Pairings | Salad
Which wine pairs best with salad?
Asking which wine to pair with salad is a bit like asking about what wine to match with meat or fish. There's no single answer. It depends on the vegetables you use, what other ingredients it contains and what type of dressing you use.
The best food to pair with Chardonnay
If you're looking for food pairings for chardonnay, you're in luck! Whatever the style it's a fantastic food wine.
My favourite food pairings with Viognier
Viognier (pronounced vee-on-yee-ay) is a rich, exotically fruity white wine, sometimes achieving quite high levels of alcohol so what are the ideal foods to pair with it?
The best wine pairings with Caesar salad
As with most salads Caesar salad is all about the dressing which on the face of it sounds tricky, anchovies being notoriously difficult to match with wine.
The best wine pairings for feta cheese
With that baked feta and tomato pasta recipe going viral on TikTok, feta is certainly having a moment but what sort of wine do you pair with it?
Top pairings for dry and off-dry Alsace whites
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
The best food to pair with vodka
Vodka may be primarily thought of as a base for cocktails but in vodka-loving countries like Russia and Poland it’s always accompanied by food. Basically anything smoked, pickled or cured works well. Here are some ideas:
The best wine pairings with beans
Pulses such as beans are a good friend to the vegetarian winelover - their rich, mealy texture provides a similar foil as meat to a hearty full-bodied red.
Wines to pair with fennel
Fennel is one of the handful of vegetables that can influence a main course pairing - almost always for the better. Its aniseed flavour seems to have a pronounced affinity with many wines, especially whites. Here are some suggested matches with recipes that two British chefs have published this weekend - Gordon Ramsay in the Times and Skye Gyngell in the Independent on Sunday.
The 10 trickiest foods to pair with wine
Look up any guide to food and wine matching and you’ll find a list of foods that are regarded as anathema to wine. I’ve done it myself but have come to the conclusion recently that the problems are overstated.
Which food to pair with South African chenin blanc
You might think it odd to pick out South African Chenin rather than Chenin Blanc in general but I do think the wines are distinctive, particularly when it comes to the crisper styles which are much zestier than they tend to be in the Loire
Which drinks pair best with Thai food?
The predominant flavours of Thai cuisine are sweet, sour, hot and salty - slightly different from the warm spicing of many Indian curries or the more fragrant, herbal notes of Vietnamese. So which which drinks pair best with a Thai meal?
Some top food pairings for pear cider and perry
Pear cider - also known as perry - has a different taste from apple cider. It’s generally lighter, drier and more fragrant, a better match for delicate ingredients like fish.
The best wines to pair with beetroot
Beetroot is one of the few vegetables that pairs better with red wine than with white - not only for the colour though that tends to put the brain on auto-suggest - but its rich, earthy sometimes sweet flavour.
The best wine pairings for mangoes and mango desserts
Mango is often incorporated into drinks but what should you pair with it if you are eating it as a fruit or an ingredient in a savoury dish like a salad?
The best food pairings for assyrtiko
There are few grapes that bring Greece to mind like Assyrtiko, the saline wonder of the Cyclades. But what do you pair with it? As often, the answer depends on the winemaking style and terroir, because there is not one Assyrtiko (I should know, I recently tried 80 of them.)
6 of the best pairings for pinot grigio
That pinot grigio is many people's favourite white wine should come as no surprise - it’s a refreshing, versatile wine that pairs really well with light, summery food and ever-popular Italian staples such as pasta and risotto.
Which wines pair best with raw food?
If anyone still needs convincing about the virtues of food and wine matching Mark Hix’s fresh seasonal recipes in The Independent today should convince them. Even the ‘drink what you like with the food you like’ brigade would have to admit that a voluptuous Meursault or oak-aged white Bordeaux would totally overwhelm the flavours of raw food.
Seasonal wine pairings for Domaine de l’Arlot burgundy
Lucy Bridgers reports on an elegant dinner matching different vintages of Domaine de l’Arlot burgundy with a seasonal spring menu
The best pairings for prawns or shrimp
A freezer staple in my house, prawns or shrimp are quick and easy to cook but what should you drink with them?
Food pairings for wheat beer II - hefeweizen, dunkelweizen and other German-style wheat beers
German wheat beers are sufficiently different from Belgian wheat beers to merit a separate post - so what are the best food matches for hefeweizen with their striking banana and clove flavours?
