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Thursday July 20, 2006 7:00 am

Wines with Salad




Posted by Janie Franz Categories: Fruit, Salad, Vegetables, Wine,

wine bottlesMost people think of salads as being appetizers or palate cleansers. A simple green salad dressed in oil and vinegar is just that. But summer salads can be your entire meal or half of it if paired with a sandwich or soup. Serving a wine with them can enhance your dining experience.

But which wine? The trick here is to consider the weight of the salad, its ingredients, and the acidity of the salad dressing. If you have a salad with meats or grilled vegetables, serve something heartier like a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir. If your salad has arugula, escarole, or other peppery greens, use a Petite Syrah or Zinfandel.

If you have added cheese, pair the wine as you would a fruit. For example, if you have a blue cheese or Roquefort, you would normally serve it with pears or other sweet, mild fruits. Pair it with a sweeter wine like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer. A smoked cheese in a salad can handle a strong red wine.

If berries or other sweet fruit are in your salad, a Pinot Noir is excellent. Subtle fruits like apple, melon, pear, or mango can be paired with a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, or a Riesling.

To avoid the acid in your salad dressing from competing with the acid in your wine, try using fruit juice (orange or lemon) or a sweet balsamic vinegar instead of regular vinegar.

But most of all, have fun and experiment with different wine choices with your summer salads. Buy a couple of different types of wine. If something doesn’t quite jive, try the other one. Keep experimenting.

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