What's the best wine to have with a salad?

What's the best wine to have with a salad?

After a long and hard week at work, the idea of capping off the week with a bottle of wine at home or a bar probably seems a whole lot more tempting than usual. Whether you're a red or white wine type of person, the message is clear: a glass of wine is the best kind of much-needed rest and relaxation that you need to stay sane amidst a hectic work week. 

The health benefits of wine

Don't let the alcohol content label fool you — wine is much healthier than other types of alcohol such as beer, brandy, and whiskey. Most people don't know that wine is a quick solution for maintaining overall health (assuming that you don't down huge quantities every day) and is definitely worth picking over anything else because how it keeps your ticker healthy and your blood pressure low — and did we mention that it has far fewer calories than many other choices? 

When trying to find a good pairing for a bottle of wine, most people opt for cheese, deli meat, or chocolate. Although a small amount of chocolate, meat, or cheese won't do any harm, people who can’t seem to stand the usual bitter aftertaste of taking a sip of wine tend to eat large amounts of food to counteract the taste and end up gaining even more weight. To avoid unnecessary weight gain and keep the healthy benefits of wine working their magic on you, there's one pairing option that you can go for to keep everything in check: salad. 

A healthy side for a healthy drink

Along with the refreshing taste and smoothness of a good glass of wine, a salad further enhances your wine-and-dine experience with clean and fresh ingredients that not only help you stay healthy but taste amazing as well. Whether it’s the crisp lettuce, ripe cherry tomatoes, or tangy dressing, salads take basic, ordinary ingredients and provide a rich culinary experience for your taste buds that acts as a fantastic pairing with a bottle of wine. The best part about salads is their variety, as there are different mixes of ingredients, dressings, styles, and themes that can go into a serving. This means there's no such thing as a salad that isn't for you! Whether you're looking for a rich creaminess that comes with a classic Caesar salad, or you're into the quaint, yet tasteful acidity of vinaigrettes, there's always going to be a type of salad that can work best with your wine choice and your tastes. 

However, there is a certain broadness that comes with asking what kind of salad pairs best with wine. Just like asking what type of meat goes best with a glass of wine or trying to find out what pair of shoes go best with a sharp suit, there are certain factors that you'll need to understand before determining which type of salad works best with your chosen glass of wine. 

What to consider when trying to pair wine with salad

The main concept that you have to tackle when putting together a good pairing is the dominant flavours included in the salad and how they interact with the flavour profile of your wine. In order to pair a wine well with a salad, you'll have to ensure that the flavour of the dish doesn't dominate the drink and vice versa. When trying to pair wine and salad, you'll have to take into consideration the strength and acidity of the wine as well as the taste of the texture of the salad: one should be in perfect balance with the other, and not be weak on the palate as soon as the flavours land on your tongue. 

On the topic of light-bodied wine

Generally, most salad variations go best with lighter-bodied wine to strike a much-needed balance between both food and drink. Complex and aged red wines are usually much more challenging to pair with a salad. In fact, they should just be consumed on their own or with a solid cheese, chocolate, or meat pairing. However, if you're keen on having a salad with your fine beverage, you may want to stick to the lighter and zestier flavours of light-bodied wine to ensure that all the flavours stay fresh on your tongue. 

The dressing makes a huge difference

Aside from the type of wine that you'll be choosing, you'll also have to look at the dressing that goes into your salad in order to ensure that the flavours work well for your palate. Comprised of a mix between oil, mustard, or vinegar, the dressing that goes into your salad makes a huge difference in terms of how all the flavours work in your dish — but will it work well with the wine you're choosing? Well, the answer depends wholly on the aspect of acidity. Most wines may be acidic, but the dressing in your salad can even have more acidity in it, so it's best to aim for a balance in acidity between your drink and its pairing to make sure your wine choice doesn't seem too dull in comparison to your dressing. 

Top three wines to enjoy with your salad

After taking consideration on all of the above here are some varietals that we think would work best with a sensational salad; 

  • Rose; can be served at varying temperatures, has good acidity and the right texture to match a crunchy salad
  • Riesling; one of our favourite styles of wine here at The Wine Bunker and it is a shame we don’t sell more of it. Riesling is an aromatic wine with reasonable weight and viscosity, again the acidity is a backbone of this dry style of wine, and it makes for pairing well with spicy types of salads also.
  • Sauvignon Blanc; with a good one you will get some intense aroma, good mouthfeel and I would suggest a seafood salad 

The Wine Bunker is your home of great wine without having to leave home to get it. We love discovering great wines and recommending them for you. Contact us today for your next wine recommendation.

 

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