ salad.
When in doubt, grab a wine with high acidity. Most dressings are either vinegar based or creamy. Acidity in wine is important to match or compliment either of those components!
I just recently had a grilled romaine salad and fell in LOVE. Who knew grilled salad could be so good?! I found this awesome recipe for a grilled Caesar and Broccoli salad from one of my favorite cooking influencers, @diningwithskylar. It’s super easy to make, plus I always love creating my own dressing for salads. This whole recipe is vegan / gluten free too! However I added bread and cheese to mine because #healthy.
I decided to pair this grilled salad with a Pouilly Fumé, which is a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. Also guys, I found this bottle for $15 at Trader Joe’s and it was delicious. The herbaceous and charred notes from the grilled veggies brought out similar veggie notes, smoke, & minerality in the wine. The bright acidity and citric notes in the Pouilly Fumé also cut perfectly through the creamy Caesar dressing. Let me know if you make this one, because it’s a new favorite of mine!
Ahh there is nothing better than Burrata in the summertime. I love this recipe because the salty and sweet flavors are heaven together! Also, it doesn’t really look like a salad… but it totally is! Or we can pretend it is, haha. Basically just cut up your cantaloupe and add in prosciutto, burrata, drizzle with some EVO, and top with salt, pepper, and basil.
This recipe is delicious with Petit Manseng for a couple of reasons. Petit Manseng gives off tons of stone fruit and tropical fruit notes. In the Jurançon style, it’s made off-dry. The subtle sweetness and high acidity compliments the sweetness of the cantaloupe and the creaminess of the burrata. The saltiness from the prosciutto also brings out those complex fruit flavors and aromas in the wine! This dish would also be delicious with fresh peaches.
Strawberry salad is one of my go-to salads in the summer because it’s so fresh and easy! I love using spinach as a base, then adding in cut strawberries, red onion, and goat cheese. Typically I make my own dressing for this and combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, S&P, and honey. It’s SO GOOD.
Since the balsamic and honey add a little sweetness, pairing this salad with an off-dry rosé would be a delicious complimentary pairing. But if you prefer dry rosé, that works too! The rosé should bring out those fruity red strawberry notes and the acidity can stand up to that goat cheese. Bon appetite!
If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been so obsessed with Greek wines lately. Assyrtiko in particular has become an absolute favorite of mine! When in doubt with food and wine pairing, I always love to follow the rule of “what grows together, goes together”. Greek food is awesome because it’s fresh and clean ingredients that make me wish I was eating it on an island in the mediterranean!
This watermelon feta salad is fun because it’s salty and fruity. If you are one of the people that puts salt on their watermelon, this is for you! I make mine with diced watermelon, cucumber, red onion, feta and mint. In this salad and wine pairing, acidity from the wine will bring out those fruity watermelon notes. Additionally, the mint and salty feta compliment the herbaceous notes and mineral quality of the wine.
It’s not a AWG food and wine pairing post if I don’t have some kind of Italian-inspired recipe. Caprese salads are amazing because 1) they are easy to make and 2) they aren’t really “salads”. I mean who doesn’t love huge pieces of mozzerella cheese drizzled with balsamic and oil?!
A Caprese salad needs a wine with higher acidity to stand up to those highly acidic tomatoes. This salad and wine pairing could really be with a red or a white wine! Sangiovese is a classic red option because it has bright acidity with notes of basil, herbs, and balsamic that can match all of those flavors of the dish. A white wine such as a Greco di Tufo has nice acidity with tons of fruit flavors that would also be amazing! And honestly, any Italian white wine with high acidity would be bomb with this meal.
Ranch is the most classic, American salad dressing. So what do you pair it with it? This thick and creamy dressing deserves a bolder wine pairing. A Cobb salad also has a lot going on, so we’re gonna need a more intense wine to stand up to all of these flavors we have going on in the dish. A Napa Valley Chardonnay is going to have those buttery notes we are looking for that will go with the buttermilk ranch dressing. If you’re a crouton fan, those toasty notes in the wine will also bring out all of those flavors in the crunchy bread. Chardonnay typically still has nice acidity, so with each sip you’ll still feel refreshed but left with a long flavorful finish.