What to pair with Beaujolais Nouveau
With southern hemisphere wines from the 2016 vintage having been on the shelves for a few months now the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau has become less significant but you may still want to crack open a bottle today.
Which wines - or beers - pair best with cooked cheese?
Cheese and wine is a notorious minefield but is it any easier when the cheese is cooked? See my suggestions to match Mark Hix's delicious recipes in the Independent today:
The best wine pairings for cauliflower
There was once no point in thinking about wine in the context of cauliflower. It was a vegetable. It was bland - except arguably in cauliflower cheese - but now it’s roasted, fried, spiced and partnered by other exotic and flavourful ingredients.
Top food pairings with Clare Valley and Eden Valley riesling
One of the most distinctive styles of white wine, dry rieslings from the Clare and Eden Valley in south Australia have a distinctive limey twist that makes them a particularly good match for Asian and Asian-inspired food.
Which wine pairs best with tomatoes?
Tomatoes are generally held to be a problem for wine but as Jane McQuitty robustly puts it in The Times today - nonsense!
Uyen Luu's Vietnamese Chicken salad
I don't know how often you turn to Asian-inspired salads at this time of year but I find myself making them more and more. Here's a classic Vietnamese salad from Uyen Luu's lovely new book Vietnamese to inspire you.
Smacked Cucumber and Crispy Green Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing
Although Jenny's Chandler's new book is called Green Kids Cook there are plenty of recipes that would appeal to adults too including this deliciously crunchy salad which provides an answer as to what to do with kohlrabi (I never know).
Gizzi's Thai Roast Duck & Watermelon Salad
If you want to make just one dish to celebrate the Thai new year try Gizzi Erskine's fabulous Thai-style duck and watermelon salad from her most recent book Gizzi's Healthy Appetite.
Rocket and parmesan salad with dry amontillado sherry
I've taken recently to combining my salad course and cheese course. Over the years, influenced by the time we've spent in France, we've picked up the habit of following our main course with a salad and nowadays I prefer - and it's cheaper - to eat one cheese at a time.
Beetroot, goats cheese and walnut salad
One of the most useful things you can have in your cupboard at the moment is vac packed cooked beetroot which you can buy in the fresh section of most supermarkets. Fortunately it doesn’t look that appealing so there hasn’t been a run on it despite the fact it’s relatively inexpensive (90p in my local Co-op).
Fennel and apple salad and Solaris
Finding a new salad that you love and will make many times over again is a win for any weekend but when you find the perfect wine pairing with it too it’s a real high point
Chicken and cucumber salad with pul biber and tahini lime dressing
Anyone who is a fan of Sabrina Ghayour will be thrilled that there's a successor to her best-selling book Persiana. Actually there have been several but this one relates back directly with a collection of easy, but supremely tasty family-friendly recipes.
Seamus Mullen's kale salad with apple, toasted pecans and yoghurt and dill vinaigrette
I've never really 'got' kale but this delicious salad would convert anybody. AND it's healthy too!
Caesar salad with a Godello based Spanish white
A lot of the time when we’re eating out we’re not matching dishes exactly - we simply buy a bottle we like the sound of and hope it will cope with everything we throw at it.
Spicy sesame ramen salad
I love the recipes in Tim Anderson's new book Your Home Izakaya which is subtitled 'fun and simple recipes inspired by the drinking-and-dining dens of Japan' but this ramen salad really stood out for me and I can't wait to make it.
Crispy chilli lime squid with edamame bean and coriander salad and pinot gris
Having picked up a heavy cold a couple of days before flying to New Zealand last week I arrived unable to taste a thing but this delicately pretty wine from Brick Bay Winery in Matakana managed to penetrate the fog.
Layered tomato and egg salad with Verdejo
One of the advantages of BYO is that you can have a stab at matching your wine to the menu. Particularly when you know exactly what each course will be. But sometimes the description is a bit vague as in Saturday’s ‘layered salad’ at the Montpelier Basement supper club in Bristol.*
Endive, Stilton and walnut salad with blanc de blancs champagne
Champagne two weeks running? I know - it is a bit indulgent but I just couldn’t ignore last night’s extraordinary dinner at the Savoy to celebrate the trophy winners and launch of the first Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. Besides it is our 400th Match of the Week - equally something to celebrate.
