Pairing Summer Salads with Wine
Take the heat out of summer with crunchy and energizing summer salad recipes served with refreshing wine matches, of course!
Summer salads don’t have to be boring with the same old things dished up day after day. Creating delicious summer salads is all about making use of the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. You can enjoy a simple salad with just a few quality ingredients or add layers of flavours and textures to make your salad even more interesting.
From beetroot to mango, here’s a crowd-pleasing selection of salad recipes for summer entertaining that are not only tasty and easy to prepare, but also full of healthy ingredients. Plus, our very own Adam Walls (Tasting Panel Co-Chair, Wine Show Judge and 2019 Len Evans Tutorial Dux) has suggested a wine varietal/style and an example that matches with each delicious summer salad.
A note for vegetarians, simply substitute any meats in these salads with tofu, lentils, chickpea, tempeh or other planted-based alternatives.
Summer Salad Recipes and Wine Matches
With the combination of beautiful crisp asparagus, creamy avocado, sweet ripe figs and tangy goat’s curd, this salad is just waiting to be paired with a crisp and fruity, cool climate Australian Sauvignon Blanc.
Adam suggests: Pike & Joyce Rapide Sauvignon Blanc 2019 from the Adelaide Hills
Featuring smoked trout, olives, tomatoes, caper berries and red onion, this salad requires a wine that won’t compete with its distinctive savoury flavours. A dry modern Aussie Rosé is the perfect match.
Adam suggests: Amadio Nebbiolo Rosé 2020 Adelaide Hills
Filled with fragrant coriander and mint, crunchy carrots and cucumber, sweet fresh prawns, salty peanuts and fish sauce, this is can be quite a challenging salad to match with wines. White wines with similar aromats, like Pinot Gris, are a tasty choice.
Adam’s suggestion: Peter Lehmann H & V Pinot Gris 2020 from Eden Valley
The tropical and creamy flavours of the mango and macadamia are sensational partners to the barramundi. Add in the zing of the lime, aromatics of the coriander and spice of the chilli and you have a delicious summer salad that’s bursting with flavour. A Verdelho with its supple natural acidity, tropical fruit and lemon zest works perfectly with the fried fish and fresh flavours.
Adam’s suggestion: Ash Horner Verdelho 2019 from the Central Ranges
Perfectly rich peaches, savoury squeaky haloumi, salty crisp prosciutto, zesty lime and rich hazelnut – what a stunning flavour combination. Add a bottle of fabulously fresh Aussie Fiano and you have a summer salad celebration.
Adam’s suggestion: Serafino Bellissimo Fiano 2020 from McLaren Vale
Enjoy the earthy richness of beetroot, crunch of walnuts, punchy pepper of rocket, creamy yet zesty goat’s cheese, freshness of olive oil and sweet/sour vino cotto. These Mediterranean-style flavours are calling out for a food-friendly, light to medium-bodied red like Grenache.
Adam’s suggestion: Z Wine August Old Vine Grenache 2020 from the Barossa Valley
Juicy poached free-range chicken with delicious French flavours of orange, fennel, bay leaves, Dijon mustard, rocket and almonds. Pair with a plump, richer Pinot G and you have a match made in foody heaven. Bon appetit!
Adam’s suggestion: West Cape Howe Black Label Pinot Gris 2020 from Great Southern
Middle Eastern aromas and flavours simply spring from the plate – cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cloves, blood oranges, dates and pecans with perfectly prepared chicken. A white wine with a vibrant and fresh palate with a juicy texture like an Aussie Albariño is a wonderful match.
Adam’s suggestion: Margan Vineyards Albariño 2020 from the Hunter Valley
Tips for Matching Salads with Wine
Matching Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Vermentino And Semillon With Salads
Light and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Vermentino and Semillon are perfect with very light seafood-based salads, salads featuring green vegetables and aromatic Thai and Vietnamese-style salads.
Matching Fiano, Pinot G, Arneis And Marsanne With Salads
Medium weight and textural whites like Fiano, Pinot G, Arneis and Marsanne are great matches with antipasto-style salad selections, chicken salads, Italian or Mediterranean-inspired salads.
Matching Verdelho, Chardonnay, Viognier And Roussanne With Salads
Fuller-bodied whites such as Verdelho, Chardonnay, Viognier and Roussanne are best served with richer main course salads, salads with creamy dressings and Caesar salad.
Matching Rosé With Salads
Rosé is a style of wine rather than a varietal and can be made from many different red grapes. When a Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, the typical characters are plums, spice and a variety of savoury fruits. Sangiovese Rosé is typified by savoury fruits, while Cabernet Rosé is bright with berry flavours, sometimes with notes of leaf and herbs. When it’s a Grenache Rosé expect a wine full of raspberry, cranberry and spice. So, Rosé is extremely versatile to serve with all kinds of fresh salads including those featuring seafood or beef, antipasto and tapas-style salads, and Italian and Mediterranean inspired salads.
Matching Pinot Noir, Grenache & Gsm Blends, Nero D’avola, Sangiovese And Tempranillo With Salads
Light to medium weight and savoury reds including Pinot Noir, Grenache & GSM Blends, Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese And Tempranillo are a great choice with salads containing charcuterie, game or mushrooms, richer warm salads especially with char-grilled ingredients, and salads with some spice.
Want more summer salad ideas?
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.