Wine matches for salads (with a twist)

A lot of chefs - particularly male chefs - don't really get salads, making them either an afterthought or wildly, elaborately fussy. Mark Hix of the Independent is an exception - his are always simple but imaginative, reflecting the season perfectly. Here are my matches for his recipes in the Independent this weekend.

Lamb meatball salad
One's first reaction with lamb is to think of red wine but with this kind of treatment - spicy meatballs, a yoghurt and mint dressing - I actually prefer a sharp lemony white. Greek Assyrtiko would be perfect but a citrussy Sauvignon Blanc would work too. Or a strong, dry rosé

Spring leek and mussel vinaigrette
A delicate dish that you don't want to overhelm. A fresh, crisp, dry white - maybe a good Pinot Grigio from the Alto Adige or my fallback favourite Picpoul de Pinet.

Griddled prawn and asparagus salad
The asparagus is the key to the match for this recipe which shrieks Sauvignon Blanc. Personally I'd chose a more minerally style such as a Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé but up to you. A Rueda would work too.

Guinea fowl salad with cumin salad and mustard dressing
Intriguing. Basically this is a bit like a roast chicken with a spicy salad - there's quite a lot of cumin with the cabbage and a fair amount of mustard in the dressing. I think I'd be looking to Alsace - either a Pinot Gris (a genuinely dry one) or a Riesling. Gewurztraminer I think would be slightly too overpowering. Chablis or a good Aligoté would probably work too.

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