Raw cauliflower, mushroom and feta salad
This delicious salad is inspired by one I ate in a brilliant fast food restaurant called Food Chain in Montreal last year. They shred the vegetables to order then serve them in bowls with an accompanying dressing and topping (mixed seeds in this case).
Oktoberfest potato salad
The key element to this typically Bavarian recipe, which comes from my book An Appetite for Ale, is the addition of hot stock which gives it a consistency half way between a conventional potato salad and mashed potato. It also has the most delicious sweet-sour flavour.
Smoked duck and blood orange salad with Chilean Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer is a tricky wine to match, one that one usually falls back on recommending with oriental food, so it’s always good to come across something that’s outside the Asian register.
Stichelton, pear and walnut salad
A perfect seasonal salad from Jeremy Lee’s gorgeous book Cooking to use the last of the Stilton or as Jeremy suggests, Stichelton. I love the touch of using membrillo in it and, if you can get hold of it, quince vinegar.
Thai beef salad and off-dry Riesling
It’s easy to get stuck in the trap of thinking red wine is the only accompaniment for meat, especially red meat but in these days of multi-cultural eating that’s not necessarily true. And a good case in point is a Thai beef salad with its zingy, hot/sour flavours which influence the match much more than the beef does.
A Middle-Eastern inspired barbecue for eight
Here's a barbecue I've dug out of the archives - a middle-eastern inspired BBQ from my book Food, Wine and Friends.
Roast beetroot salad and a juicy Aussie grenache
I nearly saved this Aussie grenache for my wine of the week it was so good but it made a great match with this beetroot salad too
Spicy chicken salad
We normally think of lunchboxes in terms of kids' packed lunches but James Ramsden has come up with this a brilliant book of imaginative dishes you can take to work. Called - appropriately enough - Love your Lunchbox.
A Greek-inspired summer supper
With this unseasonably hot weather why not look to Greece for inspiration when you're entertaining. Here's a simple meal for 4 that was inspired by a trip to Greece a few years ago.
Pork, chilli, coconut and gapi salad with Momo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
I’ve been tasting a lot of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc this week but was also reminded how well it goes with Asian food at Peter Gordon’s new restaurant Kopapa.
Crisp duck salad with Fielding Estate Riesling
I came across so many great wine pairings in Toronto last week it's hard to pick out one but this dish just shaves it as my match of the week.
Chicken salad and real apple juice
Yesterday finally felt as if spring had come. After weeks of unsettled and unseasonably cool weather it was warm and balmy, rich with the scent of blossom. We went out with friends to the village of Wrington just outside Bristol to follow an ‘art trail’ of exhibitions by local artists. (Yes, I bought something - a delightful picture of radishes by a talented collage artist called Anne Carpenter)
Chicken caesar salad and blonde ale
It’s so automatic to think of a wine match these days that one sometimes overlooks the fact that a beer will work just as well, if not better. So it is with that great restaurant favourite, chicken caesar salad.
Potato and lemon frittata with watercress & almond salad
An unusual and fresh-tasting frittata that would make a perfect brunch dish from Ryn and Cordie's In Search of the Perfect Partner (The Food and Wine Matching Formula) reviewed here.
Radicchio, pickled pear and blue cheese salad and Le Bistro Montmija white
This crisp white wasn’t chosen as an exact match more like a wine I thought would run along with everyone’s starters when we went out to lunch at The Bull in Totnes last week
Asparagus salad and Grüner Veltliner
I’ve been in Vienna for the past few days so couldn’t really avoid eating asparagus. Not that I wanted to. Austria’s white asparagus is one of the highlights of the spring and early summer so we grabbed any opportunity we could to wolf it.
Vietnamese chicken salad and ginger and lemongrass cordial
One of the encouraging things going on in restaurants now is the increasing number of interesting alcohol-free drinks on offer which I find particularly welcome at lunchtime when I don’t particularly want to drink.
Smoked haddock and apple salad with New Zealand Riesling
I was overwhelmed with good wine pairings last week but given that quite a few were similar to ones I’ve written about before I’m making this my star match.
Fresh crab salad and 17 year old Muscadet (and yes, you did read that right!)
Apologies for returning once again to the subject of crab but it is one of my favourite summer foods and this was the outstanding match of last week.
Artichoke and sheep cheese salad and Ciello bianco
Much is made of the difficulty of pairing wine with artichokes but this week’s match of the week proves it’s far from impossible with the right accompaniments
Chargrilled baby lamb, salad and Rueda
If you think of lamb you almost certainly think of red wine but in a white wine producing region like Rueda white is the normal go to.
Warm lamb salad with a pea, mint & feta cheese dressing
A fabulously summery recipe from the very appealing Great British Farmhouse Cookbook - perfect for this time of year.
Wines - and other drinks - to match recipes from the Ottolenghi Cookbook
The book I’ve been looking forward to most so far this year has just started being serialised in the Guardian today. It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi who founded two exceptional London restaurants and is simply called Ottolenghi: the Cookbook. l love Ottolenghi's food - it’s so generous and big-flavoured, piled high on bright, colourful platters - you can't fail to be tempted by it. It also lends itself perfectly to entertaining for large numbers at home.
Roasted asparagus and Jersey royal salad with herb mayonnaise and a 2012 Saumur Champigny
Asparagus, it’s often said, is tough to match with wine, let alone a red, but this combination with a light, chilled Saumur Champigny at the re-opened Bell’s Diner in Bristol was a perfect pairing.
The 10 best wines for spring and early summer drinking
The last two days have been quite, quite beautiful, starting mistily, basking midday in an unseasonally warm sun and finishing with an extended dusk that announces that spring is finally here. I immediately want to eat lighter meals: the new season’s vegetables are not quite in yet but I can at least plan for summer and that means a spring clean of the cellar, pushing the full bodied reds to the back and assessing what whites, lighter reds and rosés I still have lurking in the racks.
A vegetarian harvest supper
Before we finally plunge into winter here's a late autumn supper menu from my book Food, Wine and Friends that combines the best of autumn’s produce with a couple of convenience products.
The best food matches with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
The flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - and this is why it is so popular - are powerful and aromatic: citrus, gooseberry and passionfruit in spades. So you if you're looking for a food match need big flavours on your plate to stand up to it.
A Spring Scandinavian Supper for 8
Now that we're firmly into spring here's a menu to celebrate from Danish cookery writer Trine Hahnemann introduced by her Scandi compatriot food writer and blogger Signe Johansen
10 top wine matches for Christmas starters
You may well know what you’re going to drink with the turkey by now but here are some ideas for what to match with your Christmas starters, paired with recipes from some of Britain’s favourite chefs and cookery writers.
Five-spice smoked tofu nuggets
Tofu has never been my favourite ingredient to be honest but these brilliant smoked tofu 'nuggets' from my friend Elly Curshen's book Let's Eat are positively addictive.
Cherry, herb and freekeh tabule
You might not think of putting cherries in a salad but it can work wonderfully well as Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co demonstrate in this clever twist on a tabbouleh from their most recent book Honey & Co: At Home.
Watermelon, halloumi, lime-pickled red onions
There have been a lot of great veggie cookbooks this summer but one of the most useful is Genevieve Taylor's Charred which finally empowers vegetarians to enjoy barbecues as much as meat eaters. That said this isn't the recipe in the book that makes the most extensive use of the grill but it's such a sublime combination of ingredients it's really summer on a plate.
A winelover's New Year's Eve dinner
After the tradition-bound cooking of the Christmas period (from which the family will never let you deviate . . .) it’s good to branch out a bit with your New Year’s Eve meal and also pick some dishes that will allow you to drink some serious wines. Note you need to start the beef two days in advance.
The best wine matches for tomatoes
Although not the problem they're generally made out to be tomatoes do have an influence on a wine pairing.
What to drink with the turkey leftovers
The answer to that may well be ‘whatever wine’s left over’ - if there is any, of course - but if you’re looking for a wine that will match specific dishes here are a few ideas:
Guacamole, salsa and a citrussy pale ale
Last Friday night Helen, our designer, and I had a bit of a works outing to our colleague Monica Shaw's who works on the nuts and bolts of the website. She cooked up an amazing Mexican feast of which this was just one element but it was striking how much better the whole meal went with beer than with wine.
The best food matches for Semillon and Semillon-Sauvignon blends
One of the world’s most underrated grapes yet capable of making some of its most delicious dry whites, Sémillon isn’t on the radar for many. So if you get hold of a bottle what should you pair with it?
10 great beer and food matches for summer
We all know a beer goes down well with a ploughmans and that it’s a great drink to wash down a barbecue but here are 10 more unusual pairings which should liven up your summer drinking.
Goats' cheese and Sauvignon Blanc
Despite the freak flurries of snow and sub arctic temperatures last week spring has officially arrived and with it longer daylight hours and a switch to lighter eating. For me there’s no combination that reflects the season better than goats' cheese and Sauvignon Blanc, one of the great classic food and wine pairings.
Bacchus and cucumber
Hot on the heels of its best ever medal tally in the International Wine Challenge, English wine is under the spotlight again this week which has been designated English Wine Week. It was sparkling wines that did particularly well in the Challenge but I have a soft spot for a variety called Bacchus, a white wine with a refreshing, sappy hedgerow freshness, not unlike a Sauvignon Blanc. Camel Valley in Cornwall makes a particularly good version.
Celebrate your own Oktoberfest!
I still remember my visit to the great Oktoberfest in Munich, the world’s biggest beer festival. Mysteriously it’s not held in October at all - or rather it doesn’t start in October but in September - kicking off next weekend.
Rare seared sirloin steak slivers with feta, charred lettuce and charred cucumber
If you're thinking of going in for our Le Creuset competition this month you may have been tempted by the rather gorgeous-looking cast iron square grill.
Drink of the week: Cawston Press Apple and Rhubarb Juice
I’m continually on the lookout for soft drinks that are not too sweet as I know there’s a big demand for them. This isn’t perfect - it’s still a fruit juice so quite high in sugar - but it is genuinely refreshing.
Pasta with pesto and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
This past week has reminded me yet again what a great match Italian whites are for food. Their lack of obvious character means they tend not to stand out in a tasting but they explode into life with a dish.
A perfect vineyard lunch
As I mentioned in my last post our last lunch of the Oregon trip was at Cristom where sales director (no less!) John D'Anna cooked us a great meal. Here's how he did it and - where I have a link to them - the recipes he used. Try it!
On the road in the Pacific North West: Day 1
For the next 10 days I’m going to be visiting the vineyards of Oregon and Washington State so the site will turn into more of a blog. Our first day yesterday included lunch at Chateau Ste Michelle, by far Washington’s largest wine producer.
A perfect starter for credit crunch entertaining
In London the trend was started by Rowley Leigh and picked up on by Paul Merrony of the Giaconda Dining Room*. The return of hors d’oeuvres, that tasty little selection of small dishes that preceded tapas but which had fallen from favour along with many other elements of French bistro cuisine.
Middle eastern-style lamb with grilled vegetables and a natural red wine
We all know that roast lamb is a great pairing with red wines but the assumption is often that it’s prepared in a classic French way so it was interesting to note over the weekend that if you give it a middle-eastern spin exactly the same applies
Lager and jerk chicken
It's been one of those very rare occurances in England today - a sunny Bank Holiday - and we've spend the day with friends at the Bristol West Indian Cricket Club where they turned out not to be playing much in the way of cricket but a great deal of music, dancing and bouncy castles.
Is this wine the perfect match for Thai food?
Thai food is particularly difficult to match with wine. Not only do you have the heat to contend with but the tricky sweet-sour flavours and - as with many Asian cuisines - several dishes on the go at a time.
Off the shelf: Domaine Grangette La Saignée de Rose Piquepoul Noir 2012
As I mentioned in my Guardian column this week I’m slightly disenchanted with the Languedoc’s signature grape variety Picpoul which isn’t nearly the good value it once was but Grangette’s is one I rather like.
Drink of the week: Sawanotsuru sake
Always on the ball Aldi announced this week that it had added a sake to its drinks range. Not quite the bargain it first appears when you discover the bottle is £3.99 for just 300ml but that’s enough for two and interesting nonetheless.
Domaine Gueguen Sacy Cepage Confidentiel Coteaux Bourguignons 2018
It’s always a thrill to come across a grape variety you don’t know, especially from an area with which you’re fairly familiar and when it adds another dimension to the wines already on offer there.
Wine of the week: Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2015
This is not so much a new find as a rediscovery. I’ve been a fan of James Millton’s wines since the early 1990s when he was virtually a lone pioneer of biodynamics and each time I revisit them they get better and better.
Few recipes are truly original but this twist on the classic vitello tonnato from Ed Smith of Rocket and Squash, using tomatoes as the base instead of roast veal is just inspired.